If there is one team that Boston Bruins general manager (GM) Don Sweeney has had some luck with trades, it’s the Ottawa Senators. Over the last two trade deadlines, Sweeney has made a pair of deals with his Atlantic Division foe, both times acquiring a defenseman.
In 2021, the Bruins acquired offensive defenseman Mike Reilly for a 2022 third-round draft pick. Last season, Sweeney acquired Josh Brown for prospect Zach Senyshyn and a 2022 fifth-round draft pick. This season, the Black and Gold own the league’s best record, but there are needs at the trade deadline. Once again, the Senators are on pace to be on the outside looking in coming to the Stanley Cup playoffs, and once again, Ottawa has some pieces that could fill a need. Here is a look at some of the players that could find themselves in a trade to Boston by the March 3 trade deadline.
Currently, Tyler Motte is on injured reserve with a broken finger, but he is expected to be back in the lineup by the trade deadline and Ottawa will look to move the 27-year-old winger. In 32 games this season, he has three goals and nine points, but the 5-foot-10, 192-pound offers flexibility by being able to play both left and right wing.
Latest News & Highlights
The postseason will be nothing new to Motte who was traded to the New York Rangers last season and helped them reach the Eastern Conference Final before falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning. With the Bruins, Motte would be a bottom-six addition and wing depth they desperately need. As an unrestricted free agent (UFA) following the season, the return for him would not be much as he carries a $1.35 million average annual value (AAV). This could be a sneaky-good move by Sweeney.
The Bruins are in the need of a defenseman ahead of the trade deadline, mainly because of concerns over Brandon Carlo’s healthy with injuries. He avoided a serious injury against the Rangers on Jan. 19, but an addition like the last two seasons is almost a must. Enter Travis Hamonic who is a veteran and has been solid this season for the Senators.
The 32-year-old has three goals and seven points in 45 games, but he is averaging 18:43 a night and would add another presence on the Bruins’ top-ranked penalty kill. Coming to Boston, he would not need to play on a nightly basis, but as a seventh defenseman, he’s solid depth for coach Jim Montgomery and he carries a $3 million AAV and like Motte, he’s a free agent following the season.
Like the St. Louis Blues, the Senators offer the chance for the Bruins to bring back a former rental in Nick Holden. Traded to Boston on Feb. 20, 2018, in a deal that sent Rob O’Gara and a third-round draft in 2018 to the Rangers. He had a goal and five points the remainder of the season, but he is someone that Sweeney is very familiar with and carries a $1.3 million AAV and will be a free agent, but he also has a no-movement clause that will have to be waived to go to Boston, something that he would most likely do to have a chance to win a championship.
This season, the 6-foot-4, 210-pound physical blue liner has one goal and seven points, but as he did in Boston in 2018, he blocks a lot of shots and is a stay-at-home defenseman. With the way the Bruins have been getting offensive production from their defense lately, he would be a perfect compliment
Will Sweeney go big or go home? If he chooses to go big, then Alex DeBrincat could be an interesting option, but the jury is still out on whether the Senators would actually move him, but the return would be bigger than any of the other names mentioned above. In 46 games this season, he has 16 goals and 24 assists, but has cooled off as of late with just one assist in his last five games.
Acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks last summer during the Entry Draft for three draft pick, including the seventh overall in the first round and the 39th overall in the second round, he is in the final year of a three-year, $19.2 million contract that has an AAV of $6.4 million. The problem with acquiring him is he is owed a $9 million qualifying offer this summer and that is a huge chunk of change to be on the hook for. There is the possibility of the Senators and DeBrincat working out an extension, but Ottawa might be open to moving him. He is one of the most consistent scores there is that might be available at the deadline.
Despite being in the same division, Sweeney and Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion have a history of trades. This season, the Senators have some depth pieces that Boston could use as they did in the last two seasons with Reilly and Brown. Making a splash for Debrincat would be a bold move, but adding a depth piece from an Atlantic Division foe is a real possibility for a third straight season.
Explore everything hockey with THW’s Hockeypedia pages.
Scott Roche covers the Boston Bruins for The Hockey Writers. A frequent user of the Oxford comma. Scott has been a sports writer for 25 years for different sites and daily newspapers. Writing started out as a hobby, but it has become a passion for Scott over the years.