Blue Jackets Bruins Hockey

Boston needs to make a decision about Jake DeBrusk before the trade deadline on March 8. He has 12 goals and 13 assists in 47 games, but will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

BOSTON — There’s still a little less than five weeks until the NHL’s March 8 trade deadline, but deals by the Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets to bolster their lineups in the last week have been a reminder that the deadline is coming soon.

In addition to any move they make to bolster their roster, the Bruins may have a decision to make with Jake DeBrusk. And he knows it.

DeBrusk is in the final year of a two-year deal for $4 million per year and will be an unrestricted free agent after the season at 27 years old. But if a deal isn’t complete – or at least close to done – before the trade deadline, would the Bruins consider moving him rather than risk losing him in the offseason and getting nothing in return? DeBrusk has played well in recent weeks.

DeBrusk’s highs have been very high. When he’s on his game he’s good at both ends of the ice, on the power play and penalty kill and has scored some clutch goals. When he’s down he can go long stretches without scoring and has played himself into being a healthy scratch before. How the combination translates into an annual dollar figure isn’t easy to figure out.

If the Bruins were to deal DeBrusk, they’d have more salary cap space to work with for adding another player and could also add either a prospect or a draft pick. But they’d have to replace his 12 goals and 13 assists in the lineup and fill his spot on the power play and the penalty-killing unit.

But DeBrusk, who once asked to be traded under former coach Bruce Cassidy, now doesn’t want to leave. He’s hoping to sign an extension.


“It’s felt pretty real for me all year, to be honest with you. Ever since even the start of training camp. It’s one of those things you want to get done as fast as possible,” he said. “But we’re here now and when it comes to thoughts on that I don’t really have any. It’s a month and a half until the trade deadline and I hope it gets done quick.

“I always have optimism,” he added. “I hope it gets done. I have an agent for a reason. I’ve obviously been in this organization for my whole career. I know where I stand in this lineup. I know where I am with the guys in this room and the city. … With the highs and lows. It’s more just playing my game. I’m just focusing on the little things and everything should take care of itself.”

He’s not the only Bruins player in this predicament. Matt Grzelcyk and Derek Forbort are also wrapping up longer deals with no extensions on the immediate horizon.

DeBrusk admitted he might not be as relaxed if the deadline gets closer with no resolution.

“Probably if it isn’t done around that time, I’ll probably be a little more nervous,” he said.

BRAD MARCHAND will be 37 when the puck drops at the 2026 Olympic men’s ice hockey tournament in 2026 in Milan, Italy.


That’s old for a hockey player, but he’s motivated to make sure it’s not too old to chase one big goal. The chance to play for Canada at an Olympics is and will be a big motivator for the Bruins’ captain between now and then.

Disagreements between the NHL, the players and the International Olympic Committee prevented NHL players from going in 2018 and officially, COVID concerns caused the NHL to pull the plug late on participating in 2022.

At this weekend’s All-Star game, Commissioner Gary Bettman announced that a deal had been struck to send NHL players to the Olympics in 2026 and 2030.

Marchand, who played for Team Canada in 2016 in the World Cup of Hockey and was projected to be on the Olympic roster in 2022, felt cheated of an opportunity.

“It was really disappointing that the guys got robbed of the last couple Olympics. I think it’s a great opportunity for the players. I think they’ve also earned the right. They’ve put themselves in position to be the best in the world of what they do and to have the best on best tournament at that level in that setting is very memorable for everyone (who) gets to experience that,” he said. “I think it’s a great thing for the NHL, for the players, for the game. I think everyone will be excited to have the players back in the Olympics again.”

He said he’d give himself every chance to earn a spot on the roster in 2026.

“I was very disappointed missing the last two. It felt like we got robbed of being there. So that’s definitely a huge goal,” he said. “I’m going to do everything I can to be there and make sure I’m in the best possible shape to be there, best possible position to be on that team. It’s a long time away. But it’s definitely a nice goal to set and try to chase.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.