So, the Bruins managed to make a solitary move at the deadline and it didn’t involve giving up Brandon Carlo, Ryan Spooner, or anyone else. It only took a conditional 6th-round pick*, which is pretty much nothing.
If Drew Stafford plays 50% or more of rest of reg. season games and playoffs and Bruins win Round 1, 6th rounder becomes 4th.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) March 1, 2017
But what exactly are the Bruins getting with Drew Stafford? Fluto Shizawa of the Boston Globe indicates that this move is just for depth and versatility at RW, with Bruins GM Don Sweeney stating that where, when, and if he plays, it will be Bruce Cassidy’s decision.
In other words, there is no rush to squeeze Stafford, acquired for a 2017 conditional sixth-round pick, into the lineup. The ex-Jet, a healthy scratch in three of Winnipeg’s last four games, is not a must-dress player. The 31-year-old right-shot forward has four goals and nine assists in 40 games. He is in the last season of a two-year, $8.7 million deal, the likes of which he will never see again upon its expiration.
Nor are the rolling Bruins in need of new blood.
General manager Don Sweeney entered Wednesday’s trade deadline with long-term needs at wing and left-side defense. Such reinforcements were not available for a price the Bruins were willing to meet — specifically, the prospects that Sweeney has spent the last two years pouring into the organization.
So Sweeney opted for the best help he could provide his surging club: depth in case of injuries that will cost, at worst, a 2017 fourth-round pick.
“That is the coach’s decision in terms of where he decides to play him, if he decides to play him,” Sweeney said of Stafford’s lineup spot. “I think he adds some versatility. We talked about it as a group over the last couple days, but that will be the coach’s decision.”
The Bruins have been remarkably healthy of late, so it appears that the addition of Stafford is more insurance rather than a necessary piece should the B’s go on a run into and through the playoffs.
Even if nothing comes of this move, the Bruins stand to lose little if Stafford doesn’t work out in the short term. Seems like Donny is pretty smart after all.