Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk scored a goal in Nashville on Thursday.

It snapped a seven-game scoreless streak, but other than that, wasn’t overly remarkable. Except it came in the strangest of circumstances for the winger.

DeBrusk recently asked for a trade from the organization that drafted him in 2015, becoming the latest of a trend of young Bruins forwards who, for whatever reason, don’t work out in Boston.

DeBrusk outlasted others such as Frank Vatrano and Ryan Donato and Danton Heinen and Anders Bjork. Arguably, he’s had more chances. One of three first-round picks taken consecutively in 2015, he was considered the best of those taken, with defenseman Jakub Zboril still on the bubble and Zach Senyshyn never seeing meaningful NHL time.

But nothing clicked the way the Bruins hoped, even when he was on the second line alongside elite center David Krejci. After he took a bad hit from Nazem Kadri, then with the Maple Leafs, in the first round of the 2019 playoffs, it just hasn’t worked out for him.

So, he asked for a trade, not something overly unusual in the NHL, except this request became public, and Bruins general manager Don Sweeney had to address it.


“I just sit back and evaluate and have my conversations with every team and try and make what’s the best trade for the Boston Bruins. It very well could be on either side of that ledger or a combination,” Sweeney told Boston reporters last week. “That’s our sole purpose in this: To make sure we do what we think is right for our club. We’re a competitive club and obviously we’d like to continue to do that, and how we make that decision is based on what other teams may or may not be engaging in.”

DeBrusk hasn’t spoken with reporters since. There isn’t much to say; it’s easy to see why he wants a trade. He’s been yo-yo’d between wings and roles and a healthy scratch at times and clearly could use a change of scenery.

It’s not often a guy who asks for a trade has to keep playing every day, potentially risking their value. A request becoming public takes away value as it is, with teams knowing the Bruins are actively looking to move him.

But then DeBrusk scored, and is clearly still playing for his teammates, which they’ve also said they believe.

So now Sweeney and the Bruins’ front office will still have to cut their losses and likely receive something under market value for a 25-year-old left-shot winger with versatility who has shown flashes over the years.

Given the track record of Bruins forwards who have gone on to find success elsewhere — see Vatrano, Tyler Seguin, Reilly Smith, Blake Wheeler, even with some of those before Sweeney was the general manager — DeBrusk probably has a good future ahead of him.


The Kraken have been rumored to be in the conversation for DeBrusk — not every team can absorb the $4.5 million cap hit, but Seattle can — but so have a lot of teams; this isn’t the first time DeBrusk has been floated in the trade market.

It’s always different when a player wants out though, too; for example when Jack Eichel was traded to Vegas, the Sabres got a decent return, but knowing he wanted to leave made it tougher to get a better package of players and prospects.

Sweeney said DeBrusk asked for a trade a little while ago; so not much changes for the player, other than everybody in the public knows about it now. Just because it’s out there doesn’t mean it’s not happening on teams across the league though, either; this case is just under the magnifying glass.

What’s happening in Montreal

The Canadiens revamped their front office this week, firing general manager Marc Bergevin. It wasn’t because of drafting alleged sex offender Logan Mailloux or his alleged involvement with the Chicago sexual assault scandal, but because the Canadiens have been bad.

The Habs brought in former New York Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton to head the search for a new GM, which he said may not happen until after Christmas.

Entering Saturday the Canadiens had 14 points, the fourth-fewest in the NHL, a season after a run to the Cup Final. That wasn’t enough to save Bergevin once the team started to struggle this season.


There’s been worst-to-first seasons before, but while they are without goalie Carey Price as well, things don’t look great in Montreal this season.

Gorton granted head coach Dominique Ducharme and his assistants the rest of the season while he takes stock of the entire situation in the organization. Mike Hoffman also returned to the lineup Saturday night, one of many injuries that have plagued them.

It’ll take patience there, in an organization and market that’s not known for that word at all.

Eichel return nearing

Jack Eichel’s artificial disk replacement surgery has already started a trend in the NHL, with Chicago’s Tyler Johnson opting for a similar operation for his back ailment this week.

Eichel, who the Vegas Golden Knights acquired from Buffalo last month after an entire saga there, started skating on his own earlier this week after undergoing surgery just a few weeks ago.

The 25-year-old is rehabbing in North Carolina, and his timeline to return to action is the same, but it’s still remarkable to see him skating less than a month after an operation. It’s an illustration of how unnecessary the whole thing was to keep him from the surgery he wanted, too, when he could be back in action earlier.