Tag: Brian Rolston

Andrew Ference, Chris Kelly, Gregory Campbell

Bruins might be in line for a quiet summer


The Boston Bruins won’t have Tim Thomas next season and that might be the biggest difference between the 2011-12 and 2012-13 versions of this squad.

Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli has re-signed Gregory Campbell and Chris Kelly (although the Kelly deal reportedly can’t be official until July 1), so their core of forwards is close to set.

“I feel really good with our lineup right now and to add a [top 9 forward] like I talked about still isn’t out of the realm of possibility,” said Chiarelli. “It gives me a lot of flexibility going into free agency, but this is as solid of a forward group as you’re going to get.

“If we do nothing, that’s fine, but if something comes across that looks attractive and we have to look at it, then we’ll look at it.”

As far as locking up their remaining free agents go, Chiarelli hasn’t ruled out the possibility of bringing back Brian Rolston, but nothing will happen on that front until July 1. There’s also a chance that Benoit Pouliot will be re-signed, but Chiarelli doesn’t have any news on that front.

Ultimately the salary cap is the biggest road block for the Boston Bruins, especially seeing as it’s not clear what it will be after the NHL and players’ union agree on a new CBA. Anything is possible, but the odds are against the Bruins making a big splash this summer.

PHT List: Rating this year’s trade deadline acquisitions

Antoine Vermette

With just five teams left in the Stanley Cup playoffs — and if New York does the business tonight, that number will drop to four — now’s a good time to look back at the flurry of action on (and leading up to) February’s NHL trade deadline.

Which deals paid off most handsomely? Which didn’t?

The Good

To Phoenix: C Antoine Vermette
To Columbus: 2012 2nd-round pick, 2013 5th-round pick, G Curtis McElhinney (link)

Vermette leads Phoenix in playoff scoring (5G-4A-9PTS — 11th overall) and the Coyotes are in their first ever conference final. This one’s a no-brainer, probably the best deal made.

To Los Angeles: C Jeff Carter
To Columbus: D Jack Johnson, Cond. 1st-round pick (link)

Carter’s numbers hardly jump off the page (1G-3A-4PTS) but Los Angeles’ numbers since acquiring him sure do. Including the playoffs, the Kings are 21-6-3 since the Feb. 23 trade. Oh yeah, they’re also going to their first Western Conference finals since 1993.

To New Jersey: D Marek Zidlicky
To Minnesota: D Kurtis Foster, RW Nick Palmieri, LW Stephane Veilleux, 2012 2nd-round pick, Cond. 2013 3rd-round pick (link)

The Devils gave up plenty to land Zidlicky but, like Carter, you can’t argue with the numbers. New Jersey’s 21-11-2 since getting him; Zidlicky leads all Devils in postseason ice-time (24:39) and has six points in 12 games thus far.

To Philadelphia: D Nicklas Grossmann
To Dallas: 2012 2nd-round pick (link)

The Flyers really liked Grossmann and inked him to a four-year, $14 million deal. His postseason was abbreviated by a concussion but overall, he was solid on the Flyers blueline.

The Average

To Boston: RW Brian Rolston, D Mike Mottau
To New York Islanders: RW Yannick Riendeau, D Marc Cantin (link)

Rolston put up 15 points in 21 regular season games and started the postseason well, scoring a point in each of the first three games. He faded at the end, probably because he’s 39 years old, but considering they gave up nothing to get him and Mottau, the Bruins did okay.

To Chicago: D Johnny Oduya
To Winnipeg: 2013 2nd- and 3rd-round picks (link)

Chicago liked him and he played well, but Oduya didn’t change the ‘Hawks’ fortunes any. They were bounced in the opening round again, and now he’s a UFA that Chicago might not be able to retain.

The Bad

To Philadelphia: D Pavel Kubina
To Tampa Bay: LW Jon Kalinski, 2013 2nd-round pick, Cond. 2013 4th-round pick (link)

The Flyers realized Kubina was too slow to play regularly. He ended up a frequent healthy scratch.

