Trades. The public loves to make them. Listen to any sports talk radio program in the country and you will hear someone call in with a trade proposal that his/her favorite team “should” make. A few weeks ago the Boston Bruins traded forward Marco Sturm to Los Angeles for a conditional draft pick. Friday, the New Jersey Devils traded captain Jamie Langenbrunner to the Dallas Stars for a conditional draft pick. Some other minor moves have been made between teams in between these two deals but nothing earth shattering and it is likely you will not see any of those old fashioned “blockbuster” trades because of the salary cap. One name that is going around the rumor mill is Jarome Iginla. It appears all of Boston wants the Calgary Flames captain to finish his career in black and gold. Most of the Bruins management wanna be’s are quick to propose sending winger Blake Wheeler to the Flames. For the record, that is not going to happen for two reasons, the first being that Flames interim general manager, Jay Feaster, is much smarter than that. He built the Tampa Bay Lightning into Stanley Cup champions in 2004. Feaster will not be conned into making a bad trade for his organization. The second reason you will not see this deal made is because of the salary cap. Iginla is making $7 million per year. Wheeler makes $2.2 million. The Bruins are right up against the salary cap so they would need to clear another $4.8 million before Iginla could suit up for the B’s, therefore, the B’s would need to include, at the very least, Shawn Thornton along with Milan Lucic, Michael Ryder, or Nathan Horton. Most Boston fans would love to see Ryder and Wheeler moved to make room for Iginla but ask yourself, if you are Peter Chiarelli, are you going to move one of your top scorers, your enforcer, and a young player with good upside for a 33 year old player who may not have more than two or three years left in his career ? I know I wouldn’t and I am a huge fan of Iginla’s. Now, if the Flames ask for Zdeno Chara straight up for Iginla. This is apples for apples. Chara makes the same amount as Iginla. From Bruins g.m. Peter Chiarelli’s view, I make that trade in a heartbeat. “See ya, Z.” I would say, “Don’t let the door hit you in the butt on your way out” but as I mentioned, Feaster is a smart man and would not make that trade at all.
The game in Montreal Saturday night was a tough one to take. The Bruins held a 2-0 lead against the Canadiens with 2:22 remaining in the game then Canadiens center Scott Gomez scored followed by a Brian Gionta goal just 1:36 later. The final nail was hammered in at 3:43 of the overtime period. Two penalties that the Bruins took set the team up for the loss. One was the tripping penalty taken by Michael Ryder. Blake Wheeler then committed a hooking penalty just ten seconds into the overtime period giving Montreal the momentum needed to mount an attack that would result in the winning goal by Max Pacioretty. Since the game went into overtime, the Bruins maintained their one point lead over the Canadiens as leaders in the Northeast division. They also held onto third place in the Eastern conference.
The Bruins need to put the disappointment of the loss in Montreal and focus on the their next opponent, Pittsburgh. The Penguins lost in the 2011 Winter Classic to Washington but became the darlings of the hockey world thanks to HBO’s 24/7 documentary. The four part series covered the Penguins and the Capitals for four weeks leading up to the Winter Classic game at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field. It was an outstanding series. One that all hockey fans should see. It gives the viewer an inside look at life in the National Hockey League. On and off the ice. Since the New Year’s Day loss, the Pens have defeated Tampa Bay, loss to Minnesota in regulation, and loss to Montreal in overtime. One factor that may be to the Bruins benefit is all world, all everything, center Sidney Crosby will miss the game with a concussion suffered in the third period of the game at Heinz Field when he was the victim of a blind side cheap shot from the Capitals David Steckel. Even without Crosby, the Penguins are in fourth place in the Eastern conference. A win over the Bruins would move them up to first place overall. The B’s need this win, if only for their peace of mind and confidence. For more on the Penguins and Crosby’s concussion check out Bill Mayers’ piece here, http://penslabyrinth.com/2011/01/09/crosby-out-pens-blanked/
This week is full of tests for Boston. After the game in Pittsburgh, the black and gold return home to face off against Ottawa on Tuesday, Philadelphia on Thursday, and the Penguins on Saturday. Hopefully, penalties will not be a factor in any of those games.
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Topics: Blake Wheeler, Boston, Boston Bruins, Brian Gionta, Calgary Flames, Dallas Stars, David Steckel, Eastern Conference, HBO, Heinz Field, Jamie Langenbrunner, Jay Feaster, Jerome Iginla, Los Angeles, Marco Sturm, Max Pacioretty, Michael Ryder, Milan Lucic, Minnesota, Montreal Canadiens, Nathan Horton, National Hockey League, New Jersey Devils, NHL, Northeast Division, Ottawa Senators, Patrice Bergeron, Peter Chiarelli, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Scott Gomez, Shawn Thornton, Sidney Crosby, Stanley Cup, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, Zdeno Chara