Before we get to the games that are going to take place in the near future, the elephant in the room should be addressed.
The NHL trade deadline, Don Sweeney’s first major attempt to overhaul this team midseason, was an uneventful one to say the least. The Boston Bruins acquired a pair of veterans to help bolster the roster in an attempt to make a playoff push.
In a more interesting note, the biggest acquisition—at least in the minds of the folks in upper management—was not trading winger Loui Eriksson. The 30-year-old Swedish forward is having a career year, racking up 23 goals and 25 assists thus far entering Tuesday night. However, he is going to be an unrestricted free agent come July 1. The biggest priority at this point will be to try and sign him to a new contract before he hits free agency…because he is going to get paid out in the open market.
Anyway, the B’s brought in Lee Stempniak by sending a 2017 second-round pick and a 2016 fourth-round pick to the New Jersey Devils. The 33-year-old forward has 16 goals and 41 points in 63 games for the Devils this season. One important detail: this is Stempniak’s ninth team in his NHL career. They also brought in defenseman John-Michael Liles, a transaction that required the B’s to send a 2016 third-round pick, a 2017 fifth-round pick, and young prospect Anthony Camara to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for the 35-year-old Liles, who has 6 goals and 15 points in 62 games for Carolina while averaging 20:34 of ice time this season.
While the Bruins have one of the toughest remaining schedules in the entire league, these moves will hardly leave a major impact on the team this year. Both players can earn a roster spot and will help distribute the minutes more evenly in their respective position, but this is definitely not what the team had in mind by the time Monday’s trade deadline arrived.
The Bruins will begin that grueling part of the schedule on Thursday night against one of the best teams in the league, the Chicago Blackhawks. Ironically, the B’s will play five of their next games at the TD Garden, a place that has not been too kind to the Black and Gold all season long.
Chicago was a team that was very active prior to the trade deadline, which seems to be an annual occurrence. But hey, that explains why this franchise is currently in the midst of a dynastic run through the sport. After coming off an exciting tilt against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday, this game became a must win as well as a measuring-stick affair.
The Bruins will play host to the Washington Capitals on Saturday night to close out the week.