Boston Bruins Acquire Drew Stafford at NHL Trade Deadline
The Boston Bruins have traded a conditional sixth-round draft pick to the Winnipeg Jets to acquire forward Drew Stafford, per ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun. This deal came right at the end of the deadline with the Bruins remaining relatively quiet throughout the day. As is often the case at the NHL trade deadline, deals often trickle through the wire after the 3:00 pm EST deadline. For the Bruins, this deal was unexpected by fans and media as Stafford wasn’t a player linked to the Bruins ahead of the deadline.
In sending a conditional sixth-round pick, the Bruins didn’t give up much. What they did do, however, was acquire a bottom-six forward who can easily slot up and down the lineup when needed. Stafford was once a very good scorer in the NHL, scoring 20 goals three times in his career, including 31 goals in 2011-11 and 21 goals last season with the Jets. Stafford has a career shooting percentage of 10.9 percent. This year, however, he’s only converted on 5.9 percent of his shots. The Bruins will hope that Stafford can re-discover his scoring touch as they look to make a run for the playoffs this season after missing it in two consecutive seasons.
Re-Configured Third Line
With Jimmy Hayes being the Bruins primary third-line right winger prior to this deal, the Bruins are adding some much-needed depth and experience for their push for the postseason. Despite only scoring four goals and 13 points this season, Stafford still brings a lot to the Bruins lineup in a bottom-six capacity. If Stafford fails to catch on with the Bruins, it really isn’t an issue given the fact that Stafford is a pending unrestricted free agent.
Adding a significant piece to the Bruins team wouldn’t have made sense this season. If the team is good enough to make the playoffs, then they will. If a piece was added and prospects or valuable draft picks were moved, the Bruins could have found themselves on the outside looking in at a playoff picture that didn’t include them.
In the end, the Bruins gave up virtually nothing. They did, however, gain some experience and depth for a playoff push. The team didn’t mortgage their future, and they also didn’t ruin the chance for a young player like Frank Vatrano to step into the lineup. While Stafford may not be a top-six player anymore, the deal looks like a good one by general manager Don Sweeney as the Bruins compete for their playoff lives.