One of the most anticipated and exciting days of the NHL season, the trade deadline of 2010-11 has officially come and gone. Now some fans around the league are in sheer excitement with the players that their teams have acquired, while others are left scratching their heads.
For the Boston Bruins, having made their major deals weeks in advance of this often stressful day, today was a quiet one.
"We talked to a couple of teams and we felt we did most of our stuff within the last couple of weeks," Bruins' General manager Peter Chiarell said to reporters inside the Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata, Ontario, Canada, shortly after the 3 p.m. EST deadline. "So today was a quiet day."
Nearly two weeks ago to the day, on Feb. 15, Chiarelli made his first trade which landed the speedy 30-year-old forward Chris Kelly from the Ottawa Senators in exchange for a second-round draft pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Three days later, the Bruins' GM really shook the city of Boston when he hooked defenseman Tomas Kaberle from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for prospect and former first-round pick Joe Colborne, their own 2011 first-round pick, and a conditional second-round pick.
"It was happening from three months ago, guys seemed like they wanted to get their deals done earlier," said Chiarelli.
But the mastermind wasn't done yet. Still on Friday, Feb. 18, he landed the versatile Rich Peverley from the Atlanta Thrashers, while shipping forward Blake Wheeler ($2.2M) defenseman Mark Stuart (1.5M) and their salaries to friendly face, Head Coach Craig Ramsay and the Thrashers.
"If you look we've done three deals where we've added three good pieces., There has been some subtractuion but we felt the net benefit was very positive. [Today] There wasnt anything that -- and when you look back at hindsight after doing the three deals and say 'wow, that would be a good one to do' -- No. There wasn't anything like that," Chiarelli said. "We wanted to do our deals in advance enought that the players could join the team be part of that Western swing -- and that had the right players -- and we felt we accomplished both...timing-wise and player personell wise."
The already playoff-bound and Division leading B's got deeper and that much more dangerous come playoff time, all because of Chiarelli's willingness to part with some of his roster players, prospects, and valuable draft picks.
The moves clearly gave the team a much-needed boost; their recent play blatantly shows it. Boston is now in the midst of a five-game win-streak -- all on the road -- sit six-points ahead of the Montreal Canadiens in the Northeast Division, and just two points shy of the second place Tampa Bay Lightning in the East.
Kelly (four games, one assist, plus-2), Peverley (three games, one goal, plus-1) and Kaberle (four games, one assist, plus-2) have all showcased their skills and further proved why Chiarelli saught-out these players.
"The games out West -- I thought the Calgary and Vancouver games really showed how important the additions are on a number of different fronts. You saw the skill from Peverley -- scoring or not scoring. You saw the versatility from Peverley and Kelly on the face-offs and forecheck. And of course Kaberle, I think has really chaged the dynamic of our backend," Chiarelli said. "So what we set out to accomplish by adding those players I think we accomplished it.
"There's obviously a boost. And players appreciated it, they've told me they appreciated the moves."Just from the prospective of adding players, good players that will help the players, they were well received and the players get exctied about it."
For the last two seasons, the boys in Black and Gold have yet to make it out of the second round of the playoffs -- something that probably haunts no one more than Chiarelli and the rest of the Bruins' brass. But now having made several splashes -- including the signing of defenseman Shane Hnidy to deepen their blue-line with added NHL experience -- Chiarelli has made this organization go from second-round-duds to probable Eastern Conference finalists.