Just when it looked like Boston was going to stand pat at the trade deadline, GM Don Sweeney flipped the script.
Shortly after getting veteran d-man John-Michael Liles out of Carolina, Sweeney acquired New Jersey’s leading point-getter, Lee Stempiak, per TSN.
Update: Per Sportsnet, 2nd- and 4th-round picks are going back to New Jersey.
Stempniak, 33, is enjoying a terrific campaign with the Devils and has emerged as one of the league’s best bargains. After going to New Jersey’s training camp on a PTO, the veteran winger scored a one-year, $850,000 deal and has since gone on to rack up 16 goals and 41 points in 63 games played.
That Boston was interested in Stempniak is no surprise. Prior to landing with the Devils, there were rumblings he would instead attend Bruins camp on a professional tryout.
As for the Bruins, today’s moves give a pretty clear indication of where Sweeney thinks the team is at, at least in terms of being a playoff contender. He didn’t move pending UFA forward Loui Eriksson, as many expected, and instead acquired two veteran rentals to help with postseason play.
Stempniak has been to the playoffs in each of the last two seasons — in ’13-14 with Pittsburgh, and ’14-15 with Winnipeg.
The Boston Bruins, long rumored to be in the market for blueline help at the deadline, have acquired veteran defenseman John-Michael Liles from Carolina, per TVA.
Update: The ‘Canes acquire ’11 third-round pick Anthony Camara, a third- and fifth-round pick, per ESPN.
Liles, 35, has enjoyed a good season in Carolina — he’s been durable (averaging over 20 minutes while appearing in all 64 games) and his offense has been decent, with six goals and 15 points.
Head coach Bill Peters was full of praise for the 35-year-old, calling Liles “a real good pro,” that’s been “excellent with our young guys.”
The former Avalanche, Maple Leaf and Hurricane should provide some good experience for the B’s come playoff time. He’s appeared in 40 career contests, most of which came with Colorado.
Liles is in the last of a four-year, $15.5 million deal with a $3.875M cap hit. It’s worth noting his salary is only $2.75M this season.
It was another difficult night on home ice for the Boston Bruins.
Not only did they give up two power play goals to the Lightning on Sunday, they also gave up a goal on a penalty shot to Steven Stamkos.
Boston opened the scoring in the first period when Kevan Miller beat Ben Bishop with a shot from the point.
But it was all downhill from there for the Bruins.
Alex Killorn tied the game with a power play goal just over five minutes later and Ryan Callahan scored the go-ahead goal after Adam McQuaid turned the puck over in the offensive zone.
Steven Stamkos also added a goal on a penalty shot. To watch Stamkos’ goal, click here.
The Bruins have been awful on home ice. Tonight’s 4-1 loss to the Bolts dropped their record to 13-16-3 at the TD Garden in 2015-16.
Boston’s loss is Tampa’s gain.
This was a huge win for the Lightning who came into tonight’s action tied with the Bruins for second in the Atlantic Division.
Callahan led the way for the Bolts, as he had two goals and an assist tonight.
The victory extends Tampa Bay’s winning streak to six games.
The Boston Bruins don’t want to trade forward Loui Eriksson, but they may have no choice.
Bruins GM Don Sweeney reiterated his plan prior to Sunday’s game against the Lightning.
Sweeney made it clear that his goal is to extend Eriksson’s contract. If they’re unable to do so before Monday’s trade deadline, they’ll have to make a tough decision regarding his future.
The Bruins are in a particularly difficult position because they aren’t sellers. They’re tied with the Lightning for second in the Atlantic Division (the Bolts have a game in hand).
Trading Eriksson to another team would certainly weaken the 2015-16 edition of the B’s, which isn’t ideal for a team hoping to make a long playoff run.
Of course, the Bruins could just keep Eriksson and lose him in free agency if a deal can’t be reached.
The 30-year-old has 23 goals and 48 points in 62 games this season.
Eriksson will be in the lineup when the Bruins take on the Bolts at 6:30 pm ET on Sunday.
You can stream the game online by clicking the link below.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE
The Tampa Bay Lightning and Boston Bruins will clash in an important Atlantic Division matchup on Sunday evening.
The game has huge playoff implications, as the winner of this one will take over second place in the division.
Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman left Friday’s game against the Devils because of a hand injury, but he’s been cleared to play in this contest.
Tampa Bay has won five straight games.
For Boston, Loui Eriksson seems to be the name on everyone’s mind right now. Eriksson’s camp and the Bruins are trying to work out a contract extension, but that seems unlikely to happen before Monday’s trade deadline.
There’s a very real possibility that this could be his last game in Black and Gold.
Thanks to NBCSN’S online streaming, you can watch the game by clicking the link below.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE