Boston Bruins Trade Johnny Boychuk To Islanders


May 3, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) chases the puck in the corner during the third period against the Montreal Canadiens in game two of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

After weeks of speculation, the Boston Bruins sent defenseman Johnny Boychuk to the New York Islanders in exchange for two second round picks and a conditional third rounder. Boychuk along with other Bruins defensemen Matt Bartkowski and Adam McQuaid were expected to be moved at some point prior to the start of the season Wednesday night.

The move affords the cap space the Bruins have desperately been seeking throughout the offseason,  however it certainly came at a steep cost. Moving Boychuk to the Islanders certainly hurts chances for this upcoming season by weakening their defensive corp as well as their leadership and experience as well.

General Manager had eluded to a move being made prior to the regular season and his determination to get something completed was finally rewarded. Although the trade doesn’t do anything for the Bruins right now; the 2015 NHL Draft is expected to be a very deep and talented draft and we have seen how valuable second round draft picks can be; especially for this team under this current regime(David Krejci and Milan Lucic).

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The initial reaction from fans was mostly negative and questioned why it ended up having to be Boychuk instead of McQuaid or Bartkowski. Chances are the Bruins weren’t receiving significant offers for McQuaid or Bartkowski; especially given the return for Boychuk. In the trade with the Islanders, Peter Chiarelli did the best he could with the situation he put himself in. A return involving players who could impact the Bruins roster now was unlikely given the team’s inability to absorb any money being sent back.

Something else that people need to understand is the position the Bruins put themselves when looking to negotiate a deal with teams. Everyone in the NHL knew the Bruins were desperate to shed players to get beneath the cap thus creating a situation where it put a significant amount of power in the hands of the teams the Bruins were working with.

So, what does this mean moving forward in regards to the Bruins defensive corps for the start of the season. It seems safe to say that between Boychuk being traded and David Warsofsky being placed on waivers earlier Saturday afternoon that the battle for the Bruins sixth defensemen spot is down to Kevan Miller and Matt Bartkowski. Bartkowski; who has often found himself at the end of some harsh criticism from fans for at times turnover prone hockey, has seemed to make a case to be in strong consideration to be in contention for the final spot.

With only four days to go before the start of the regular season, the Bruins will have very little time to get over the loss of Boychuk. Unfortunately, this move shows that this is a business and that Peter Chiarelli’s past transgressions when it comes to expensive contracts had a part in what went down today.