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This is well on its way to becoming a natural occurrence.

A day after Bruins president Cam Neely told 98.5 The Sports Hubs' Felger and Mazz that the team had another deal in place to be completed before the trade deadline, and of which Neely would not elaborate, the details of the almost-trade were uncovered.

via Boston.com

The Boston Globe's Fluto Shinzawa reported that the Bruins had a deal in principle to trade for Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alex Edler. However, the deal was dependent on another move to be made before the Bruins could go about completing there's.

The mystery trade that wasn't involved Ryan Kesler heading east to the Steel City and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Canucks were willing to trade Kesler to the Penguins in exchange for Brandon Sutter, two picks and a defensive prospect. Vancouver was then to swing Edler Boston's way, completing the process of taking TNT to their team and giving the Bruins the other defensive body they needed before the deadline hit.

But the Canucks and Penguins never completed their deal, and in turn never dealt Edler to Boston.

In other words, the Bruins again could not complete a deadline deal up against the clock.

The Bruins even went as far as convincing the Philadelphia Flyers to pick up half of Andrej Meszaros' $4 million cap hit, which left the other $2 million as room to fit Edler and his $5 million hit under the cap.

Edler would have slotted into the #2 slot on the blueline, providing the left-shot and big minutes the Bruins are missing with Dennis Seidenberg gone for the year with his torn-ACL.

Shinzawa also reported that the assets going back to the Canucks would have "likely" been either Ryan Spooner or Alexander Khokhlacehv and Matt Bartkowski. I would have been just fine with that swap. And apparently so were the Bruins.

But General Manager Peter Chiarelli, similar to last year's deadline and the Jarome Iginla debacle, could not get their man.

Did the Bruins put the pressure on the Canucks and demand their trade to be completed? Did Chiarelli, with the clock ticking towards 3 p.m., up his offer to bring in the help his team desperately needed?

If the Canucks had their hand on the trigger ready to blow up their roster, why couldn't Chiarelli have left them no choice but to start the blowup with Edler instead of Kesler? Maybe offer the Canucks one more prospect? Or a draft pick?

If the Bruins get bounced early in the playoffs, and the likes of Meszaros (who was already scratched) and the rest of the depleted defensive core gets shredded, it will be hard not to look back and wish the Bruins offered more to force Vancouver's hand.

Shinzawa's story reeks of top Bruins sources leaking information to appease fans and wash their hands clean of what they couldn't accomplish.

"Hey, we tried, we did all we could. But A, B and C needed to happen before we could proceed."

I don't buy it. I think the Bruins, in a repeat of last year, were left sitting and twiddling their thumbs, waiting out the process. The end result was another deal killed and another player lost.

The Bruins now have to hope that Meszaros, waiver-claim Corey Potter and the rest of the defensive unit can keep it together and make another deep Cup run. Shinzawa's story confirms that the Bruins thought what they had was not enough. They wanted one more piece; one more proven body to stabilize the defense. But they were again left waiting at the alter.

To throw the wrench in the argument, the Bruins shutout the Capitals on Thursday in their first game post-deadline.

But the time for proving people wrong isn't now. That time comes in April and beyond.

If (and most likely when) the Bruins play the Penguins in the playoffs, or a high-flying team like the Maple Leafs or the Canadiens, fans everywhere will be wishing they had gotten a little bit more in relief.

And I will be one of them.  

Mark Burke 3/07/2014 11:30:00 PM Edit

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