|03.03.15 at 10:58 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Brett Connolly has arrived in Boston, as the recent trade acquisition joined his new Bruins teammates in Tuesday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena.
Conolly will wear No. 14 with the Bruins. With another practice day before Thursday’s game, the Bruins seemingly eased Connolly in by skating him as the fourth member of Boston’s fourth line. Gregory Campbell, who has been out since last week with an upper-body injury, returned to practice. Peter Chiarelli said Monday that Campbell was “very close” to being ready to return.
Adam McQuaid did not practice, with Claude Julien saying after the practice that the defenseman was given a maintenance day. Given that the Bruins did not practice Sunday or Monday, that’s an awful lot of maintenance.
Max Talbot, Boston’s other trade acquisition, was not on the ice. The lines were as follows:
|03.02.15 at 6:35 pm ET|
Peter Chiarelli opened his press conference by explaining why he didn’t trade for a defenseman, so it’s not like the GM thought he’d made all the necessary moves at the trade deadline.
Chiarelli explained that the team was better off taking its chances with the depth defensemen the Bruins have — Joe Morrow, Zach Trotman, David Warsofsky – rather than spending big on a player who might not be markedly better.
Prices were high at the deadline and the Bruins aren’t having a great season. As such, Chiarelli didn’t push all his chips in. He made a hockey deal brighten next season’s prospects by getting 22-year-old right wing Brett Connolly from Tampa and he added forward depth with Max Talbot, but he opted against a major move this season.
The Bruins sit in the eighth spot of the Eastern Conference and rental players netted teams like Arizona (Antoine Vermette) and Carolina (Andrej Sekera). Asked if he was tempted to get in on the action and sell, Chiarelli said it a consideration that the B’s didn’t go far with.
“I feel that we have a team that will make the playoffs, and if you can get in, when you get in, anything goes,” he said. “So we talked about it, but I didn’t — we didn’t — really go down that route. In fact, we never went down that route.”
Charlie Jacobs’ comments in January about an organization-wide “evaluation process” suggested that people could be fired if the team missed the playoffs. The trade deadline was Chiarelli’s last big opportunity to do something to potentially save his job.
Chiarelli balked at the idea of drastically overpaying for players or moving a first-round pick. In that sense, he showed restraint in not doing something detrimental to the franchise for the sake of just getting into the playoffs.
“I feel that we’ve improved the team, and as I said, I think this is a good group, and some years, you don’t win the Presidents’ Trophy,” Chiarelli said. “Some years, you finish sixth or seventh; some years, you don’t make the playoffs. [It is] incumbent that we make the playoffs – and you have down years for reasons that I won’t get into, but you all know why, sometimes, you don’t, and sometimes, you do. We’ve tried to improve the team, we feel we’ve improved the team, and we hope for a good run coming up.”
|03.02.15 at 4:37 pm ET|
In the Bruins’ third and final move Monday, the team swapped AHL forwards with the Wild, as winger Jared Knight was sent to Minnesota for 2011 first-round pick Zack Phillips. The trade was first reported by the Providence Journal’s Mark Divver.
Phillips, a center who has not yet cracked the NHL, has seven goals and eight assists for 15 points this season with the Iowa Wild.
Knight was drafted by the Bruins in the second round of the 2010 draft. He was selected with the second-round pick acquired by the Bruins in the Phil Kessel trade.
Though he projected to be an NHL player with a rather simple game of going to the net, injuries and struggles in the AHL prevented him from ever pushing for a spot in Boston.
|03.02.15 at 3:41 pm ET|
The Bruins and Avalanche traded bottom-six forwards just prior to Monday’s trade deadline, as the B’s sent Jordan Caron and a sixth-round pick to Colorado for Max Talbot and Weymouth native Paul Carey.
According to a source, the deal was struck just prior to Monday’s 3 p.m. cutoff.
Talbot, the biggest piece of the deal, is signed through next season and carries a $1.75 million cap hit, though the Avalanche retained half of the 31-year-old’s salary in the deal. As such, the Bruins will only be charged $875,000 against the cap for him.
Peter Chiarelli said following the trade deadline that the Bruins’ intention for Talbot is to give them more options in their lineup given the young players they have been using of late. Caron and Brian Ferlin had served as wingers on the fourth line, with Chris Kelly centering the line in Gregory Campbell‘s absence.
