Jake DeBrusk Trade Request: Don Sweeney Address Bruins Winger’s Ask

Sweeney was not surprised that the news leaked

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BOSTON — News of Jake DeBrusk asking for a trade emerged Monday, but it hardly came as a surprise to Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney.

“I’m not overly surprised that this eventually came out,” Sweeney said Tuesday morning at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton. “I’ve been in the know about this for quite some time, and we’ve been trying to look at a hockey trade situation that would help the Boston Bruins. And as I do my job, and accommodate with what Jake thinks is best, there’s a balance there. That’s the profession.”

The framing of the report from TSN indicated that DeBrusk’s camp made the request over the weekend. On Sunday, DeBrusk was a healthy scratch in the Bruins’ win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Last season saw DeBrusk struggle to find a rhythm, which prompted him to get scratched on multiple occasions. And while it’s unclear when talks of a trade request first surfaced, it doesn’t sound as though this weekend was the first time it had been brought up.

“I’ve been aware of Jake having voiced his opinion to potentially seek an opportunity elsewhere prior to it coming out yesterday.”

This comes at an interesting time for the Bruins. Brad Marchand is suspended, Anton Blidh is hurt and the Providence Bruins are on lockdown because of a COVID-19 outbreak, meaning Boston can’t call anyone up. They have to play DeBrusk if for no other reason than, at the moment, they don’t have any forwards to healthy scratch.

So he’ll be out there Tuesday night when the Bruins face the Detroit Red Wings, skating on the fourth line left wing.

It would be mutually beneficial if DeBrusk played well.

“Jake is in the lineup tonight,” Sweeney said. “With Brad’s situation, with Anton getting injured — obviously, we had two players that didn’t play the other night — so they’ll go back into the lineup. Regardless of the situation, Jake has certainly made it known he would prefer a new opportunity.

“We expect Jake to play well. This comes down to the Boston Bruins having to make a hockey decision, and for Jake it comes down to him playing his best hockey. That’s for us tonight, but also if it is leading to an opportunity elsewhere, he has to play his best hockey as a player. He knows that, he’s shown a lot of maturity in trying to handle this as appropriately as possible.”

Just because DeBrusk wants a trade does not mean the Bruins are obligated to move him imminently (or at all, for that matter). Another TSN report indicated the market for DeBrusk was robust, and Sweeney sounds like an executive in no rush.

“When (the opportunity) presents itself for both teams to find what’s best for each team is when it will happen — if it will happen.”

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