The prospects that the Bruins could land look rather good, but their recent history of trade deadline acquisitions has not ended the way fans may have hoped. The Bruins have worked hard enough to sit in a position of power where they can buy at the deadline over the past few seasons, but the big-name players they land have not had a long-term spot.
The Bruins traded for Rick Nash last season with hopes that they would get a big-time goal scorer to boost them in their playoff run. Nash joined the squad on February 25th, 2018 and played in just 11 games, notching three goals and three assists. Nash was a huge addition just on the name value. He had 434 goals in his career coming to Boston and he was projected to be the addition the B’s needed to win another Cup.
He brought the hype to TD Garden and grabbed three goals and two assists in 12 playoff games. When it was over, his concussion issues meant that he did not sign with any team in free agency, eventually retiring in January.
It’s not that Nash wasn’t helpful in their run. The Bruins ran into a seemingly unstoppable Tampa Bay Lightning team that looked like they might win the Cup —until the Bolts met the Washington Capitals. But landing a player like that and giving the Rangers a handful of good, young players just to get bounced in the second round is not good.
Drew Stafford joined the team on March 1st, 2017, and played 18 regular season games for the Bruins, but only recorded four goals and four assists. They didn’t give up much for him, but he wasn’t enough to give them that push.
Stafford joined the Bruins toward the end of his career, having played since the 2005-06 season for both the Buffalo Sabres and Winnipeg Jets. He played in all six games for the Bruins in the playoffs and scored twice in their first-round exit to the Ottawa Senators.
Added as another short-term option, “Deadline Drew” played his final game for the Bruins in that sixth game of the first round. His career wasn’t over, but his time with Boston was.
Boston acquired the legendary Jaromir Jagr one day before the deadline for the 2012-13 season. This was the year that Jarome Iginla was the big target for the B’s as they waited along with the Pittsburgh Penguins to see which team he would be sent to. When Iginla was traded to the Penguins, the Bruins had to find another player to help offensively.
Jagr played in 11 games in the regular season for the Bruins, scored two goals and had seven assists. When the Bruins entered the playoffs as the fourth seed, they took the crown as the top team in the Eastern Conference and faced the Chicago Blackhawks for the Stanley Cup. Jagr ended the playoffs with 22 games played and zero goals but had 11 assists.
Again, the Bruins have up very little in return and they got what they were looking for with Jagr with his excellence in passing. But all the hype only lasted one season as he left for New Jersey the next year.
Looking Back to The Stanley Cup Season
The last great trade deadline acquisitions for the Bruins really came in the 2010-11 season. On February 15th, 2011, the Bruins acquired Chris Kelly from the Ottawa Senators and three days later, added Rich Peverley from the Atlanta Thrashers.
Both players played in the 25 games the Bruins were in action and raised the Cup on June 15th, 2011. They both also stuck around as major components to the Bruins roster over the next few years.
Kelly spent seven years in Ottawa and had 75 goals before joining Boston. Peverley shared time for two teams over five seasons before he joined. In that time, he had 56 goals and started to pick up his play more in Atlanta before the deal. But still, two players who averaged over 10 goals a season don’t draw much attention in the craziness of the deadline.
That’s exactly why the two fit so well with Boston. The Bruins don’t care about the shine of a player. They care about who can play a valued role in their push toward a Stanley Cup. The most flash the Bruins have on this current roster is with David Pastrnak, and even he isn’t one of the big faces of the league like Alex Ovechkin or Connor McDavid.
The case can also be made that Patrice Bergeron is the team’s most glorified player and it certainly isn’t because he does crazy things on and off the ice. He shows up and gets the job done.
Looking Forward to the Deadline
There are a few players Boston might try to grab before February 25th ends and a lot of them are familiar names. And while Wayne Simmonds and Artemi Panarin could end up on the roster and create a lot of buzz, the amount of time they spend here might not be what the fans would like.
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