By: Dominic Tiano | Follow me on Twitter @dominictiano
Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney and his management team have worked hard to make this deal since I sent the tweet below a week and a half ago. On Saturday, he pulled the trigger with the Anaheim Ducks acquiring Hampus Lindholm and Kodie Curran for the Bruins first-round pick in 2022, a second-round pick in 2023, and a second-round pick in 2024, along with Urho Vaakanainen and John Moore.
As I reported a few times on Twitter, Lindholm was willing to talk extension with three teams, and the Bruins were one of those teams. It’s believed Lindholm has agreed to an eight-year deal with a cap hit of $6.5 million, and that deal will be registered with the league in the next few days.
The Bruins were also interested in pending UFA Ducks forward Rickard Rakell, but unlike Lindholm, he was not willing to discuss an extension. The Bruins could revisit that on Sunday and bring Rakell in with the hopes they could sign him before he hits free agency. Rakell and Lindholm are also best friends.
Sweeney had to close out this deal on Saturday to get his man. They were also heavily involved in talks with Arizona Coyotes defenceman Jakob Chychrun and, from the information I had, were the front runners as late as Friday night. But the Los Angeles Kings, who were also heavily after Chychrun, upped the ante on Saturday, and it was too much for the Bruins and pulled the trigger on this deal before someone else did.
The cost to acquire Chychrun would have been a lot higher. And while Chychrun has a better deal for the next three seasons, he will make plenty more than Lindholm’s $6.5 million. And that’s planning for now and the future.
If you break down this deal, it’s a first-round pick, second-round pick, and Vaakanainen for Lindholm. The extra second-round selection was for Anaheim to take on the remainder of Moore’s contract for this season and next. This has put the Bruins in an ideal situation with the cap to pull off another major deal, likely to happen on Sunday, and on Monday, they will look to add depth pieces.
Here’s a look at the Bruins possible lineup and their cap situation following this deal:
The important number is deadline cap space, which is at $6,153,090. That means the Bruins could potentially add a player with an AAV of just over $6.1 million. What the question is: are they looking for a right-wing to play on the top line or a center for the second line? If it’s a right-wing, then Jake DeBrusk has to move, which puts them in a totally different cap situation because of DeBrusk’s $3.675 million cap hit. If it’s a center and DeBrusk is involved, then they’ve created a hole on the right side.
Moving forward, they have a defense core set up for several years. With Lindholm, Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, Matt Grzelcyk, and Mason Lohrei on the way, that is a core you can win with. If you believe you can win by building from the net out, Sweeney has put the team in an excellent position. This has been Sweeney’s best deal yet, and there is more to come. Let’s see what Sunday and Monday bring.