Bruins are a better team now, but have they put their future in jeopardy?
The Bruins May Have Gotten Better At Mondays NHL Trade Deadline, but it may have been for the worse.
The Boston Bruins are a better team today than they were yesterday. At Monday’s NHL trade deadline, GM Don Sweeney pulled off two last minute trades for 33-year-old forward Lee Stempniak and 35-year-old defenseman John-Miles Liles.
Stempniak will be, or at least should be, slotted along side Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand on the Bruins first line, taking the spot of Brett Connolly. With 16 goals on the season, that puts Stempniak at fourth on the team in goals, and sixth in points.
Living in the greater Boston area as well as attending Dartmouth, Stempniak is a familiar face in the Bruins locker room, skating with the team during captain’s practices the weeks before training camp. Stempniak is known to be a hard worker, and should fit in great with this Bruins team.
@HackswithHaggs should see how hard he works in offseason. As hard as any guy I’ve seen. Ever.
— Colby Cohen (@ColbyCohen36) February 29, 2016
You would think the Bruins would have offered Stempniak a contract with their need for a top-six winger, but Don Sweeney thought other wise.
Instead, Mr. Sweeney waited 60 games into the season, then gave up a 2017 second and 2016 fourth round pick instead, when he could have been had at one-year, $875,000, like he signed for with New Jersey.
Sweeney says Bruins did indeed offer Stempniak a PTO, but Stempniak chose Devils. Offering a contract would have done it though.
— DJ Bean (@DJ_Bean) February 29, 2016
The 35-year-old Liles was acquired for a third-round pick in 2016, a fifth-round pick in 2017 and former third-round pick Anthony Camara. While I believe Liles would have been a better fit on this team two or three years ago — when Boston was desperate for a puck-moving defenseman — the 13-year NHL veteran averaged 20:24 Time-On-Ice this season, which would put Liles third on the team only behind Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug.
Liles will be able to eat some minutes for the Bruins, something this team has longed for all season.
Both Liles and Stempniak make the Bruins a better team, but the question is, how much better?
The bottom line is that the Black and Gold did not improve enough to win a Stanley Cup, especially with teams like the New York Rangers acquiring Eric Stahl and the Blackhawks adding Andrew Ladd to their All-Star team. And don’t forget about the Panthers making a bundle of minor deadline deals.
So why wasn’t the soon-to-be UFA Loui Eriksson sent packing? If the team isn’t going to win the Stanley Cup and they can’t agree on a contract extension — as it appears they were way off on terms and money — why didn’t they get at least get a draft pick before Eriksson walks at the end of the season?
Did Don Sweeney put a price tag too high on the former center piece of the Tyler Seguin trade?
Western conference team says the ask from Boston for Eriksson is a top player and prospect. Team is balking at the price…for now.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 29, 2016
Darren Dreger of TSN reported Sweeney’s asking price was a top player and a prospect, isn’t that a little much for a rental? While in years past teams have been known to get robbed at the deadline, Sweeney asked for too much at this years deadline.
While Eriksson has more goals and points then the newly acquired Blackhawks forward Andrew Ladd, they where roughly going to be had at the same price, a first round pick and a prospect.
Sweeney hinted first round picks weren’t being thrown around, but that is tough to believe when only days prior Andrew Ladd was acquired for just that.
If Eriksson could have pulled 21-year-old forward Marko Dano plus a first-round draft pick this June and another conditional pick from the Blackhawks, like Ladd did, why didn’t Trader Donnie do it?
The B’s should now be preparing for the future. They can’t afford Loui. I know that, the Bruins know that, and J.P. Barry — Eriksson’s agent — knows that.
Your Boston Bruins are not winning a Stanley Cup this season and if there was an offer on the table similar to what Winnipeg received for Ladd, Bruins fans should be furious with their new general manager.