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  • Don Sweeney adds Marcus Johansson at deadline

    Matthew Castle February 25, 2019
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    Don Sweeney and the Boston Bruins waited until the 11th hour to make a move, and they eventually landed a veteran forward. But it wasn’t the name that Bruins fans expected.

    The Bruins acquired Marcus Johansson from the New Jersey Devils in exchange for a 2019 second round draft pick and a fourth-round selection in 2020.

    The versatile 27-year-old forward, who has 27 points on the season, will bolster Boston’s depth in the middle of the lineup.

    I think for us Marcus represents a lot of versatility and production in a top-nine role,” Bruins GM Don Sweeney said. “It’s something that we felt coming down the stretch that we still could use that, and the coaching staff, and the meetings and all the things we’ve talked about as a group. I’m proud of our guys,

    But how did we get here?

    First off, the market simply wasn’t there for Sweeney to make a big splash. The Blue Jackets took a risk and held onto pending UFA Artemi Panarin in an effort to go all in this season. Wayne Simmonds and Mark Stone were far too expensive for their perceived values, yet still went elsewhere on Monday.

    There was simply no way the Bruins would be able to afford to pay Stone an extension of $9.5 million for eight years. To put it in perspective, all-star David Pastrnak and four-time Selke winner Patrice Bergeron barely make over $6 million annually.

    The Bruins were also reluctant to deal any of its first-round picks or any of its top prospects. Sweeney, who still maintains the belief that the current roster can get the job done, didn’t want to jeopardize his future.

    “So, we were in on a bunch of things to explore what we would have liked to improve our club for now and moving forward without necessarily handcuffing ourselves and continuing to keep a long-term vision in place but we’re also trying to win,” Sweeney said about how the day unfolded.

    You know, we’re committed to what we’re trying to do, but it’s a balancing act. Your team gets in a position where, I don’t know where we end up, but right now we sit pretty well in the standings, and we need to maintain that. I don’t think this town would accept anything less than to try and win, and our players don’t want to either.”

    The red-hot Bruins, currently riding a 13-game point streak, needed to make a move. This was one of their better options.

    Johansson, while not a flashy name, is a solid player that didn’t cost much. The Bruins managed to keep first round draft picks, top prospects and young players with NHL experience such as Jake DeBrusk and Brandon Carlo. That was the goal all along.

    Boston’s newest acquisition expects to make his appearance in a black and gold sweater — wearing No. 90 — Tuesday night at home against a highly-skilled San Jose Sharks squad.

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    Matthew Castle

    Matt is a recent graduate from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in sports journalism and a minor in business. He currently reports on the Boston Bruins and writes featured stories and game recaps for both Bruins Daily and Boston.com

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