A lot of Bruins Nation have been disappointed in the Bruins performance at the trade deadline. Over the last few days, the Boston Bruins have revealed more details over potential trades that seem to have fallen through at the last minute. The biggest of the ‘could have, would have, should have’ deals that fell through was a three way trade between the Bruins, the Vancouver Canucks, and the Pittsburgh Penguins. In this trade triangle, the Canucks would have traded Alexander Edler to the Boston Bruins, and the Pittsburgh Penguins would have gotten Ryan Kesler from the Canucks. What would have been the price to acquire Edler? Apparently, it would have been Ryan Spooner, Matt Bartkowski, and Alexander Khokhlachev.
Ryan Spooner is an AHL player that is almost ready to work for the NHL full time. He had a good run with the team when he was called up earlier in the season. While some people aren’t thrilled with the lack of offensive production of Bartkowski, he is a reliable defenseman who improves every game (The B’s did blank the Capitals the other night.). While Khokhlachev hasn’t had the NHL experience of the other two, he was the Providence Bruins player of the month for February, and put up a goal and an assist in yesterday’s loss to the Worcester Sharks. That’s serious potential talent the Bruins were willing to give away, and for what?
Look at Edler’s stats. This season, the Vancouver defenseman has played in forty six games. Currently, he has sixteen points(five goals), a -27 for plus/minus and twenty six minutes in penalties. In the last five years of his career, he only cracked the double digit mark for scoring in Vancouver once (2011-12). His career plus/minus for the Canucks (which he has played eight seasons for is +1. That the Bruins so actively pursued this player is a little surprising. Sure, he would have been excited to play in Boston. (Why shouldn’t he have been? One, it’s Boston. Secondly, who doesn’t want to leave a team in full blown free fall to work with a perennial Cup contender.)
So, the Bruins went out and snagged Andrej Meszaros as a ‘consolation prize’ from the Philadelphia Flyers. He’s had a run of injury issues the last few years, there is no denying that. But for a trade that was considered to be of lesser value than Edler, the Bruins walked away with a better deal. Meszaros has put in thirty eight games this season. He’s put up seventeen points (five goals), his plus/minus is in the positive with a +1. He’s also put up thirty four minutes in penalties.
Meszaros also has something that Edler doesn’t have. The enthusiastic support of the Bruins captain (and fellow Slovakian) Zdeno Chara. When Chara was asked about the Meszaros acquisition, he shared his thoughts with the media.
“I look at it as it’s nice to have some more depth on the team,” offered Chara. “He’s a Slovak and it’s obviously nice to have a countryman on the team, but I don’t really look at what nationality that guys are. He brings that [depth] to our team. We needed depth, and it’s no secret that’s what we were looking for in the last few days and months.”
The Bruins needed depth. We all knew that. While both players offer that, Meszaros was cheaper. We don’t lose any of our future potential in this trade deal, we got him at a reasonable price, and he’ll be a good fit for Boston. Let’s all breathe a sigh of relief Bruins Nation. We came out of this trade session a lot better off than we initially believed.