(Source: WEEI.com) – In addition to keeping Loui Eriksson, the Bruins swung a trade with the Hurricanes for 35-year-old defenseman John-Michael Liles and added forward Lee Stempniak from New Jersey. Boston sent a third-round pick in 2016, a fifth-round pick in 2017 and former third-round pick Anthony Camara to Carolina. Liles, a left shot, has six goals and nine assists for 15 points in 64 games this season. The Indianapolis native has also played for the Avalanche and Maple Leafs in his career. The Bruins will be Stempniak’s ninth team. In 63 games for the Devils this season, Stempniak has 16 goals and 25 assists for 41 points. The Bruins gave up a 2017 second-rounder and a 2016 fourth-rounder for Stempniak, a very steep price considering that they could have had him months ago for nothing.
Well I think it’s safe to say the Bruins trade deadline didn’t go exactly how we all envisioned it. Loui Eriksson is still a Boston Bruin and Don Sweeney added a couple new faces to the fold as well. Here at BostonPucks.com we’ll do a couple blogs to cover it all over the next day or so, but first things first. Let’s introduce you to the new guys.
Lee Stempniak, an offensive journeyman, is one of those new faces. And how he was acquired, not who, has generated some fan outrage already. Back in August the Bruins had the opportunity to scoop up Stempniak on just a veteran league minimum contract had he chosen a PTO with the Bruins. He took one with the New Jersey Devils instead as there was far more opportunity on their roster than Boston’s. Today it cost the Bruins two decent draft picks to get him. To be fair to Bruins brass, if anyone thought Stempniak, let alone the entire Devils team, would be this good this year prior to the season starting then I need to get my hands on whatever they’re smoking. No one batted an eye (and most fans didn’t even know) that Stempniak was skating with fellow Bostonian’s back in the summer.
Currently his 41 points put him just behind Spooner for 6th on the Bruins in scoring and he will immediately replace Brett Connolly on the Patrice Bergeron line. This trade could turn into a real nice return for the Bruins if Stempniak continues to put up Spooner-esque production.
John Michael Liles is the Carolina Hurricane defenseman Don Sweeney went out and grabbed at the last second and this one isn’t primed to be such a hot move. Liles is 35 (they needed younger than that), a left-shot (they need a right shot), and an upcoming free agent who could just as easily be out of a job period if he doesn’t make an impact down the stretch. But the Bruins are banking on his experience, and knack for offense if he can find it again, to help a blue line that needs a huge shot in the arm.
We will get into where the Bruins are at after today, and how these deals fit into the overall picture soon in an upcoming blog.