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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Bruins Pwn Trade Deadline    

With the trade deadline come and gone, it looks like the Bruins got precisely what they needed. They didn't get Chris Pronger or Jay Bouwmeester or Tomas Kaberle, but neither did anyone else. They did, however, make two minor acquisitions that will help the team without subtracting anything:

* Redundant defenseman Steve Montador was acquired in exchange for extremely redundant grit forward Petteri Nokelainen. Noke is a good three-zone player, but added nothing to this incarnation of the Bruins. Montador doesn't add that much either, as he's equivalent to the kind of Andrew Ference/Shane Hnidy/Mark Stuart defender that the B's are already flush with. But considering that nobody in that Kaberle/Bouwmeester/Pronger troika was moved, it's a nice depth move that at the very least increases the nastiness factor back there. I can also imagine Montador punching a Flyer kidney or three, which is a plus.

* 68-year-old winger Mark Recchi arrives, along with a 2nd rounder, for unimpressive rookies Matt Lashoff and Martins Karsums. This, friends, is theft even without the assuredly high 2010 pick. Lashoff was Boston's 9th- or 10th-best defenseman, and has regressed since his appearances with the big club prior to 2008. Karsums could be a 3rd-liner in the right situation, but he's not bringing anything in particular to the table. Those two, in exchange for a rejuvenated Hall of Famer AND a pick? Given the cost of the deadline's big prizes, this was exactly what they needed to keep the band together AND get better.

Considering that nobody east of the Mississippi made any major improvements (Antropov and Morris? ZZZZZZZZZZZZ) and that picking up one of the Three Stooges for the blue line would have cost the B's dearly, I'm very happy about adding gritship, leadeyness, and a Cup pedigree in exchange for, essentially, nothing.

The lines are looking as strong as ever:

LucicSavardKessel
WheelerKrejciRyder
AxelssonBergeronRecchi
ThorntonYelleKobasew


CharaWard
WidemanMontador
FerenceStuart/Hnidy


Andy Brickley's lines had Recchi on the left and Thornton on the right, enabling Kobasew to jump back up to #3 and P.J. to join Thornton and Yelle on what has to be the best 4th line in the NHL. That is probably better from an offensive perspective, but I bet Claude Julien spreads the defensive responsibilities evenly amongst the Bergeron and Yelle lines. It's not like Kobasew can't grind it out on line #4 if he's asked, and Thornton has played so well on the left that I don't see why you'd move him.

I'm sad that Matt Hunwick and Byron Bitz are on the bench and out of the mix. But I can't be that upset when the guys displacing them are quality.

Approve.

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