Bruins

DeBrusk on being subject of trade rumors: "I love being a Bruin"

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DeBrusk on being subject of trade rumors: "I love being a Bruin"

TORONTO – Jake DeBrusk has heard about the trade rumors. Heck, the 21-year-old has actually been traded before in his hockey career as he was dealt in junior hockey from Swift Current to the Red Deer Rebels in his final season. It’s a little different, however, when DeBrusk hears his name involved in trade rumors with New York Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh, and reports indicate that DeBrusk is a name that Rangers GM Jeff Gorton wants included in any deal. 

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It makes perfect sense with DeBrusk off to a strong start to his NHL career with 11 goals and 29 points in 54 games while playing a top-6 role next to David Krejci, and just scratching the surface of how good he can be with the Bruins. Brandon Carlo has likewise been mentioned prominently as well as a young NHL player being sought after in trade talks. 

But the bottom line for all the Bruins youngsters is that they don’t want to go anywhere, and are doing their best to block everything out while preparing to go out and do their best. 

“I got traded in junior, so I know a little bit about it…but it’s a little different when it’s the magnitude of the NHL,” said DeBrusk. “We’re just focusing on getting wins, and doing everything I can do to help the team win. At the same you’re keeping an eye out and looking [at the rumors] secretly. But it is what it is. You can’t control it. You can only control your play, and do anything I can to help the team win now. You can only take it day by day. 

“I love being with these guys and we’re a pretty tight group. So whatever happens is going to happen, but at the same time whoever is on the ice we’ll go to battle with them.”

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Clearly DeBrusk wants to stick with the team that selected him 14th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, and the Bruins would do well to keep a talented, likable and bright youngster that could be a meaningful member of the organization for a long, long time. But he’s also drawing whatever positive that he can out of the situation, and the biggest one is that other NHL teams are clearly taking notice of what he’s done this season as a rookie. 

Being the primary name mentioned in a deal for a player like the captain of the New York Rangers means you must be doing a lot of things right. 

“When you’re a rookie with your name being thrown around and the other guy has some pretty high stature in the league, it’s a compliment. But I don’t look too much into it,” said DeBrusk. “I love being a Bruin. I just want to continue to get better, continue to improve and I’ve got lots of room to grow. I’m just taking it shift-by-shift.”

That’s a smart kid with a good answer as he focuses on his game on the ice, and learns on the job to navigate through his first NHL experience that’s now included being at the heart of a juicy trade rumor for the Black and Gold.

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Bruins Playoff Rewind: One brief moment of sunshine vs. Oilers

Bruins Playoff Rewind: One brief moment of sunshine vs. Oilers

Although it was a competitive series early on with the Bruins playing well in the first few games, this week marks the one and only victory the B’s recorded during the 1990 Stanley Cup Final against the powerhouse Edmonton Oilers.

In fact, it was the only win that the Black and Gold managed in facing the dynastic Oilers in two out of three seasons from 1988-90 when the B’s had Ray Bourque and Cam Neely in the very prime of their respective Hall of Fame careers.

The B's went into that Stanley Cup Final having won nine of their last 10 games while riding a ton of momentum, but they were then going up against a Wayne Gretzky-less Oilers crew that still counted Mark Messier, Jari Kurri, Craig Simpson and Esa Tikkanen among their ranks on their roster. The Bruins had infamously lost Game 1 in triple overtime on Petr Klima’s stunning goal in the longest game ever played in Stanley Cup Final history, but they trailed 2-1 in the best-of-seven series after Andy Moog made 28 saves in a 2-1 win in Game 3 in Edmonton at the Northlands Coliseum on May 20, 1990.

The game was notable in that it was role players and goaltending/defense that guided them to victory rather than anything else.

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A 22-year-old John Byce (who scored two goals during that 1990 postseason run and two other goals in his entire 21-game NHL career) scored 10 seconds into the game to give the Bruins an immediate lead after they had dropped each of the first two games on the Boston Garden ice. Then Greg Johnston added to that lead with another first period score to give the B’s a 2-0 road lead over the stunned Oilers group.

