Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Reason for Hope at the Trade Deadline

Many people have forgotten, but there were struggles in the 2010-2011 cup season and Peter Chiarelli made a lot of roster moves.

In June of 2010 the Bruins traded one of their top 4 defenseman for an under-performing winger and a 4th line forward.

In December they dumped one of their star forwards for nothing more than "future considerations."

In January the team lost its best offensive player to an injury that he would not return from.

The team was inconsistent, had a terrible power play, and had a young budding superstar who was not performing to expectations. Prior to the trade deadline they had lost every game against the Habs and were unable to beat Detroit and San Jose, even when they brought their best effort.

As the trade deadline approached Chiarelli was under pressure to go for that big blockbuster trade for a "name" player. Instead he made a sweeping mid-level trade consisting of three players going out in return for three coming back. He gave up a promising NHL forward and defenseman, plus a promising prospect, for a veteran puck moving D-man and a speedy 3rd or 4th line center. They also traded a draft pick for another speedy 4th line forward who possessed strong two way play.

After the trades the team was energized and went on a winning streak.  They even beat the Habs in their last meeting 7-0. They ended up with a 46–25–11 record, winning their division and finishing third in the conference.

Even though they had the least effective power play ever, and went down 0-2 with home ice to start the Cup Final, the Bruins somehow managed to win a record three game seven's and the Stanley Cup.

Of course, the parallels between this season and 2010-2011 aren't perfect. Overall the Bruins played better up to this same point in the season and they did not suffer from the same kind inconsistent play that we have seen. On the other hand, the criticism of the GM is much closer. Many of his trades were met with criticism and he was called incompetent more than once.

The main takeaway is that Chiarelli found small ways to improve the team by moving mid-level players while staying under the cap. He pulled it off before, so perhaps he can do it again. After all, we know that this team is much better than they have been generally playing this season. Just look at the game against the Hawks.

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