NHL Trade Deadline: Bruins Add Depth, Not Big Names
February 28, 2012
By Joe Donahue, www.theo6.com
Yesterday marked the passing of the 2012 NHL trade deadline and, as expected, the Boston Bruins opted to add depth to their existing core instead of an eye-opening, major acquisition that could possibly disrupt the chemistry of the defending Stanley Cup champions. The Bruins acquired one coveted player at last year’s deadline – Tomas Kaberle – who came along for the Stanley Cup ride but contributed little, if anything. The true value last year was found with under-the-radar, lunch bucket players Rich Peverley and Chris Kelley (cost: Blake Wheeler, Mark Stuart and a second round draft pick), supporting players who elevated their games during the playoffs. Yesterday’s additions, even less sexy than last year’s, very well could provide the missing ingredients for another long playoff run.
The most familiar name coming to Boston is Brian Rolston from the New York Islanders, who played over 350 games for the Bruins after being traded here from Colorado in 2000 as part of the Ray Bourque deal. Rolston, 39, may very well be running on fumes at this point, but is a solid locker room presence and might be serviceable on the team’s power play. If healthy, he still possesses the speed to be a useful two-way if used in spurts rather than logging heavy ice time. This very well might be his final shot at winning another Stanley Cup (’95 New Jersey Devils) and he should be motivated for one last kick at the can.
Also coming over from the Islanders – the Bruins gave up two D-list prospects in all – was Mike Mottau, a native of Quincy, MA. He is expected to be a depth defenseman, much like Shane Hnidy was at the end of last season.
The player acquired yesterday most likely to help the Bruins is defenseman Greg Zanon, acquired from the Minnesota Wild in exchange for young defenseman Steven Kampfer, who was extremely inconsistent in his limited duty with Boston and reportedly fell out of favor with Bruins management for his lack of conditioning. Zanon is the poster boy for stay-at-home defensemen and takes pride in being one of the top shot-blocking defensemen in the NHL. Think of him as a modern day Gary Doak, if you will.
The Bruins are pretty much locked into the second seed in the Eastern Conference and the depth acquired yesterday might be able to help them spot a few regulars before the grinding Stanley Cup playoffs begin in mid-April.
Joe Donahue is the local founder of hockey’s best new website: www.theo6.com