In this edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, after a number of frustrating seasons, Jake DeBrusk has requested a trade. In other news, Brad Marchand was recently given a three-game suspension due to a slew-foot. Meanwhile, Tuukka Rask is beginning to ramp up his training and is hoping to be able to return early in the new year.
DeBrusk Wants Out
Over the past three seasons, DeBrusk has been involved constantly in trade rumors. The reason behind this is that his play after his first two years in the NHL has really dropped off. It has been a frustrating development, as the now 25-year-old, who was selected 14th overall in the 2015 Draft, appeared to have a bright future as a Bruin.
The 2020-21 season was an extremely disappointing one for DeBrusk, as he recorded just five goals and 14 points in 41 games. He hasn’t been a whole lot better this season either, with three goals and six points in 17 games. Perhaps a change of scenery is what he needs to get his game back on track.
This request came just one day after DeBrusk was held out of the lineup as a healthy scratch on Sunday, a decision he clearly did not agree with. Some have suggested that he and head coach Bruce Cassidy have been butting heads for some time, and Cassidy’s comments as to why he scratched him seem to suggest that may indeed be the case.
“I think what happens with Jake, and what we’ve seen over the last few years, is that when the production is there, you’re getting more second effort,” Cassidy said. “They kind of go hand-in-hand. And when it’s not there, we lose a little bit of that.
“And that’s been the ask of him for a number of years now. No drop-off on this side of the ledger just because the production isn’t there. Any 20-goal scorer still only scores once every four games, right? … You still need the other things.”
At the time of writing this, it doesn’t appear there is a deal on the table, but that could change in the very near future. It seems very unlikely that this relationship is repairable at this point.
Marchand Suspended for Three Games
Just a minute into Sunday night’s game versus the Vancouver Canucks, Marchand got tangled up with defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and sent him down to the ice. There was no penalty on the play, but it was very clear when watching the replay that Marchand had a pretty dirty slew-foot.
The NHL’s Department of Player Safety clearly felt the same way, as they announced on Monday that they were suspending him for three games. That now makes seven career suspensions for Marchand, and he will be forced to forfeit $91,875 of his salary this go around. He will be eligible to return on Dec. 8, in a game that ironically enough will be against the Canucks.
Rask Continuing to Work Towards Return
In recent weeks, Rask has been skating prior to Bruins practices as he works towards an NHL return. On Monday, he took the next step in his recovery, as he was able to join both Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman for a pre-practice goaltending session. According to Cassidy, he is on schedule in terms of a return. (from ‘Fluto Shinzawa: Tuukka Rask joins Bruins’ goalies on the ice, but path forward remains unclear: ‘I don’t have a contract yet’ ‘, The Athletic 11/29/21).
“He’s completely on schedule,” Cassidy said. “The schedule – again, we’ll defer to the medical people – was supposed to be somewhere after the new year. Could be into February. February’s the Olympic break, so then it bleeds into March. There was a little bit of leeway there when I was told, originally, when the surgery happened. So I think he’s right there if not probably a little ahead. I know he’s not behind.”
Rask, 34, has recently said that he hopes to return in January. However, he is currently without a contract, and whether or not he gets one from the Bruins remains unknown. He has been clear throughout this entire process that if he is to return, his preference is to sign a new deal in Boston. We will probably get a better idea as to whether or not that will happen early in the new year, but the fact he is skating with team staff indicates they are open to bringing him back.
Up Next for the Bruins
The Bruins’ first game of the week will take place Tuesday night against the Detroit Red Wings, a team who they are currently trailing in the standings by a single point. After that, they will face off against the Nashville Predators on Thursday and have their final matchup of the week on Saturday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. They will look to further improve on their current record of 11-7-0.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Oil On Whyte, NHLtradetalk.com, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.