By: Andrew Lindroth | Follow me on Twitter! @andrewlindrothh
The Boston Bruins general manager, Don Sweeney, certainly set the trade deadline fireworks off late last night following a brutal 8-1 loss to the Washington Capitals, addressing several team needs. In case you were asleep and are just now waking up to the news, the Bruins have recently acquired forwards Taylor Hall and Curtiz Lazar from Buffalo and defenseman Mike Reilly from Ottawa. Overall, in exchange for a 2021 second-round puck, 2022 third-round pick, and forward Anders Bjork.
It is safe to say, Sweeney did a tremendous job this trade deadline addressing the Bruins’ needs while not giving away a first-round draft pick or a high-profile prospect. The question now is, when will the latest trade acquisitions be ready to suit up for the Bruins? Well, sooner than you would think.
Our questions were answered this morning during the flurry of Zoom interviews with the latest player acquisitions, as all three players will be driving to Boston today to avoid the quarantine process. It seems as if all three players will be available to suit up for Tuesday’s contest against the Buffalo Sabres.
Although the next match-up is against a struggling Sabres team, the Bruins are desperate for help with secondary scoring and the blue-line. The latest defensive acquisition, Mike Reilly, is driving from Ottawa to Boston, as crossing the Canadian border usually results in a two-week quarantine, but was recently changed to just five-to-seven days. Now, it seems as if Reilly will be available this upcoming Tuesday and may avoid quarantining all together. He may not have to quarantine because he will be driving from Canada to the US but would be required to quarantine if he was going from the US to Canada.
Taylor Hall and Curtis Lazar will not be required to quarantine due to the travel from Buffalo to Boston, so it’s possible to see both of them in the line-up for tomorrow’s match-up. Even with Lazar recently being listed on the injured-reserve list due to an upper-body injury, he claims he feels healthy and will be an option “in the near future”.
This is fantastic news for the Bruins. They have struggled with offensive consistency the past few weeks and have a depleted blue-line due to injuries, including; Matt Grzelcyk, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, and Kevan Miller. They are currently sitting at fourth-place in their division and have to continue piling on two points every game if they wish to stay in the playoff picture.
It’s also important to note the current contract situations with the latest player acquisitions. Hall is purely a rental at the moment; as he will become a UFA this off-season, it might be worth it for the Bruins to re-sign the forward while his value continues to sit at an all-time low. Lazar will have one more year with the team, carrying a cap hit of just $800k for the 2021-2022 season. Reilly is also set to become a UFA at the end of this season. The left-handed defenseman currently carries a cap hit of $1.5M, so if he plays well as a potential top-four defenseman, it may be worth locking him up either as an option for next year or leaving him unprotected for the upcoming Expansion Draft.
Once the Bruins finally recover from the injury bug, I predict the line-up to look something like this at full-strength: