|Brett Connolly arrives at Bruins practice, Adam McQuaid given maintenance day||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:
|Bruins didn’t give serious consideration to selling||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.”
|Bruins trade Jared Knight to Wild for Zack Phillips||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.
|Bruins trade Jordan Caron, sixth-round pick to Avalanche for Max Talbot, Paul Carey||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.
|Coyotes claim Craig Cunningham off waivers from Bruins||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.
|Trade deadline: Canadiens land Jeff Petry from Oilers||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.
|Bruins acquire F Brett Connolly from Lightning||03.02.15 at 6:18 am ET|
The Bruins announced early Monday that they have acquired right wing and former sixth overall pick Brett Connolly from the Lightning for their second-round picks in the next two drafts.
Connolly, 22, has 12 goals, three assists for 15 points with 38 penalty minutes in 50 games this season. He has skated on Tampa’s third line recently with Valtteri Filppula and Cedric Paquette.
In his 134-game career, covering parts of four seasons, he has 18 goals, 14 assists and 72 penalty minutes. The 6-foot-2, 181-pound British Columbia native tied for third in the AHL with 31 goals during the 2012-13 season in 71 games with the Syracuse Crunch. His 63 points ranked ninth.
In acquiring Connolly, the sixth overall pick in the 2010 draft, the Bruins paid a steep price, but sought and obtained an actual piece going forward rather than a rental. The 22-year-old forward will be a restricted free agent at season’s end after playing this season on a one-year, two-way deal.
On the Lightning end, one might ask why Tampa would trade a good young player off its NHL roster in a season in which the Lightning are pushing for a top spot in the Eastern Conference. It’s very possible that the team wanted to open a spot for young forward Vladislav Namestnikov and were in turn motivated to trade Connolly, who would have required waivers to be sent down. Tampa would have certainly lost Connolly on waivers if they tried to send him to the AHL.
General manager Peter Chiarelli will hold a press conference Monday at 5 p.m. to discuss the deal and any other moves the Bruins might make.
To hold you over in the meantime, here’s a video of Connolly and fellow 2010 top prospects being uncomfortable with Don Cherry.
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