To Detroit: D Kyle Quincey
To Tampa Bay: 2012 1st-round pick, D Sebastien Piche (link)

Quincey’s minutes decreased to the point where he was barely playing 16 per game in the first round. Detroit’s early exit also means the Lightning now get a pretty decent pick.

To Nashville: C Paul Gaustad, 2012 4th-round pick
To Buffalo: 2012 1st-round pick (link)

David Poile — recently named one of the three GM of the year finalists — dealt away a first-rounder for a guy that was often Nashville’s fourth-line center. In the Phoenix series, Gaustad averaged 10:33 per game.

To San Jose: C Dominic Moore, 2012 7th-round pick
To Tampa Bay: 2012 2nd-round pick (link)

To San Jose: C Daniel Winnik, C T.J. Galiardi, 2012 7th-round pick
To Colorado: LW Jamie McGinn (link)

Lumping these in together. Winnik, Galiardi and Moore combined for a measly 12 points in the regular season and one in the playoffs (Galiardi and Moore only dressed for three of the five games.)

Trade we can’t really evaluate yet

To Vancouver: RW Zack Kassian
To Buffalo: C Cody Hodgson (link)

Since this trade wasn’t a prototypical deadline deal — it’s safe to say Vancouver made this one with an eye on the future — it can’t be graded. If you did want to grade it as a trade deadline deal, though, it would be classified as “bad, very very bad” for Vancouver.

The Canucks shipped out an offensively talented player (then proceeded to score eight goals in five games against the Kings) in exchange for Kassian, who was supposed to bring physicality but ended up only playing four of five playoff games (4:51 of ice per) and recording exactly five hits.

Other trades I don’t feel especially compelled to analyze, but feel free to debate them thoroughly in the comments section

To Nashville: RW Andrei Kostitsyn
To Montreal: 2013 2nd-round pick, Cond. 2013 5th-round pick (link)

To Nashville: D Hal Gill, 2013 5th-round pick
To Montreal: C Blake Geoffrion, LW Robert Slaney, 2012 2nd-round pick (link)

To Florida: LW Wojtek Wolski
To New York Rangers: D Mike Vernace, 2013 3rd-round pick (link)

To Vancouver: C Samuel Pahlsson
To Columbus: D Taylor Ellinlgton, Two 2012 4th-round picks (link)

To Ottawa: G Ben Bishop
To St. Louis: 2013 2nd-round pick (link)

Rolston reacts to redemption: “More than any words can say”

Boston Bruins v Ottawa Senators

Sports fans might know that putting on the New York Yankees’ pinstripes can rejuvenate a player, but the Boston Bruins’ “spoked-B” could have similar results. Mark Recchi was one of the team’s leading scorers in his final season during the 2011 Stanley Cup run, yet Brian Rolston’s twilight tide turn is even more surprising.

Kirk Luedeke caught up with Rolston, who has three points in three playoff contests, a five-game points streak and 17 points in 15 games since March 15.

Asked Brian Rolston after the game how gratifying it was to be back in Boston- he paused & then quietly said: “More than any words can say.”

Rolston admitted that he might have been too young to appreciate his Stanley Cup run with the New Jersey Devils all the way back in 1995. Scoring 17 points in 15 games is impressive in just about any context, but considering the fact that Rolston’s career seemed flat-out over with the New York Islanders during this same season, his turnaround is nothing short of stunning.

And much like Recchi’s last hurrah, it could be worth savoring.

NHL coach on Bruins’ forward depth: “God bless them, but they have two fourth lines”

Claude Julien, David Krejci

In his latest installment of previews for playoff-bound teams, ESPN’s Craig Custance tackled the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.

The Bruins hope to become the first repeat champion since Detroit won back-to-back Cups in 1997-98 but, as one NHL coach said, their title defense will be difficult given their lack of depth up front.

“They have two fourth lines,” the coach told Custance. “God bless them, but they have two fourth lines with the injuries they have. There’s not a lot of offensive depth.”