The scoreboard remained 2-0 for nearly the entire duration of the contest as Moog stood on his head in Game 3 stopping 28-of-29 shots, but the Oilers did halve the lead in the third period when Tikkanen scored his 12th goal of the playoffs on the power play. That was it for the Oiler crew, however, as the Bruins clawed back into the series and gave B’s fans hope that they might be able to rebound from the early 2-0 deficit.

As it turned out, that was the last, best gasp from the Bruins before they collapsed in the series. They were held to one goal in each of the last two games in the five-game Cup Final and were outscored 9-2 as Simpson, Kurri and Glenn Anderson did most of the offensively heavy lifting while Messier was held without a goal in the series.

On the other side, the Bruins defense was touched up in a big way by the explosive Oilers attack with Greg Hawgood, Don Sweeney and Gary Galley combining for a rough minus-15.

Boston’s best chance to dictate the series would have been to find a way to capture Game 1 at the Garden while riding their momentum from the previous three rounds of the playoffs. But a 21-year-old Glen Wesley famously missed an open net in Game 1 and it came down to the little-used Klima drawing the dagger goal in triple-OT.

Credit where it’s due, the Oilers effectively held everybody down on the B’s offensively aside from captain Ray Bourque, who led the B’s with three goals and five points along with 27 shots on net in the five games. Cam Neely was the only other Bruins player with even more than 12 shots on net (he had 24) in the five-game series as the B’s supporting cast was effectively shut down by the Oilers aside from Game 3.

There were not a lot of good moments for the Boston Bruins during the late May dates in Stanley Cup playoff history, but at least this was one was the fleeting feeling of victory 30 years ago amidst a lot of losing against the Oilers.

When should 2020 NHL Draft happen? Mark Recchi gives honest take

When should 2020 NHL Draft happen? Mark Recchi gives honest take

Just a few weeks ago it seemed that the 2020 NHL Draft was on the fast track to taking place in June as a way to fill the void left by the absence of games with the NHL regular season on pause. The draft was originally supposed to take place during a late June weekend in Montreal, but there was even talk of moving it up to early June after the NFL Draft went off so successfully in April.

It wasn’t going to be without complications, of course, as the NHL was going to need to figure out a draft order without a finalized regular season, and executing trades involving anything but draft picks would have been impossible prior to the league executing the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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An NHL Board of Governors meeting in early May slowed the momentum toward holding the draft ahead of the season resumption, but it remains up in the air as to when exactly the 2020 NHL Draft will take place.

Mark Recchi is a Hall-of-Fame hockey player and three-time Stanley Cup champ, somebody that’s worked in player development for the Pittsburgh Penguins and a current assistant coach with the Pens as well. Needless to say, Recchi has plenty of experience in all areas of NHL operations and thinks that holding the draft would be a difficult proposition given how much trade talk goes on around the time of the actual draft weekend.

Certainly there wouldn’t be anything much more awkward than trade rumors surrounding NHL players just as they’re readying for an unprecedented 24-team playoff format while playing hockey through a global pandemic.

“They’ve got to do what’s best. Personally, I thought it was going to be tough to have the draft in June. You could still make deals. But the unfortunate part would be if a deal was made while we’re still playing and then the deal gets out [into the public]. You can make a deal and say ‘Hey, we can stuff it in a drawer until we’re done here.’ But that always seems to find a way to get out,” said Recchi. “That’s never a good thing to happen. You’re in the middle of a playoff series and then the rumors come up that [a player] has been traded to wherever for a first-rounder coming up.  

“Say with Pittsburgh they wanted to make a trade for a pick with a player that deal could be done, but I think it’s a pretty risky way to go. There is too much there that could happen to hurt players in the long run.”

Perhaps there’s a way to find a middle road, like the NHL prohibiting all trades at the draft aside from anything but draft picks. But the sentiment across the NHL was that there was very little team support for holding the draft in June, and it was instead something being pushed hardest by the league and league rights holders looking for quality content.

The NHL Draft still may happen as the perfect event television that could bridge the hockey content gap until the NHL playoffs presumably re-start during the month of July. But it’s not something that has the unbridled support of a hockey community used to sticking to the routines that have already been set in the NHL world.