Brian Rolston is about to start a second stint with the Boston Bruins
After a month of speculation involving trade deadline rumors including everyone from Rick Nash to Bobby Ryan to Tuukka Rask to Dustin Brown and even Tim Thomas, the NHL trade deadline came and went with very little fanfare for the Boston Bruins.
That’s not to say they weren’t successful on deadline day. The Bruins, at one point this season an unstoppable juggernaut on both offense and defense, have stumbled somewhat recently. Their offense has a little less bite, thanks in no small part to missing both forwards Nathan Horton (concussion syndromes) and Rich Peverley (MCL injury) and the defense hasn’t looked nearly as good as they did back in the months of December and November. General Manager Peter Chiarelli took an opportunity to give the Bruins a little bit more depth and acquired defenseman Mike Mottau and forward Brian Rolston from the New York Islanders and defenseman Greg Zannon from the Minnesota Wild.
Sure, no huge names, but the Boston Bruins did exactly what they set out to do at the trade deadline which was acquire depth for a roster clearly needing it.
After the jump, taking a closer look at the Boston Bruins’ deadline moves
Brian Rolston is the name that “pops” when someone reads what the Bruins did on deadline day. Throughout his long career, Rolston has been a productive player turning in 339 goals, 407 assists for a total of 746 points. This is also Brian Rolston’s second stint with the Boston Bruins. Back before the NHL lockout, Rolston played for the Bruins and was part of the 2003-2004 team that I still feel could have won the Stanley Cup. His first go-around with the black and gold lasted for five seasons and he tallied 101 goals and 135 assists mostly playing second line duty for those Bruins.
That was eight years ago. Brian Rolston is a lot older now (39 years old) and is not nearly the same productive player that he was back then. So far this season for the Islanders, he only has 9 points in 49 games and he isn’t the same penalty killer that he was back in ’04. Still, what Brian Rolston brings the Bruins is someone who possesses veteran leadership and greater depth for the forwards. Chiarelli also feels that Rolston will be motivated due to his new surroundings and lack of production this season.
“When we get out and we look for these types of players that are rentals, we look to see that the players are motivated,” Chiarelli said. “And I would put him in that category.”
The other part of that trade is defenseman – and Massachusetts native – Mike Mottau. I would honestly expect him to be a healthy-scratch most nights and he is really here in Boston to provide a veteran in case of another injury. He could also see playing time if coach Claude Julien falls out of favor with Joe Corvo. Still, acquiring two players that provide depth and injury relief for a couple of prospects you probably have never heard of is all right in my book.
As far as the other trade goes – acquiring Greg Zannon for Steve Kampfer – expect that one to take effect right away, probably as soon as tonight. With the current injury situation to Johnny Boychuk, the Bruins need a veteran blue-liner to fill his spot until Boychuk returns and Zannon fits that mold. He isn’t a stat sheet stuffer, but he give the Bruins depth at the spot, which is honestly all the Bruins were looking for at the deadline. Would I have given up Kampfer for Zannon? I don’t think so. Kampfer has been awful this year, especially considering how well he played in a limited time last year. Kampfer is young and I think he has the ability to be a serviceable defenseman in the league. I guess with Dougie Hamiliton coming up soon, the Bruins felt they could move a defenseman prospect and Kampfer was the odd man out.
Overall, the Bruins didn’t make any huge moves, but they were all necessary moves. The Bruins are currently facing a lot of injury issues and have been forced to use prospects in the starting line-up who aren’t ready for the NHL. Acquiring players like Rolston and Zannon lets the Bruins fill injury gaps with veterans who know what they are doing and ultimately provide future insurance against injuries.