Friday, February 18, 2011

Bruins Wheeling & Dealing ... Terrible Pun Intended

SHYGHZ665HG2 Today, the Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli announced some big moves within the Bruins organization. Mark Stuart and Blake Wheeler are packing their bags and heading to Atlanta in exchange for Rich Peverley (6’0” Center) and Boris Valabik (6’7” Defenseman). Peverley is expected to report to the Bruins on the 20th; Valabik will report tomorrow to Providence.

The newest Bruin: Tomas Kaberle
Also set to wear a Black & Gold sweater is Tomas Kaberle (acquired from the Toronto MapleLeafs). In exchange, Toronto will be getting Joe Colborne, the B’s own 2011 first-round pick, and a conditional 2012 second-round pick. According to Bruins.com, Toronto will receive the Bruins own 2nd round pick in 2012 if the Bruins make it to the Stanley Cup Finals this season or if Kaberle resigns with the Bruins at the end of this season. A puck-moving defenseman, Kaberle fills a void that has existed in Boston since Wideman’s departure. He tallied 3-35-38 in 58 games as a MapleLeaf.

The Wheeler-Stuart/Peverley-Valabik trade was necessary to clear enough space to bring Kaberle to Boston. TK carried a $4.25M annual cap hit. The Bruins are now cap compliant.

Chris Kelly, a forward recently acquired from the Ottawa Senators, will face his former team in his Boston debut tonight. Kelly has scored 23 points (12G-11A) thus far this season with the Sens. "It’ll be mixed emotions tonight," said Kelly in a post-practice interview. "I’m excited to play tonight and he part of this team, it just happens that my first game is against my old team.

To be honest, I am sad to see Stuart go. Granted, he has only contributed 1-4-5 in 31 games this season … but I think he brought some intangibles to the ice that will be missed. His seemingly endless string of injuries, however, limited his production. Wheeler, on the other hand, is an underachiever. I don’t blame Chiarelli for dumping him - Kaberle will be of much greater significance on the Bruins bench than Wheeler ever could be.

It should be interesting to see what the new guys bring to the mix – especially Tomas Kaberle, who should make a noticeable improvement on Boston’s power-play unit.

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