The Boston Bruins made their first move of the trade deadline yesterday, acquiring defenseman Hampus Lindholm and defenseman Kodie Curran from the Anaheim Ducks.
In return, the Ducks received Urho Vaakanainen, John Moore, a 2022 first-round pick, a 2023 second-round pick, and a 2024 second-round pick. Anaheim also will be retaining 50% of Lindholm’s salary.
There is no doubt that Bruins fans should be happy with this deal — but no trade is ever perfect, right?
So let’s take a look at the good and the bad of Saturday's trade.
It’s always best to start off with the good news: Boston acquired a quality defenseman in Lindholm, who will surely improve the blue line.
At 28 years old, Lindholm comes with an impressive resume.
Since being drafted sixth overall in the 2012 NHL Draft, he has racked up 222 points. So far this season, Lindholm has five goals and 17 assists.
Those aren’t eye-popping offensive stats, but Bruins fans will be happy to hear is that Lindholm is more of a defensive defenseman who piles up the minutes.
This year, he’s averaging more than 22 minutes of ice time per game.
Though there are arguments to be made that the Bruins shouldn’t break up the Matt Grzelcyk-Charlie McAvoy pairing, Lindholm seems primed to at least start by skating next to McAvoy.
This will add some much needed depth to the blue line, allowing Grzelcyk to play with Brandon Carlo on the second pairing and giving the Bruins a revolving bottom pair that can include Connor Clifton, Derek Forbort, and Mike Reilly.
A key part of this also has to do with the finances involved with the deal. The fact that the Duck retained 50% of Lindholm’s salary and took on John Moore’s contract is humongous in giving the Bruins more flexibility to make another move.
Assuming the Bruins are able to sign the defenseman to the reported eight-year extension with an average annual value in the neighborhood of $6.5 million, Don Sweeney did a great job acquiring a quality defenseman while also locking him up for the future at a decent price.
Still, Lindholm did not come cheap. Boston had to give up a young up-and-comer in Urho Vaakanainen as well as a whole lot of draft picks.
Vaakanainen never got to hit his stride with the Bruins, but looked like a player who had potential.
This season, he looked his best until a dirty hit from Yanni Gourde knocked him out of the lineup. The 23-year-old looked like he had the potential to turn into a regular NHL defenseman this season, but injuries derailed that.
If he can stay healthy, it’ll be interesting to see how he develops in Anaheim.
The amount of picks that the Bruins gave up is also concerning. Boston isn’t stacked when it comes to prospects, and ideally they need to be stocking up on draft picks instead of trading them away.
While they’re clearly loading up for a Cup run, it has come at the cost of further clearing out an already relatively empty prospect/pick cupboard.
While the AAV of Lindholm’s reported extension is good, the length is cause for concern. The Bruins just got out from under Moore’s deal, and this could be a new version of that deal toward the end of that contract.
By the end of the reported deal, Lindholm will be 36 years old — while Lindholm could have some great years, by the end of the deal, his performance might drop off, making that AAV seem far less palatable.
Do you see this deal as having more "good" or "bad" aspects?
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