It was probably unrealistic to start, but anyone expecting the Bruins to make a blockbuster trade at the deadline Monday were left very disappointed as the B’s only acquired a couple of bottom-six forwards (Brett Connolly and Max Talbot) while also losing Craig Cunningham on waivers to Arizona. The 2015 NHL Trade Deadline came and went with Boston not really making a splash, despite the fact that with David Krejci on longterm-IR, they had some extra money to potentially work with. The Bruins, at least, finally said goodbye to Jordan Caron who was a complete bust here even though he had countless opportunities to show the franchise anything of what made him a first-round pick in 2009 (25th overall).
A right-handed right wing, Connolly is only 22-years-old and he was a first-round pick in 2010 (sixthoverall). He had played parts of four seasons in Tampa Bay but this was his breakthrough campaign with 12 goals and three assists in 50 games along with 38 penalty minutes. He was skating regularly on the Lightning’s third forward line. He is 6-foot-2 and 181 pounds. Last season with Syracuse (Tampa Bay’s AHL club), Connolly put up 21 goals and 36 assists. His cap hit is only $850,500 and he will be a restricted free agent on July 1. Rather than getting a rental, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli seemed to be targeting a player who could potentially develop into something more with them over the next few years.
Cunningham (2 goals, 1 assist in 32 games) wasn’t a star by any means, but he appeared to be ticketed for a spot on the fourth line of the future with Gregory Campbell headed to free agency this summer and Daniel Paille suffering through a brutal 2014-15. Instead, like Matt Fraser (Edmonton) earlier this season, the B’s lost a promising young player that they had to put on waivers to free up a roster space. It was somewhat of a puzzling move for the Bruins.
Finally, Chiarelli bailed on Caron who finished with just 12 goals and 16 assists in 134 forgettable games for Boston. The B’s gave him way more time than most contending teams would to figure things out in the NHL, but it’s clear that he didn’t fit here (or potentially anywhere in the league). It’s another black hole in Chiarelli’s awful draft history with the Bruins, which ultimately could be one of the main reasons he loses his job.
Talbot is 31, but this is his 11th year in the league. He won a Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009 then went to Philadelphia before playing the last two seasons in Colorado. In 63 games with the Avalanche in 2014-15, he has five goals and 10 assists. His career-high is 19 goals in 2011-12 with the Flyers and 18 assists last season with Colorado. He’s a veteran with plenty of playoff experience that could come in handy: 18 goals and 21 assists in 84 postseason games.