BOSTON - In the NBA at the trade deadline, Boston Celtics general manager Danny Ainge surveyed the landscape of potential trades and decided that he was more content with the squad he has currently fielded. In the NHL, however, the Boston Bruins felt quite different as they were one of the most active teams at the deadline. With one of the best records in all of hockey, the Bruins know they are in contention for the Stanley Cup. To get there, they could not be passive at the deadline.
Sadly, this sort of trade maneuvering did mean that we needed to say goodbye to some fan favorites on the rink. The first trade came last Friday when the Bruins made a move that was more for salary-cap considerations by trading David Backes and a draft pick to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for Ondrej Kase, a forward, as shared by NBC Sports.
Kase has a bit of an injury history, but he is an inexpensive option for the Bruins to take a chance on. His contract has another year, meaning the Bruins can control that deal, worth $2.6 million, which is definitely affordable. Kase is also 24 years old, putting him 11 years younger than Backes.
Backes was a loyal player in Boston, but he had recently been sent down to the Providence Bruins squad. It seemed unclear if he would be a major contributor going forward. It's sad to lose him, but he will likely get a better shot at playing time in Anaheim. He has just one goal and three points in the season so far, compared to Kase's seven goals and 23 points.
Don Sweeney decided to keep the deals wheeling after the Kase aquisition when he made one last deadline swap yesterday. The Bruins sent Danton Heinen, another beloved Bruin, to the Ducks for Nick Ritchie, a winger. (The Ducks were excellent trade partners this go-around). The move was made for depth and size as Ritchie outweighs Heinen and can serve on the third line of the team. Ritchie has 19 points this season but also has 79 hits. Heinen had 22 points, but just 33 hits. Physicality is key and the Bruins have loaded up on it for their title run.
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