Did the Boston Bruins were raped and rolled today?

While dumping Dennis Wideman to acquire some offensive finish and size in Horton they were forced to part with far too much. Wideman for Horton is about even in salary, by reputation they are not highly self motivated, and age wise they are not far apart. Selling Wideman down the I95 to a team actively looking to get rid of Horton should not have required much, a third round pick, maybe a second. To take on the additional baggage of an RFA forward who’s yet another in their retinue of small, bottom six players.

On top of this they gave up a highly valuable first round pick. Had this been last years draft, sure send it packing without regrets the 2009 draft class was just that weak. With the possibility of blue-chippers like Etem, Neiderieter, Campbell or other high end talents sliding out of the top 10 there’s little doubt the 15th pick in 2010 will be more valuable in a year or two than any of the men now packing their bags for a new city.

Let’s take a look at some possible why’s to this otherwise inexplicable overpayment:
The Bruins have no intention of signing Campbell, and will either repackage him or let him walk and take the compensation (if any).
Management views Campbell as a replacement for Begin, Paille or another bottom six forward and expect to sign him cheaper than the player he’s replacing.
Campbell is bound for AHL where he will spend the year mentoring younger players.
Management decide that it unlikely they could unload further salary (Ryder, Ference for example) for any meaningful return and would not be able to fit the cap hit of whomever is drafted #15 under the cap and expect their choices at that position not to opt for college or be eligible for the AHL.
Maybe the Bruins brain trust just doesn’t view this draft as being as deep as many in the media do.
Maybe, just maybe the Bruins believe they got two top six forwards back because they know something the rest of us don’t.

Only time will tell, if this was a Raycroft for Rask or a Versteeg for Bochenski trade, but not only does this move deprive the Bruins a high end player one or two years away from playing at a high level in the NHL at most, it robs them of even the threat of an offer sheet next year as well.

While it doesn’t free any cap space, it does reduce blueline clutter, hopefully opening the door for both Stuart and Boychuck to be resigned to multi-year deals.

About Puck Sage

PuckSage.com is a hockey site focusing on the NHL, the playing style of teams and players with analysis and the occasional predictions. If it doesn't involve what happens on ice, I won't be writing about it. About Me: Writer! Here. write hockey. I can be found on Twitter @PuckSage on Google+ and my Facebook Page is handily listed on the main page here. Radio Personality: Guest Hockey expert on WATD 95.9FM Hockey lover, cognac drinker, lover of good steak, good music, and things that make me laugh. I hate cats, cat people, sloppy hockey and vegans.

3 Thoughts on “Wideman out, Horton in, Campbell along too

  1. It’s funny that you mention Wideman as having great upside, but don’t talk about Horton the same way. If you’re giving credit to Wideman, the same needs to be done the other way. Also, it’s not practical to view this as Wideman for Horton and the 15th for Campbell because it was a package deal.

    • Puck Sage on June 24, 2010 at 8:49 AM said:

      Hey Rob,

      I have yet to see Horton play with the Bruins. Chemistry has a lot to do with play, Savard is a premier center, Ryder has scored 30 more than once, but them together and you’ve got something as explosive as water and brine. I have nothing bad to say about Horton, but I will reserve judgment and not be a bandwagoner, it’s not my style. That said, for most of their careers it can be argued that Horton and Wideman have underperformed. Given the woeful cast he’s had to work with most of his career, Horton gets a free pass until January.

      • Good points. I hope Horton can really turn things around with a change. I know this is definitely an overstatement, but Neely was pretty average before coming to the Bruins. I’ll take Horton being half that good.

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