The Boston Bruins are the top team in the Eastern Conference and are once again considered Stanley Cup contenders.

With the NHL trade deadline two weeks away on March 8, general manager Don Sweeney will need to evaluate how aggressive Boston will be trying to fill needs in the roster.

Goaltending has not been an issue this season for the Bruins with Jeremy Swayman sporting a .920 save percentage and 2.47 goals-against average. Linus Ullmark is right there with him at a .914 save percentage and 2.72 goals-against average.

The Bruins rank 10th in the league in goals scored with 3.34 per game and sixth for goals-against with 2.69. Even given those metrics, Boston could use a big, stay-at-home defenseman to help with the injury bug that has plagued the Bruins’ blue line this season.

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Boston’s defensemen have lost 51 games due to injury this season, with Derek Forbort sidelined the longest at 24 games.

Hampus Lindholm is listed as week-to-week with an undisclosed injury, and Matt Grzeclyk, who had missed 13 games previously, is day-to-day after suffering a lower-body injury in the Bruins 6-5 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday night.

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If Sweeney decided to target a defenseman, the biggest name that might be available and who would fill a void in Boston is Noah Hanifin of the Calgary Flames.

The Bruins will have to get creative to land Hanifin at the deadline given Boston currently has essentially zero cap-space room. According to, the Bruins have just $61,558 in projected cap space, which is not nearly enough to cover Hanifin’s daily cap hit of $1,417,969.

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The Boston native is in the final year of his $4.95 million contract becoming an unrestricted free agent after the season. According to The Athletic’s Fluto Shinzawa, the Bruins will have a cap clearance of just under $20 million in cap space in 2024-25.

Hanifin has 30 points in 54 games for the Flames this season to go along with 80 blocked shots and 44 hits while averaging 23:44 minutes of ice time. He is considered to be a legit top-four defenseman.

Sweeney could look to package a deal close to the one he put together for Lindholm in 2022 when the defenseman was acquired from the Anaheim Dukcs for multiple picks and a defensive prospect.

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The Bruins don’t have a first-round draft pick in 2024 because unless their pick is in the first 10 spots, they owe it to the Detroit Red Wings to complete the Tyler Bertuzzi trade from last season, according to Boston has three picks in the 2024 draft, but they fall in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds. The club does have a first-round pick in both the 2025 and 2026 drafts.

Sweeney may be able to get creative and generate more cap space if Boston elected to put Lindholm on long-term injured reserve if his week-to-week status stretched through the remainder of the season, similar to what the Bruins did last season with Taylor Hall.

While LTIR doesn’t provide any club with additional cap space savings, if the team operates below the accruable cap space limit, they begin to accrue cap space, according to

Acquiring a defenseman like Hanifin would not only benefit the Bruins for the remainder of the regular season, but it could potentially help keep Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo and the rest of the defensive core fresh for the playoffs by decreasing their ice time in the remaining games.

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Featured image via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images