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Veteran defensemen are among the most desirable players for aspiring teams looking to upgrade their rosters before the NHL trade deadline each season.

The Boston Bruins are no exception.

Last year, they made a blockbuster trade with the Anaheim Ducks to acquire top-four defenseman Hampus Lindholm, who they signed to a long-term extension. Lindholm has been fantastic for the B’s this season, making that 2022 trade look pretty good.

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While acquiring a defenseman of Lindholm’s caliber may be more difficult for the Bruins in 2023 due to the salary cap, lack of quality trade assets and other reasons, they may still be looking for lower-level blue line depth before March 3rd. Deadline.

Which players can target B?

Luke Schenn of the Vancouver Canucks is an interesting option, and according to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, the Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning have shown interest in the veteran defenseman.

“My understanding is that some suitors have reached out to the Canucks to check out Schenn, including the Bruins and Lightning,” LeBrun wrote Wednesday. “It’s not surprising: But the dilemma for Vancouver is whether to get the best possible trade return or extend Schenn, who is an important leader on the team now that Horvat is gone and I think is open to staying.”

Schenn will be a free agent in the offseason, so he will likely be loaned to the Bruins. What could the 33-year-old defenseman bring to the Bruins if they traded him? He can play 15-18 minutes per game in tough, defensive situations as well as kill penalties. Schenn has extensive playoff experience and won two Stanley Cup titles with the Lightning in 2019-20 and 2020-21. His salary cap of just $850,000 is also quite attractive to suitors.

The fact that the Bruins and Lightning checked out Schenn is interesting. These Atlantic Division rivals could meet in the second round of the playoffs this spring. They also have similar roster needs at the trade deadline.

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Speaking on Monday’s episode of the “32 Thoughts” podcast, Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek talked about a conversation he had with an NHL team last weekend regarding the Bruins. An interesting part of what Marek said was about Lightning.

“This person also told me that one of the sidelines we’re going to watch here is Tampa and Boston fighting for the same players. They’ve fought for the same players before when Tampa got (Ryan) McDonagh and J.T. Miller from the Rangers (in 2018). Looks like Boston was in on it too. It’s going to be really interesting here to watch.”

The Lightning, like the Bruins, don’t have many quality trade assets. The Bolts have already traded their 2023 and 2024 first-round picks (both top-10 protected), and they also don’t have a 2023 second-round pick. Tampa Bay’s prospect pool is also pretty weak.

None of the top teams in the Eastern Conference have made a significant move, and we’re a month away from the trade deadline, which could set the stage for an interesting few weeks ahead as these contenders look for roster updates ahead of the 2023 Stanley Cup. Cup playoffs.


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