The Vancouver Canucks acquired top-six center Elias Lindholm from the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night in exchange for winger Andrei Kuzmenko, two prospects, and first- and conditional fourth-round picks in the 2024 draft. This was the first significant move made ahead of the NHL trading deadline on March 8.

The Canucks are having their greatest season in a long time and seem to be all in during their All-Star break, sharing the league’s best record with the Boston Bruins.

The Canucks are a perfect fit for Lindholm. As a middle-six forward, he would have also fit in well in Boston. The Bruins were among the teams interested in signing Lindholm prior to his move to Vancouver, according to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic.

“Boston was one of the five or six teams that expressed interest in Lindholm. However, LeBrun added, “I get the impression that the league-leading Bruins simply couldn’t bring themselves to pay that kind of price, especially considering they didn’t have a first-round pick this year (they traded Tyler Bertuzzi at the last trade deadline).”

The Boston first-round pick in 2025 may have been available to the Flames as part of a transaction, but Bruins general manager Don Sweeney was reportedly mum about it even then. In recent years, the Bruins have forfeited a significant amount of draft capital. Though it’s possible they won’t, it seems like Lindholm would have fit in Boston much better, but the cost was simply too great.”

Since choosing Urho Vaakanainen at No. 18 overall in the 2017 draft, the Bruins have only made two first-round selections. In 2024, they will not have a first-round selection. In 2024 or 2025, Boston will also be without a second-round pick. In 2024, the Bruins will not get their first pick until the fourth round.

Whether Lindholm re-signs or is a rental, the Canucks paid a hefty price to acquire him. Furthermore, the Canucks “are hoping to find a long-term relationship with Lindholm beyond this season,” according to LeBrun. He further stated, “I believe there’s just as good a chance Lindholm goes to market July 1 as re-signs.”

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If there’s a chance Lindholm will actually hit free agency, the Bruins cannot afford to pay that price.

To acquire Tyler Bertuzzi, Garnet Hathaway, and Dmitry Orlov prior to the trade deadline, the Bruins made a wise and decisive investment during the previous season. Giving up valuable assets twice in a row would be illogical, even though the Bruins are once again in first place, unless Sweeney was receiving a young player back in his prime.

The Bruins ought to continue to pursue significant additions and be aggressive during the trade deadline. An experienced, physically fit defenseman would be a great addition. The Bruins’ issue is that a lot of other teams have more to offer in the way of prospects and draft picks.

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