The 2014 trade deadline has come and gone, and as the dust clears, fans of all 30 NHL teams were left to assess what their GM's did to improve their clubs as they gear up for the playoff stretch.
The Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Rangers swapped their captains, Martain St. Louis for Ryan Callahan, with two picks going to Tampa Bay as well.
The Los Angeles Kings brought in Marion Gaborik aboard for their playoff run, trading a player and a couple of picks.
And the Montreal flipping' Canadiens traded for the most notorious Bruins killer we've seen in decades, Tomas Vanek.
And what did the Bruins do? They added depth.
|GM Chiarelli chose to stand PAT (via nesn.com)|
They added depth on the blueline in the form of 28-year-old Andrej Mezaros through a trade with the Flyers, and with a waiver-claim of 30-year-old Corey Potter, who previously played for the Edmonton Oilers.
The Bruins, adhering to their prototypical "we like our hockey club" standard, decided against pulling the trigger for a bigger deal, and instead are contempt with their current roster as-is and trust their players' ability for the remainder of the season and into the playoffs.
By standing pat at yesterday's deadline and putting the outcome of 2013-14 season in the hands and sticks of their young and depleted defensive core, General Manager Peter Chiarelli and the rest of the Bruins brass may have set the B's up for failure come the postseason.
It's important to note one thing about trade deadlines: fans always want the blockbuster deal. They want the sexiest name on the block, and as long as the price isn't totally ludicrous, they want their team to complete the move.
I am not suggesting the Bruins should have done such a thing. But do I believe the Bruins could have done more to shore up the blueline and improve their team? Yes.
The Bruins have a surplus of young talent from the pro-club down to Providence and beyond. Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski, Ryan Spooner, Jordan Caron, Alexander Khokhlachev, Malcom Subban...the list goes on and on. A package of those players, or others, in whatever fashion, could have brought back a proven defensive presence that can help the Bruins now.
Other teams want the Bruins' talent. The Calgary Flames were ready to part with their franchise player in Jarome Iginla for Bartkowski and Khokhlachev last year.
In comparison, the Canadiens pried Tomas Vanek away for a 2nd-round pick and a prospect. Think about that for a second. How easy was it for the Bruins' arch-rival to power up for the stretch run?
The Bruins were linked in rumors to Jack Johnson and Nikita Nikitin of the Blue Jackets, but nothing came of the whispers.
Did the Bruins offer enough? Were they willing to part with assets on their team in exchange for a better commodity in return?
If the Bruins could have pried either of those players away from the Jackets, they would have been a much better upgrade over the acquisition of Meszaros.
The debate before the deadline was an unquestionable fact that the Bruins needed help on the blueline.
|Help arrives in the form of Meszaros (via philly.com)|
With the news that Adam McQuaid is still dealing with a bothersome injury, more will be asked of Bartkowski, Krug, Doug Hamilton, and Kevan Miller as the regular season ends and the playoffs being in April. Are they up to the task?
Playing Devil's advocate to my own argument, Krug, Bartkowski and Hamilton stepped up big time in the playoffs last year when warriors Dennis Seidenberg and Andrew Ferrence were dealing with injuries ahead of and during the Rangers series. They proved they belong in the NHL with their play, and they impressed everyone who figured the Bruins to be dead in the water with their injuries.
But this is now, and the current status of the Bruins blueline warrants more assistance than what the Bruins brought in for relief yesterday.
With the playoffs just over a month away, the Bruins better hope the decision not to bring in more help won't spell doom for their club.