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By: Chris Nosek | Follow me on Twitter @cnosek6342

Don Sweeney has made some excellent moves this season that have gone a long way to shut up those in the Boston Bruins fanbase who have been calling for him to lose his job. Switching up the head coach during the offseason aside, four key player moves have had as big an impact as any other general manager around the league. It all started when he dealt Erik Haula to the New Jersey Devils on July 13th, 2022, for 25-year-old forward Pavel Zacha.

Zacha played every game for the Bruins during the regular season and all three forward positions throughout the season due to injuries. Currently, in the postseason, Zacha has yet again been shifted to the center position to fill in for the injured David Krejci between Tyler Bertuzzi and David Pastrnak and currently has posted four assists over the first four games of the series against the Florida Panthers. Averaging just over 16 minutes of ice time per game, the Czech forward posted a career-high 57 points during the regular season and showed that if he is forced to play down the middle because David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron end up retiring after this season, this team will be in good hands.

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Dealer Donnie proved to have more tricks up his sleeve at the trade deadline when he worked with the Capitals and Wild to complete a complicated, three-team deal sending out draft picks and Craig Smith. Moving out of Smith’s $3.1 million contract allowed for the acquisition of Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway while keeping salary cap compliance. Hathaway was brought in as a veteran presence to the bottom six forward groups so that younger, inexperienced guys such as Oskar Steen and Vinni Lettieri wouldn’t have to be relied upon and would have a better scoring touch than what Chris Wagner could offer. With one point over the first four games of the series, Hathaway continues to get involved in the game physically as the series has gone on, and it looks like he will continue to play a massive role in how this series could end.

The 31-year-old Dmitri Orlov has made the draft pick compensation in the deal worth the price. Over the four games thus far, Orlov leads the defensemen group in scoring with five points, and his 21 minutes of average ice time per game have helped alleviate some of the toughest minutes for Charlie McAvoy, Hampus Lindholm, and Brandon Carlo. If Connor Clifton or Jakub Zboril were in this lineup instead of Orlov, the average ice time of 23 and 21 minutes for McAvoy and Lindholm would be significantly higher.

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When forward Taylor Hall went down with an injury Sweeney almost immediately shipped more draft picks, including a first-round pick, to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for Tyler Bertuzzi. The 26-year-old had a slightly slow start when he first arrived in Boston, but since the turn to the playoffs, he has caught fire. He has six points over the four games, and with three of said points coming on the powerplay, he has helped the special teams that were struggling mightily shortly before his arrival. Having established some great chemistry with David Pastrnak, Bertuzzi is playing so well that a large portion of the fanbase wants to see him stick around for his new contract.

Don Sweeney spent six draft picks to bring in Orlov, Hathaway, and Bertuzzi, and it only cost him, Craig Smith, off the current roster, to remain under the salary cap. The biggest downfall of this maneuvering is that the Bruins will face a $4.5 million cap penalty next season, which no one will care about should the B’s accomplish their goal of winning the Stanley Cup this year. Despite all the draft capital leaving the organization, Sweeney still managed to keep five picks for this year’s draft to help replenish the young talent pool in the organization.