That quote might come as a surprise, given the Bruins sit third overall in the NHL with 254 goals. Boston also has six 20-goal scorers (Tyler Seguin, Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly), so depth doesn’t appear to be a major issue.

But, digging a little deeper…

During their run to the Stanley Cup last spring, the Bruins got a combined 21 goals from Michael Ryder, Nathan Horton and Mark Recchi. Ryder is in Dallas. Recchi is retired and Horton isn’t close to returning from his second concussion in the last year. Adding a guy like Edmonton’s Ryan Smyth at the deadline would have been ideal, but he wasn’t available.

Brian Rolston has been a nice find for the Bruins with 14 points in 20 games since being traded to Boston by the Islanders, but his production has cooled and it’s asking a lot to expect Recchi-like production from Rolston in the postseason.

“There’s a reason [Roltson] was available,” said an NHL source. “Recchi was a really special player. Something special.”

Against Pittsburgh on Tuesday, the Bruins rolled Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Rolston and Dan Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton as their third and fourth lines (or, two fourth lines.)

Jordan Caron also draws into that mix but after him, options are limited — especially compared to last postseason, when Boston had the luxury of platooning in the likes of Seguin (who didn’t play the first two rounds) and Thornton (who got parked after Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals, only to re-emerged for Game 3 of the Cup finals.)

Who’s wearing what number after the trade deadline?

Zack Kassian

With 16 deals involving 32 players, the 2011-12 NHL trade deadline featured plenty of number switches. Here’s a quick rundown of who will be wearing what heading into Tuesday’s play.


In a weird twist, Zack Kassian has opted for No. 9 — the same number Cody Hodgson (the guy Kassian was traded for) wore this season. Marc-Andre Gragnani will wear No. 5 (his Buffalo number, 17, is worn by Ryan Kesler) while Samuel Pahlsson will wear No. 26, a number he’s had since 2001.


Hodgson will wear No. 12 (Update: This was erroneously reported by NHL Network’s Brian Duff. Hodgson will wear No. 19) while Alex Sulzer will sport the No. 52 he wore as a Predator and Canuck.

San Jose

T.J. Galiardi, who wore No. 39 in Colorado, will rock No. 37 with the Sharks (39 is property of Logan Couture). Daniel Winnik will retain the No. 34 he wore with the Avs and previously, the Coyotes.


No word on what number Jamie McGinn will wear. He’s probably free to keep his No. 64, though — he’d become the first-ever Avalanche player to wear it if he does.

New York Rangers

John Scott will wear No. 28 after donning No. 36 with Minnesota and, most recently, No. 32 with the Blackhawks.


Brian Rolston turned back the clock and chose No. 12, the same number he wore with the Bruins from 2000-04. (Note: the last Boston player to wear No. 12 was Tomas Kaberle…maybe it’s not too late for Rolston to switch.) Mike Mottau is wearing No. 27 like he did in New Jersey, while Greg Zanon is No. 6.


Johnny Oduya is wearing No. 27. His preferred number, 29 (which he wore in New Jersey, Atlanta and Winnipeg) is property of Bryan Bickell.


Matt Gilroy will continue to wear No. 97, becoming the highest jersey number in Senators history. Prior to Gilroy, the honor went to Stan Neckar (94), Mika Zibanejad (93), Alexandre Daigle (91) and Mike Comrie (89).

Tampa Bay

Brian Lee will wear No. 15, Keith Aulie No. 3 and Mike Commodore continues to disappoint his fans by refusing to wear No. 64 — instead, he’ll go with No. 23.


The Oilers Twitter feed says Nick Schultz will wear No. 15, becoming the 31st Oiler to wear that number — a long, illustrious list that includes Alex Tidey, Miroslav Frycer, Tomas Srsen and Joe Hulbig. For some reason, No. 15 has been out of circulation since Joffrey Lupul wore it in 2007.


Tom Gilbert had no problems retaining his No. 77. No Wild player has worn it since Lubomir Sekeras from 2001-03.


Andrei Kostitsyn keeps No. 46 (and, presumably, his AK-46 nickname) while Paul Gaustad keeps his No. 28.