The deadline has passed. After all of the speculation about game-changers coming to the Bruins, the Boston front office appears to be content with the team they already have with the addition of Andrej Meszaros. Needless to say, the decision – from an outside perspective – is frustrating for any Bruins fan. With no blockbuster deals to analyze, and only minor additions, Bruins fans have the right to be perplexed.
Defensive Problems Not Addressed
The Bruins’ purchase of Andrej Meszaros from Philadelphia will no doubt improve their young and depleted core of blueliners. The 28 year old Slovakian defenseman will likely fit in the Boston top-4, and has the size to possibly mirror the Bruins style of play. However, the addition of Meszaros does not address the greatest concern for the Bruins on defense: the replacement for Dennis Seidenberg. Andrej Meszaros, formerly of the Flyers, boasts a mere plus/minus total of +1 so far this season. He also only plays an average 17:22 time on ice per game this season through his 38 games played; note six Bruins defensemen have a higher total. Meszaros is also 5th on the Flyers in total hits this season. The Bruins penalty kill is also a major concern without Seidenberg; the Bruins rank 13th in the league now after dropping from 3rd at the time of Seidenberg’s injury. Meszaros will not be the answer to Boston’s gaping defensive holes. Nor will Corey Potter, a waiver-claim from Edmonton, help as much as Bruins fans were expecting prior to Wednesday.
Canadiens Make Bruins Look Bad
But should Bruins fans be balked by the organization’s inability to make a deal? It is very possible that Bruins fans are more interested in the Montreal Canadiens’ acquisitions than anything else. It is not easy to see the Bruins’ rivals attain a high-powered goal scorer like Thomas Vanek. Maybe the disheartened fans should be more angry at what the Canadiens did more than what the Bruins did not do. All things considered, the Bruins did not have a place for any top-tier forwards like Vanek, Kesler, or Gaborik. Whether it was the contract or roster space, the Bruins did not have the room for one of the league’s offensive threats. The Bruins would have had to move key pieces from their lineups to trade for a guy like Kesler, who comes with a $5 million cap hit for the next 3 years. Vanek and Gaborik were definitely targets of the Bruins, but would Chiarelli want to give up one of his top prospects for a one-way forward who will play 40 games at most for the Bruins?
Three NHL-Caliber Goalies; Not One Moved
This year’s deadline prompted the movement of eight goaltenders across the league. Interestingly enough, the Bruins – who possess three (maybe even four) goalies – were not involved in the ‘fun’. Many teams must have shown interest in Chad Johnson and Niklas Svedberg, the Bruins were surprisingly hesitant to make a deal.
The Bruins will have to look at the current team, and probably send some players back down to Providence. Otherwise, the adjustments should be minimal after the deadline. The Bruins and fans will hope that the young defensemen will step up into a more prominent role on a team vouching for another Stanley Cup. In the end, however, Peter Chiarelli is one of the best GM’s in the league so there is no imminent reason to fret.
Tyler Jones, Causeway Crowd