Don Sweeney, Bruins Hope To Strike New Deal With Pavel Zacha

'We identified a player that fit into our organization that we're excited about'

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July 13

Despite working with a relatively low cap number, the Boston Bruins made a flurry of moves on day one of NHL free agency.

In what will likely be the move that has the most immediate impact, the Bruins traded forward Erik Haula to the New Jersey Devils for forward Pavel Zacha. In his Wednesday press conference to wrap up the first day of free agency, general manager Don Sweeney explained what drew the Bruins to Zacha.

“We just felt that Pavel Zacha was a player that we had targeted in the middle of the ice in a multi-positional type player,” Sweeney said, per a team-provided press release. “Younger (than Haula). I feel there’s growth and potential there moving forward.”

Zacha, 25, was drafted sixth overall by New Jersey in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He has spent his entire career with the Devils and finished the 2021-22 season with 15 goals and 21 assists. He is a restricted free agent, meaning he will need a new contract.

“We hope to be able to find a deal with him being a part of the organization now and beyond, that remains to be seen how long that is,” Sweeney said. “But, we’ll attack that right away. Just felt like it was an opportunity for now and potentially moving forward. We identified a player that fit into our organization that we’re excited about.”

The Bruins entered Wednesday without a ton of cap space at their disposal, and the moves surrounding the Zacha deal will likely shrink that space even further. With decisions from Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci on deck, Boston will likely need to get creative to make a deal with Zacha work.

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