The reality of the salary cap is that sometimes good teams have to trade away players that they might have otherwise kept. The Boston Bruins’ decision to send defenseman Johnny Boychuk to the New York Islanders in exchange for draft picks is a prime example of that.
“This is a tough trade,” Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli said, per CSN New England. “We all like Johnny. I spoke with him shortly after the trade was consummated. I told him ‘you know, Johnny; we brought you here from Colorado. You did everything we told you to do. You got better as a player. You were patient. You got better. You’re a part of the fabric of the team.’ This was really hard to do but there’s an element of business to it, an element of hockey and we tried to get ahead of it a little bit.’
“He was upset, I was upset, I’m still upset.”
Chiarelli admitted that the ceiling was a factor, but it wasn’t just their 2014-15 cap situation that was on his mind. Boychuk is entering the final season of his three-year, $10.1 million contract and will likely receive a big raise over the summer that the Bruins couldn’t have easily afforded to give him. Chiarelli also sees this as the first in a series of moves that might involve him flipping some of those draft picks for players down the road.
He admitted that Boston might be hurt in the short-term, but he nevertheless believes this was the right call.