By Matthew Cunha
The Boston Bruins have miraculously played themselves back into the playoff picture. Winners of 7 out of 8, the Bruins have scored just over 4 goals a game in that span. The Bruins play of late raised an interesting question for general manager Don Sweeney of whether the Bruins should be buyers or sellers at this year’s trade deadline.
Don Sweeney decided to be neither of those. At the deadline on Wednesday, it seemed that the Bruins had made as many moves as the Boston Celtics. Zero. A deal got leaked a half hour after the deadline that the Bruins had acquired winger Drew Stafford from the Winnipeg Jets for a conditional 6th round pick. Stafford only has 4 goals and 9 assists this season in 40 games for the Jets and only scored 21 goals and added 17 assists for the Jets last year. Stafford did however score 31 goals for Buffalo in the 2010-11 season.
Drew Stafford is likely to take over for Jimmy Hayes on the third line for the Bruins. Hayes has been highly ineffective for the larger part of two seasons. Inserting the 31 year old winger alongside 22-year-old Frank Vatrano and 25-year-old Ryan Spooner would make a lot of sense for the black and gold.
The real story of the trade deadline for the Bruins is that they decided to be neither a buyer nor a seller. Don Sweeney and company decided to stand mostly pat with their current roster. For Bruins fans, you should be ok with this. Last year they got stupid and traded away assets for rentals Lee Stempniak and John Michael-Liles. Don Sweeney may have finally realized that the future is more important than the present with this Bruins team. Sure, the recent run of play has been fun, but they do not have a chance of winning a title. DO NOT trade away your prospects!
In the short term, the Bruins keep their roster intact which in the past 8 games has been highly successful. A rental piece would bench someone who has been playing well as of late. Right now, all pieces are clicking and there isn’t one player (besides Jimmy Hayes who does have a replacement) that l want to see benched. The young players such as Ryan Spooner, Frank Vatrano, Colin Miller and Brandon Carlo are huge parts of their current success. As long as these young guys are rolling, why would you want to see someone else take their spot in the lineup? These guys are winning right now and they need experience.
A loud deadline is always fun for fans, but in this case I think the Bruins got it right. No prospect is on their way out, and the team still has enough to make the playoffs. A win-win for the Boston Bruins in the 2017-18 deadline.
Matthew Cunha is a producer on The Drive, weekdays 4pm to 6pm on 92.9fm The Ticket and streaming live at DriveShowMaine.com. Follow us on Twitter, @DriveShowMaine and “Like Us” on Facebook, Drive Show Maine.