*(Not affiliated with the Boston Bruins or the New England Hockey Journal)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Sturm to L.A. for a conditional pick UPDATE: No deal, on hold?

After taking the ball and running with what were some very trusted sources in the media reporting that a trade between the Bruins and Kings were done, B2011DW now discovers that the deal is off or at least on hold- not sure which. Not surprising, given that Sturm is still technically injured, but at least for now, Bruins are still on the hook for his cap hit and will have to make moves if they can't ship him out before his return. If you want to keep reading below the jump, feel free.

The Boston Bruins are out of cap hell.

It took a trade of injured forward Marco Sturm to Los Angeles for a rumored conditional pick (5th-rounder that could go as high as 2nd-round based on games played and production escalators). but Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli now has moved the black cloud out from over his team's head and will move forward with the team he has without having to resort to more desperate measures.

It is with bittersweet feelings that this blog writes this. Won't go all Mark Antony on everyone, but Sturm's departure officially closes the books on the immediate returns of the Joe Thornton trade in 2006. Yes, there are still other, lingering assets in play (Brad Stuart begat Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew who begat Alexander Fallstrom and player TBD from Minnesota's 2nd-rounder this coming June) but Sturm was the last tangible thread left from the San Jose trio who came to Boston in return for the B's top player, captain (and now the Sharks' captain).

Time has healed the wounds from the deal somewhat, and Sturm was the one player who tried his hardest to get that done on the ice. Stuart and Wayne Primeau were busts for the Bruins-- Primeau gone as a UFA in the summer of '06, while Stuart moped his way out of town during the Dave Lewis fiasco of '06-07. But through it all Sturm remained, signing an extension with Boston in '07 and even though missing more games than he played over the past three years due to knee injuries, being a good teammate and solid offensive contributor.

Who could forget his famous "goal face" first exhibited in the opening moments of his Bruins career when he scored on his debut shift against Ottawa? But it is his winning goal in Game 6 of the 2008 playoffs against Montreal to break a 4-4 deadlock late in regulation that he will always be known for.

Sturm goes to L.A. where he is reunited with the man who drafted him, Dean Lombardi, the Sharks GM who took a chance on Sturm in the first round of the 1996 draft, one of the most pedestrian and unimpressive classes on the whole in NHL history. Lombardi has been at the Kings' helm since 2006, and you have to figure that old Boston GM Mike O'Connell, who by pulling the trigger on the trade to bring Sturm to Boston for Thornton essentially sealed his own doom with the Bruins, probably had some input into this one as well.

The deal is still pending a physical for Sturm, but based on what I'm hearing, is a mere formality and is essentially done barring any major unforseen development.

The B's needed to get out from under the specter of the cap and they did that today by giving up a player who wasn't helping them this year. If he goes on to play well for the Kings, the B's could end up with a third second-rounder based on the rumors, but even if the pick is in the fourth round or lower, it's still an asset that the team can use either by drafting a future player or using as a chip to move in a trade to shore up an area of weakness.

It doesn't appear that the Bruins are done dealing, and now that they are under the cap, they have a small amount of breathing room to get things done without having to hemorrhage assets to get there.

From a team and media insider's perspective, Sturm will be missed. He was a good guy in the room for the Bruins and always did what was asked of him and more. But, in a scenario where tough decisions needed to be made, Chiarelli was able to get him to waive the NTC/NMC and get the salary of the books so that the Bruins could move forward with the team that they have. Sturm, meanwhile, is still a few weeks away, but could be invigorated enough in his new surroundings to make that conditional pick a nice little plum for Boston.

Sounds like a win for both parties.

No comments:

Post a Comment