(Image via @Sportscentre)
In a day many thought would end with fireworks, the Bruins did the complete opposite, acquiring 35-year-old defenseman John-Michael Liles from the Carolina Hurricanes along with Lee Stempniak from the New Jersey Devils, according to TSN.
At the age of 35, Liles should provide the struggling Boston blue line in with some much-needed depth. The left shot defenseman has appeared in every game this season for the ‘Canes — averaging 20+ minutes per game. Liles is on the final year of a four-year, $15.5 million deal with a $3.87 million cap hit.
Liles is know to be a great locker room guy and was described as “a real good pro” by his former coach, Bill Peters. Peters also stressed Liles is “excellent with our young guys.”
Bruins will send a third and fifth round draft pick — and prospect Anthony Camara — to Carolina for Liles.
Stempniak, also expected to be a rental like Liles, is playing on a one-year, $850,000 deal and has actually been a bargain thus far for the New Jersey Devils scoring 16 goals and 41 points in 63 games this season.
Stempniak was reportedly acquired for a secondnd round pick and fourth round pick according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
No stranger to the Bruins, Stempniak practiced with the team this offseason during captains practices, and is rumored to live in the greater Boston area.
Stempniak should replace Brett Connolly alongside the Bruins top line of Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.
The Bruins opted not to trade pending unrestricted free agent Loui Eriksson, using him as their own “rental” for the remainder of the season.