With the trade deadline closed, the Boston faithful may be feeling a sense of disappointment as they take a look at the Bruin’s last second pick-ups. After all, there has been plenty of talk about acquiring players such as Rick Nash, Tuomo Ruutu and Teemu Selanne in the past few weeks, but none of these names found their way onto Boston’s roster by deadlines end. In fact, the NHL deadline day as a whole seemed to disappoint GM’s, players and experts alike, as very few deals were made that will have a substantial impact on the rest of this season. Nash stayed in Columbus (although it is now public knowledge that he wants out), Ruutu signed a contract extension with Carolina, and Selanne remained in Anaheim.
So what now? Where do Bruins fans go from here? And did Chiarelli make the moves necessary to win another Stanley Cup? These questions can only be answered by taking a closer look at the three players, Brian Rolston, Mike Mottau and Greg Zanon, which Boston acquired. These players, two defensemen and a forward, will undoubtedly offer this team the sense of depth for which they are looking. Also with Johnny Boychuck out with a mild concussion, these last second moves may have been made in an effort to strengthen the Bruins defense in a time when one of their best defenders could be sidelined indefinitely. Regardless of the reason for these acquisitions, these players are here, and while their names are not being thrown as contenders for the Norris Trophy, the success they have found in their previous club proves they are capable of having a positive impact on this team. Together, Rolston, Mottau and Zanon also boast over 27 years of NHL experience between them, providing the Bruins with another layer of knowledge and expertise on the ice.
On the offensive side of things, Rolston looks to be a solid pickup. While he has not produced much this season in New York, (4 goals, 5 assists) he adds a level of experience and skill that should compliment an already overpowering offense. He has played in 19 consecutive NHL seasons, where he has tallied 339 goals and 407 assists in his career, revealing his capacity to be a lethal offensive threat. As captain of the Minnesota Wild in 2007, he also has the ability to lead both on and off the ice, something that could benefit the young core of this Bruins team. Rolston also comes with and achievement that would attract any potential buyer around the league; a Stanley Cup ring. Winning as a Devil in 2005, Rolston arrives to Boston with a resume that proves he not only knows what it takes, but also how to go about, wining the Stanley Cup.
So while this trade may have seemed unlikely, it begs one last question of Peter Chiarelli: Could he be trying to replace the beloved Marc Recchi of last season? While Rolston certainly does not boast the same achievements as Recchi (11 All-Star games and 3 Stanley Cups), his success in the NHL, his captainship in Minnesota and his Cup ring will certainly bring a piece of leadership and perspective reminiscent to that of “Rex.” After all, Recchi was instrumental in the Bruins postseason cup run last year, as he offered the Bruins an element of experience and consistency necessary to balance out a top-heavy roster of powerhouses and quick hands. So is this Chiarelli’s answer to bring more leadership and experience to this Bruins squad? At this point it is impossible to tell. But regardless of the possibilities, the Bruins landed a few players that may offer this team the support needed to make another deep postseason run, and maybe even the chance the bring home the cup for another year.
Notes: The Bruins traded Stephen Kampfer to the Minnesota Wild for Greg Zanon.
The Bruins also traded Yannick Riendeau and Marc Cantin to the Islanders in exchange for Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau.