We knew Don Sweeney — as well as the other 31 general managers across the National Hockey League — would be busy with the trade deadline a mere five days away. True to form, the fourth-year GM filled one of his needs with a transaction to kick off the domino effect.
As first reported by TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the Bruins acquired Charlie Coyle from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for Ryan Donato and a conditional 2019 fifth round pick. The selection becomes a fourth rounder if the Bruins advance to the second round of the playoffs.
Sweeney also assigned Peter Cehlarik to Providence to make room for Coyle. Cehlarik hasn’t skated in two games due to a lower-body injury.
Not official but hearing the trade is Coyle to BOS in exchange for Ryan Donato and a fifth-round pick. Details to come.
“Charlie brings unique qualities to our team – he is an experienced, productive, two-position player with size, skill and speed,” Sweeney said about the deal in an official team statement following confirmation. “Charlie will provide the necessary depth in all areas of our game as we continue to battle for a playoff position. Charlie is a player our entire organization believes can help us now and moving forward. The Bruins also want to thank Ryan Donato for his contributions to our organization, and we wish him much success in his NHL career. He is a special young man with a bright future in the league.”
Coyle’s name appeared on the rumor mill for quite a while with the Bruins having a reported interest in the former Boston University standout. The ex-Sharks prospect arrived in Minnesota during the 2011 Draft in a deal that sent all-star defenseman Brent Burns to San Jose.
Donato provided an initial spark last spring following a stellar three-year tenure at Harvard. But the winger struggled with consistency in his de-facto rookie season and saw himself assigned to Providence on two occasions.
His offensive numbers aren’t anything to write home about (10 goals, 18 assists in 60 games with Minnesota this season) Yet Coyle already provides an upgrade on the third line. Trent Frederic, David Backes and Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson all had their cracks to take over the third line center duties. None have impressed the Bruins’ brass enough to stay in the role. Coyle’s versatility and two-way effort provide a fit that Boston desperately needs on the bottom six.
Sweeney also found an upgrade with term left on his contract beyond this season. Coyle carries a $3.2 million cap hit through the 2019-20 season.
Of course, Donato could still develop into a top-six winger with his impressive offensive traits. The Wild may wind up getting the better deal in the long term — reminiscent of the trade that sent Rich Peverley to Boston with Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart going to the then Atlanta Thrashers in 2011 — but the Bruins fared pretty well for themselves filling one of their trade deadline needs.
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