Report: Bruins were among teams interested in Lindholm before Canucks trade

Report: Bruins were among teams interested in Lindholm before Canucks trade originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The first major deal ahead of the March 8 NHL trade deadline was made Wednesday night when the Vancouver Canucks acquired top-six center Elias Lindholm from the Calgary Flames in exchange for forward Andrei Kuzmenko, two prospects, and a first- and conditional fourth-round picks in the 2024 draft.

The Canucks, who share the league’s top record with the Boston Bruins at the All-Star break, appear to be going all-in amid their best season in a long time.

Lindholm is a great fit for the Canucks. He also would have been a good fit in Boston as a middle-six forward, and according to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, the B’s were among several teams interested in acquiring Lindholm before he went to Vancouver.

“There were five or six teams with interest in Lindholm, and Boston was one of them. But my sense is the first-place Bruins just couldn’t bring themselves to pay that kind of price, especially given they didn’t have a first-round pick this year (traded last trade deadline for Tyler Bertuzzi),” LeBrun wrote.

“The Flames probably could have gotten Boston’s 2025 first-rounder as part of a package, but even then I think Bruins GM Don Sweeney was still reticent. The B’s have given up a lot of draft capital in the past few years. It doesn’t mean they won’t again, but it just feels like as great a fit Lindholm would have been in Boston, the price was just too high.”

The Bruins have made just two first-round picks since selecting Urho Vaakanainen at No. 18 overall in 2017. They don’t have a first-round pick in 2024. Boston also doesn’t have a second-round pick in 2024 or 2025. The Bruins’ first pick in 2024 isn’t until the fourth round.

The price the Canucks paid to get Lindholm was steep regardless of whether he’s a rental or re-signs. And while LeBrun wrote the Canucks “are hoping to find a long-term relationship with Lindholm past this season.” He also wrote, “I believe there’s just as good a chance Lindholm goes to market July 1 as re-signs.”

There’s no way the Bruins could justify paying that price if there’s a real chance Lindholm hits free agency.

The Bruins went all-in last season, and rightly so, to acquire Tyler Bertuzzi, Garnet Hathaway and Dmitry Orlov before the trade deadline. Even though the B’s are again in first place, giving up premium assets two years in a row just wouldn’t make much sense, unless Sweeney was getting back a young player in his prime.

The Bruins should still be aggressive at the trade deadline and pursue meaningful additions. A physical, veteran defenseman would be a valuable upgrade. The problem for the Bruins is that many other contenders have more to offer in terms of draft picks and prospects.

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