The National Hockey League trade deadline has come and gone. Looking back, it was an extremely disappointing day. Not many deals were made, and more importantly no blockbuster deals were made. Some teams were huge sellers and some were big buyers. The Boston Bruins were part of the buyer category. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli stated before the trade deadline that the hockey club was going to seek a right winger and a defenseman. After the 3 p.m. deadline passed, Chiarelli acquired what he originally sought after. Boston acquired winger Brian Rolston and defenseman Mike Mottau from the New York Islanders for prospects Yannick Riendeau and Marc Cantin. In a late move shortly before 3 p.m. the Bruins traded defenseman Steven Kampfer to the Minnesota Wild for Greg Zanon, also a defenseman. These two moves were definitely not what Bruins fans had in mind when they heard rumors running wild about the team in trade talks.
Chiarelli got what he wanted in the acquisition of a winger and two defensemen. Rolston is a 39-year-old right winger who is extremely versatile. He has the ability to play all three forward positions, and displays good speed and a hard shot. This is Rolston’s second go around with Boston, as he played for the Bruins from 1999-2004. Rolston will supply a great veteran presence in the Bruins locker room, which they definitely need after the retirement of Mark Recchi last season. Mottau is a 33-year-old defenseman from Avon, Massachusetts. The former Boston College Eagle has played with the New York Rangers, Calgary Flames, New Jersey Devils, and New York Islanders in NHL career. Mottau has suffered from several injuries, resulting in him only playing in 50 games over the past two seasons. He is just coming back from a concussion, so it will be interesting, given the Bruins recent history with concussions, how he will perform and if he will play a meaningful role down the stretch. Zanon, a 31-year-old defenseman, is now playing with his third team in the NHL. Zanon started his career in 2005 with the Nashville Predators, moved on to the Minnesota Wild in 2009, and now Boston. He is a defensive defenseman who thrives on the back end due to his hard play and fabulous shot blocking ability. Zanon will be a great fit in the Bruins lineup, as the team is focused on defensive prowess. Zanon will also make his debut tonight as the Bruins take on the New Jersey Devils.
Overall, I believe that the Bruins could have done more at the deadline. The acquisition of Zanon was in my opinion the better of the two trades. His hard nose play is exactly what the Bruins wanted. You put Zanon, Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid, a healthy Johnny Boychuck, and a combination of Andrew Ference and Joe Corvo together on the back end, opposing teams will probably amass a total of 8 shots in one period. My feeling is that Boston could have done better in its search for a winger, no offense to Rolston. There were better wingers on the market that were available, but the Bruins took a different path. Maybe the organization knows more information on the status of Nathan Horton than the rest of us. Maybe he will be back sooner than later, who knows. Dustin Brown would have been a great acquisition by the Bruins at the deadline. However, Chiarelli said that he did not want to subtract players from the current NHL roster in order to bring in any players. This is understandable, but there were definitely other wingers on the market that Boston could have traded for without giving up anyone on its current roster.
Overall Trade Deadline Grade: B-