The Boston Bruins made a trade tonight, but it wasn’t for perennial trade rumor target Tomas Kaberle. At least, not yet. Instead, the Bruins boosted the Ottawa Senators’ rebuilding process (and their own playoff chances, they hope) by exchanging their 2011 second round pick for two-way forward Chris Kelly.
There are some Bruins fans/commenters who aren’t too happy with the deal, but the Mike Fisher trade seemingly set the market for active players of varying quality being exchanged for potentially valuable draft assets. (Though it does stand to mention that many insiders aren’t very impressed by this year’s draft crop.)
On the bright side, Kelly is a versatile player who can spend time at center or as a wing. He has limited offensive upside (23 points this season; a career high of 38 points) and is a fairly decent defensive forward despite his -11 rating in 2010-11.
Who knows if current Senators general manager Bryan Murray will be around for the obvious rebuild that is taking place, but if he indeed gets fired, he’ll be leaving the team’s next GM some interesting draft assets. As you may remember, Murray dealt Mike Fisher to the Nashville Predators for a first round pick in 2011 along with what could be a second or third rounder in 2012. Let’s break it down in tangible terms:
Ottawa gives up: Fisher and Kelly.
Ottawa is guaranteed: Nashville’s 2011 first round pick and Boston’s 2011 second rounder.
Ottawa could also receive: The Predators’ 2012 third round pick if Nashville wins one playoff round or their second rounder in ’12 if the Preds win two series or more.
When you consider the fact that the Senators are likely to get a lottery pick for their own miseries, Murray has added some draft assets that could benefit their mid-to-long range future. Considering their already grim 10-11 season, these are easy decisions to make.
This leaves us with two questions.
1. Will the Senators load up even more by trading active players such as Chris Phillips and Alex Kovalev for picks and/or prospects?
2. Are the Bruins finished stocking up for the playoffs, or do they have other tricks (*cough* Kaberle *cough cough*) up their sleeves?
The trade deadline is normally a Christmas-like deluge of exciting (and bland) trades, yet this season is starting to resemble a more Hanukkah-like trickle of intriguing moves.