Type to search

  • Bruins trade deadline additions arrive on different paths

    Tim Rosenthal March 10, 2024

    What they lack in splash, the Boston Bruins hope Pat Maroon and Andrew Peeke can add some needed energy and muscle along the net front in their respective roles.

    Amid another round of backlash directed at Don Sweeney following marginal improvements, Boston’s trade deadline acquisitions remain eager to impress.

    “I’m excited,” Jim Montgomery said of the Deadline Day activity ahead of Boston’s 5-1 win over the Penguins on Saturday. “Two new players to our group, and we didn’t lose anybody.”

    One comes to Boston as a reclamation project. The other carries a proven championship pedigree.

    Amid a shaky final season in Columbus, the Bruins hope a change of scenery will benefit Peeke.

    It’s quite the gamble, to say the least. The return to Columbus wasn’t anything spectacular: Jakub Zboril and Boston’s 2027 third-round selection. But Sweeney and the front office are banking on the coaching staff to round Peeke’s defensive traits into form.

    After playing in 162 games and averaging over 21 minutes per night over the previous two seasons, the 2016 second-round selection became a frequent healthy scratch during his final season in Columbus. Despite inking a three-year contract extension before the 2022-23 campaign, Peeke encountered a steep dropoff in production and reliability, making him a potential buyout candidate after appearing in a mere 23 games before Friday’s Deadline.

    As Peeke transitions from a bottom-feeder to a team with Stanley Cup aspirations, the ex-Notre Dame blue-liner hopes to learn from the misfortunes from his final days in Columbus and turn a negative into a positive.

    “There were some tough days. A lot of adversity,” Peeke said. “But I think looking back at it now, and being where I am today, you can only look back at it and make a positive out of it, helping you grow as a person and a hockey player. I think it helped me understand a lot of things as to what I have to do on a nightly basis, and that’s what I’m most excited about.”

    Peeke’s development remains a work in progress. Montgomery and the coaching staff will ease his transition accordingly, all while Maroon heals from recent back surgery.

    Of course, the Bruins have a firsthand account of Maroon’s postseason success, beginning with his stint in St. Louis during the 2019 Stanley Cup Final. The Bruins also ran into Maroon during their second-round matchup with the Lightning inside the 2020 Toronto postseason bubble. The veteran fourth-line winger added one more Cup to his resume during the pandemic-shortened 2021 season.


    “I feel like I’m hated here,” Maroon joked during his first session with the media. “There’s been a lot of chirps and fighting with these guys over the years, but it’s gonna be good to be on the other side of it.”

    He may have called TD Garden enemy territory before. But it won’t be long until a passionate Bruins fanbase embraces Maroon’s engagement level and blue-collar habits.

    Whether Maroon remains a common fixture on Boston’s fourth line upon his first game donning the ‘Spoked B’ is anyone’s guess. But in an 8-10 minute role, Maroon’s knack for providing instant energy through a scrap or puck pursuit provides needed elements for a Bruins bunch that struggled defending and attacking the net front area during certain spurts of their centennial campaign.

    It also won’t hurt the current crop of Bruins to have another veteran leader with Cup experience inside the locker room.

    “I’m super excited,” Maroon said before meeting his new teammates for the first time. “Original Six team, great opportunity. Heard nothing but good things about the locker room. … Another chance to play in the playoffs and have a great run here.”

    The Bruins added some sandpaper with Maroon’s arrival. And they can remain somewhat patient with Peeke as he tries to overcome the hurdles from his final stretch in Columbus.

    Depth-wise, the Bruins may face a few challenges against some of the more well-rounded squads like the Panthers, Rangers, or even Hurricanes. But a decent three-game stretch before the trade deadline at least calmed some of the tensions from their February swoon.

    Montgomery and company will encounter a challenging post-deadline stretch. Of their final 16 games, nine come against a team currently in the playoff eight of their respective conference. A pair of matchups with the Hurricanes and Panthers and one with the Rangers highlights that challenging stretch. They’ll also encounter three matchups against teams within relative striking distance in the Blues and Capitals (twice).

    Easing Maroon and Peeke into that slate won’t come easy. But they’ll encounter a welcoming development if both newcomers can acquaint themselves during the final weeks of their 82-game slate.

    Facebook Comments
    Tim Rosenthal

    Tim Rosenthal serves as the Managing Editor of Bruins Daily. He started contributing videos to the site in 2010 before fully coming on board during the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in 2011. His bylines over the last decade have been featured on Boston.com, FoxSports.com, College Hockey News, Patch and Inside Hockey. You can follow Tim on Twitter @_TimRosenthal.


    You Might also Like

    Leave a Comment