Don Sweeney and the Bruins finally pulled the trigger on a move ahead of Monday's trade deadline - dealing David Backes, a 2020 first-round pick and prospect Axel Andersson to Anaheim in exchange for winger Ondrej Kase.
Kase, who scored 20 goals in 66 games with Anaheim back in 2017-18, has appeared in 49 games with the Ducks this season - scoring seven goals and 23 points. The 24-year old has proven in the past that he can drive play at even-strength, but has had trouble staying healthy throughout his short National Hockey League career. Overall, he has 43 goals and 53 assists for 96 points in 198 career games over three-plus seasons in Anaheim.
Acquiring Kase gives the Bruins a much-needed right-shot right wing with the potential to play in the middle-six.
Backes is in the fourth year of a five-year, $30 million contract. The veteran forward has another year left on his deal at $6MM, meaning the Ducks will be taking on a $4.5MM cap hit next year to make this deal work. He is in the fourth year of a five-year, $30 million USA contract and had just one goal and two assists in 16 games with the Bruins before being demoted to AHL Providence last month.
Kase, a 24-year-old forward, is in the second year of a three-year contract and can become a restricted free agent on July 1, 2021.
"They undervalued one or both", suggested an executive on Friday. Kase's name had been in trade rumors for some time, and they cashed in to add two interesting pieces to a rebuild. He last played January 9, and has three points (one goal, two assists) in 16 games. The 6-foot, 185-pound defenseman was drafted in the second round in 2018. That's time the Ducks have but the Bruins don't, as they are in very different competitive windows.