|Chiarelli on Horton, draft, free agents||06.23.10 at 3:31 pm ET|
It was a foregone conclusion that this week was going to be gigantic for the Bruins in some way, shape, or form, and with two days to go until the NHL draft, Peter Chiarelli and co. got a head start on making headlines by flipping the 15th overall pick and defenseman Dennis Wideman to the Florida Panthers in exchange for right winger Nathan Horton and center Gregory Campbell.
As the draft grows nearer and the Bruins come closer to finally making the second overall selection after months of buildup, the team that finished the regular season last in the NHL goals suddenly appears to be in very good shape to have a notably upgraded scoring force. From how Chiarelli spoke, that may start with Horton.
“He’s tremendous shooter, Nathan. He’s a big body, he can skate, he can play physical. There’s a lot of things to like about him, and we’re going to be getting a highly skilled forward with the No. 2 pick with some speed.
“We thing at the end of the day, if we do nothing else to our forwards, we’re adding an established big power-forward shooter and a real speedy young legs skill guy. We’re happy with that.”
On the subject of the embattled Wideman, Chiarelli called the team’s playoff points leader last year a “key part of our defense that we had to give up.” In making the trade, however, the Bruins were able to shake things up offensively without disturbing the core of the team.
“It wasn’t about changing the culture,” Chiarelli said. “It was just about changing the makeup of the team after the ups and downs. I am relatively happy with the room and the personalities in it. It was more of the makeups, [or] semantics maybe.”
Even with Wideman gone and the shot at Cam Fowler seemingly out the window, Chiarelli said adding another defenseman was “not a pressing urgency” and that though the team likes puck-moving defensemen, whichever defender(s) may be added won’t necessarily fit that mold.
“If we do add something, it may not be purely what you’d characterize as a ‘puck mover,’” Chiarelli said.
Chiarelli once again reiterated that if a deal does happen with Edmonton in order to secure whomever the Bruins prefer between Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin (they do hold one in slightly higher regard), the actual picks are unlikely to be swapped, and the Oilers would simply take the other player first overall.
Should they stay put, they won’t face the pressure that is on the Oilers to take the right guy. Hall and Seguin have been hyped as equally elite superstars in the making. So would the Bruins dare invest heavily into what would ultimately be a very difficult choice between the two players?
“If you make an informed decision, I think ‘risk’ is a better word than ‘courage,’” Chiarelli said. “We put that into our equation. It may be that the price that I have to pay to do that is unattainable. I can’t meet it. I’m not at that point yet.
“These are things that we look at. We look at the risk involved, we look at the fit, we look at the kids, we brought both kids in. There’s a lot involved in making this decision.”
The only real news that came in the conference call involved the team’s free agents. Regarding restricted free agents, Chiarelli said he will give a qualifying offer to Campbell. The Bruins blog reported last week that Mark Stuart and Blake Wheeler had also received offers.
As for unrestricted free agents, Chiarelli said he has kept in contact with the agents for Mark Recchi and Johnny Boychuk but that he had nothing to report. The team has also told Steve Begin that they won’t be able to potentially negotiate with him until after free agency opens, as the team is “looking at other options.” Chiarelli has not yet spoken to anyone from Miroslav Satan.
|Horton ready to help a playoff team||06.22.10 at 4:36 pm ET|
New Bruin Nathan Horton, who has been a 20-goal scorer in every season since 2005 and had 31 in the ’06-’07, said on Tuesday that he is determined to be a 30-goal scorer with the Bruins. Calling them a “stable, historic, and successful franchise,” Horton said he wants to be a difference-maker on a team that is no stranger to the playoffs.
“Definitely,” Horton said when asked if he is putting pressure on himself to make the Bruins the winner in a deal in which they shipped Dennis Wideman and two draft picks to the Panthers in exchange for Horton and fellow winger Gregory Campbell. “That’s what my goal is and I think it’s definitely reachable. I’m going to try my best and I’m very excited to wear the Bruins crest on my chest. I’m just very excited to be there. It’s a new opportunity and a new home and me and my family are just ecstatic right now.
“This is what every kid dreams about,” Horton added. “To be on an Original Six team and play for the Boston Bruins. I think if you’re a young kid and you’re coming in, it’s a dream come true.”
|Bruins get Horton, Campbell for Wideman, picks||at 1:58 pm ET|
TSN’s Bob McKenzie has reported the Bruins have traded Dennis Wideman, the 15th overall pick in Friday’s NHL draft, and a 3rd-round pick in 2011 to the Panthers in exchange for forwards Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell. A source told WEEI.com Sunday night that Horton expected to be traded and that the Bruins were close to acquiring him.
Horton, who was the third overall pick by the Panthers in ’03 and the answer to any draft-day trivia question involving Marc-Andre Fluery (he was the player the Panthers took after trading down two spots and giving the top pick to the Penguins), hasn’t put up numbers that scream “top pick” in his NHL career. He has had just one 30-goal season (31 in ’06-’07) and hasn’t totaled more than 62 points in any of his six seasons.
The Bruins will likely play Horton at right wing after he spent the last two seasons playing center for the Panthers. Perhaps a move back to his natural position will lead to improved offensive output.
The Panthers had been trying to unload Horton, who carries a $4 million cap hit in each of the next three seasons. In trading Wideman and his $3,937,500 cap hit, the deal comes off as a financial wash. Campbell is a restricted free agent after carrying an $800,000 cap hit last season. Additionally, by not taking a player with the 15th overall pick (or higher had they moved up), the Bruins won’t be committed to a performance bonus-laden contract. If the cap stays as $56.8 million the Bruins would currently have just under $5 million in cap space, not accounting for an estimated $3.75 cap hit for Taylor Hall or Tyler Seguin.
Wideman was far from a fan favorite in Boston despite posting a plus-32 in the ’08-’09 season. Campbell, on the other hand is the son of NHL Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell. Should be an interesting exchange with Marc Savard on take-your-father-to-work day…
|Source: Horton likely to move, not necessarily to B’s||06.20.10 at 10:47 pm ET|
It appears the Bruins may not be on the verge of acquiring Florida Panthers forward Nathan Horton, according to a source close to the situation. Reports surfaced this weekend that the Bruins had been closing in on a trade for the former third overall pick, but the Bruins were just one of multiple teams to nearly have a deal with the Panthers in the past few days.
“They were close, as were a few other teams,” the source said of the Bruins’ chances of getting Horton. It was unclear where a potential trade stood as of Sunday night.
The Panthers selected Horton in the 2003 NHL draft after flipping the top overall pick to the Penguins (Marc-Andre Fleury). The 25-year-old has never surpassed 62 points in his six-year NHL career and has scored 30 goals in just one season, a 2006-2007 campaign in which he gathered 31.
A natural right wing, Horton was moved to center in the 2008-2009 season. The Panthers have been trying to move Horton and his contract, which calls for cap hits of $4 million in each of the next three seasons. The source was confident the Panthers will succeed in doing so, saying a deal “will get done with someone sure enough.”
Horton has also been linked to the Maple Leafs recently. It is unknown what the Bruins have offered or are offering the Panthers in a potential trade.
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