Campbell has been out since last week with an upper-body injury, with Chiarelli saying the veteran center is very close to returning to the lineup. The general manager noted that Talbot can play any forward position.
In 11 games for Boston this season, Caron had no points. In 134 career NHL games, all with the Bruins, Caron has 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points. The most he played in an NHL season came in 2011-12, when he had seven goals and eight helpers for 15 assists in 48 games.
The Bruins drafted Caron with the 25th overall pick of the 2009 draft.
Carey, 26, played college hockey at Boston College and was drafted in the fifth round of the 2007 draft.
|03.02.15 at 12:18 pm ET|
The Bruins lost Craig Cunningham on waivers to Coyotes Monday, a league source confirmed to WEEI.com. The move was first reported by ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.
Cunningham, who had two goals and an assist for three points in 32 games for Boston this season, was placed on waivers Saturday as the Bruins made room on their roster for potential additions. The team had also waived him prior to the season, with the player going unclaimed.
This marks the second time this season that the Bruins have lost a forward on waivers. Matt Fraser was claimed by the Oilers after the Bruins waived him in December. Fraser has three goals in 21 games for Edmonton since being claimed.
Cunningham is a bigger loss than Fraser was. The gritty, defensively sound forward spent time on Boston’s fourth line this season and appeared to be a clear favorite to center the line next season. Losing him for nothing hurts the Bruins going forward, even if it has minimal impact on this season.
The Bruins originally drafted Cunningham in the fourth round (97th overall) of the 2010 draft. He played three seasons in Providence before splitting time between Providence and Boston this season.
Cunningham was named Providence’s captain prior to this season.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|03.02.15 at 11:57 am ET|
ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose joined Middays with MFB to discuss the NHL trade deadline and the Bruins’ playoff prospects heading into the stretch run. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.
Sunday night, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli traded two second-round draft picks to the Lightning for 22-year-old forward Brett Connolly.
“I like Connolly,” Melrose said. “He’s a good young player. I think he’s certainly somebody down the road that could play some big minutes for the Boston Bruins. But I don’t know if he’s good enough to put them in the playoffs.”
Added Melrose: “[Connolly] is a good player, he’s a good young kid, he’s been successful where he’s been, but he’s not ready to change the fortunes of the Boston Bruins right now.”
The trade deadline is Monday at 3 p.m., and the Bruins still have time to make another deal.
“Make a deal, get a player that you need to make your team better,” Melrose said, discussing whether the Bruins will make more moves before the deadline. “Get [David] Krejci back, and all of a sudden you become a really good team instead of just a team hoping to make the playoffs.”
The Bruins currently occupy the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers, who recently added future Hall of Famer Jaromir Jagr, are just two points behind.
“You saw Jagr go to Florida, Florida’s won two games since that’s happened,” Melrose said, adding: “It basically comes down to a playoff battle between Boston and Florida, and I think they play each three times yet. I just think Boston’s got to do more to make sure that they make a playoff spot.”
Added Melrose: “If the Boston Bruins miss the playoffs right now, probably some people will lose their jobs.”
However, Melrose believes that the Bruins will be able to hold on and finish the regular season in playoff position.
“I just can’t believe that [the Bruins] will be outplayed the last 20 games of the season by the Florida Panthers,” Melrose said.
For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.
|03.02.15 at 9:13 am ET|
In a market that has seen some just-OK players move for high draft picks and top prospects, the Canadiens got perhaps the most reasonable deal of any team that has rented at the trade deadline.
The Habs acquired some much-needed help on their woeful blueline by landing Oilers defenseman Jeff Petry, who was the best remaining defenseman among the names expected to be traded. For his services, Montreal parted with a second-round pick and a conditional fifth that will become a fourth or third depending on whether Montreal wins zero, one or two rounds in the postseason.
TSN’s Ryan Rishaug was the first to report the trade and its terms.
2nd round pick and conditional 5th the return for Petry
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) March 2, 2015
Could go as high as a third rounder depending on Habs playoffs. Win one round makes it a fourth, 2 rounds and it's a third
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) March 2, 2015
Though their need on the back end isn’t as desperate as Montreal’s, the Bruins’ biggest need is defense. The fact that Petry is a rental could have deterred Boston from making a similar deal. The Bruins’ only move to this point has been for a controllable player in pending restricted free agent Brett Connolly.