Bruins Miss Out on 3 Players at 2022 Trade Deadline

Although the Boston Bruins acquired Hampus Lindholm earlier in the week, they seemed to be all-in on trade deadline day. General manager (GM) Don Sweeney was pursuing several notable players, and it appeared that the team was set to have a huge day. Yet, they ended up only acquiring Josh Brown from the Ottawa Senators, which was a little disappointing. Although the 28-year-old will provide the team with much-needed toughness, it stings knowing the Bruins missed out on so many other players who would have made them better. Here’s a look at who they missed.

Rickard Rakell

The Bruins almost made another huge deal with the Anaheim Ducks, as they were heavily pursuing Rickard Rakell on trade deadline day. It initially seemed like a two-team race for the 28-year-old forward. Both the Bruins and the Vegas Golden Knights were in “advanced talks” with the Ducks, but they both struck out. Instead, the Pittsburgh Penguins came out of nowhere as the surprise winners of the Rakell sweepstakes.

The Penguins gave up two roster players – Zach Aston-Reese and Dominik Simon – prospect Calle Clang and a 2022 second-round pick. It is understandable that the Bruins missed out on him, as they had already given up multiple second-round picks in the Lindholm trade. However, it’s tough to hear that they were so close to landing him.

Rickard Rakell Anaheim Ducks
Rickard Rakell, Anaheim Ducks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Rakell would have been an excellent addition to the Bruins’ top six. His versatility allows him to play all three forward positions, and he is also a solid point producer. In 52 games this season, he has 16 goals and 12 assists, which is good production, and he would have provided the team with another strong offensive weapon. Instead, the team will have to proceed with Jake DeBrusk as their first-line right-winger from here.

Andrew Copp

Rakell was not the only forward the Bruins wanted to acquire before the trade deadline. They were also one of the frontrunners in the Andrew Copp sweepstakes. They had been linked to him for weeks as a potential answer for their scoring troubles. Yet, the New York Rangers were the lucky team to land him.

Related: Meet Your New Bruins: 2022 Trade Deadline Edition

To successfully acquire Copp, the Rangers traded away Morgan Barron, two conditional second-round picks, and a 2023 fifth-round pick. Given the price, it’s safe to say that the Bruins would have had to trade Jack Studnicka and the same draft picks to stay in the running. That would have been a risky move for a rental, but it would have been understandable if they had pulled the trigger for a shot to win now.

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Like Rakell, Copp would have provided the Bruins with another forward who can play all three forward positions. Yet, he likely would have been utilized as a second-line center as a major upgrade over Erik Haula. In 57 games this season, the Michigan-native has 13 goals, 24 assists, and a plus-1 rating. That kind of offense would have been welcomed with open arms.

Justin Braun

Darren Dreger reported that the Bruins were also among the favorites to land Justin Braun on deadline day. The 35-year-old received a ton of interest around the league, as he’s a reliable bottom-pairing defenseman with 100 games of playoff experience. To the dismay of his many other suitors, the Rangers again emerged as winners.

Justin Braun Philadelphia Flyers
Justin Braun, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Rangers did not have to give up much to get Braun, however, as they only parted with their 2023 third-round pick. Now, that’s an asking price that the Bruins should have had no trouble with, which is especially true when you consider that he would have been a far better option for the bottom pair than Connor Clifton. Although Brown will provide the team with more grit, it’s hard to predict if he will be a regular in their lineup. Braun, on the other hand, easily would have been.

Before the deadline, I discussed how Braun would have been a solid addition to the Bruins, so it was tough to see them miss out. The grizzled veteran has been quietly having a good season, with five goals and 11 assists in 61 games. This kind of offensive production is impressive given his six-point campaign in 53 games last season. Yet, he is known for his reliable defensive play, so he would have been utilized on the team’s penalty kill, too.

It is a shame that the Bruins missed out on all three of these players, yet the addition of Lindholm does help lessen the blow. The left-side defense is significantly better than it was before the deadline, and it’s fantastic that Sweeney inked him to an eight-year extension immediately after. However, with roughly $5 million in cap space and their Stanley Cup window closing, it is surprising that they didn’t bring in a single forward. Alas, this is the roster they will be going into the postseason with. Let’s see if they can go on a run.

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