Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bruins moves

I know that Dennis Seidenberg is having a good year.

But I cannot reconcile the sense in dealing away that Tampa pick to Florida, which, when all is said and done, will probably be somewhere between 34-38 this year, for 20 games of a guy who's a marginal upgrade over Derek Morris and will be a UFA.

And Morris for a 2011 4th-round pick? What a joke. As my New England Hockey Journal colleague Douglas Flynn pointed out in his outstanding Black and Gold Blog, how does Andrew Alberts rate a third-rounder and Morris a fourth? Now, as I understand it, if Morris re-signs in Phoenix, it becomes a 2011 third-rounder, but sheesh- does anyone else feel like Peter Chiarelli got snookered on that one?

In the Army, we have a saying: lead, follow or get the hell out of the way. After today, I'm trying to figure out what to make of Chiarelli's leadership. Were the Bruins buyers or sellers today? Seidenberg strikes me as the classic "adequate" player out there. I don't want to hear about how he "changes the composition of the defense," especially since he either isn't good enough to get the Bruins into the playoffs a la Eric Weinrich in 2001, or if he does, they'll likely meet a quick and violent end in the first round when they go up against the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the East.

Here's how I see it: Chiarelli traded his marginal No. 2 in Morris for a marginal to passable No. 3 in Seidenberg, but he got poor value for Morris and gave up one heck of an asset to Florida. Seidenberg has had a good year, but here are the cold, hard facts: after 20 games, the guy could walk for zip and the Bruins will get nada for it.

I hate, hate HATE the moves Chiarelli made today, but that's the reality of what happened and there's nothing anyone can do about it except wait and see.

I will say this, though. Chiarelli is in his first major crisis as Boston GM. His team isn't good. They showed very little heart or passion in a bad loss to Montreal last night at home, and that kind of thing is unforgivable. He went out and made a lateral move today, but paid a steep price to do it. If Seidenberg were on the books for a few more years at his current rate, that would be one thing, but he's not. And, some team will probably step up and offer him a free agent deal along the lines of Morris's $3.3 million, essentially pricing him out of Boston unless PC wants to invest more capital on a pretty mediocre player.

Do I sound bitter? I dunno- today just strikes me as someone calling a plumber when their wiring was what really needed fixing. I hear Seidenberg is a good guy, but is this team appreciably better today than it was yesterday with him on board? Matt Bartkowski...I've watched Ohio State play several times this season and haven't noticed him one iota. Is the fact that he was a part of the deal supposed to engender any confidence whatsoever?

I'll be back with the draft pick slots later on. The B's now have four picks in the first 50, and I can't help but wonder why it was that the GM somehow couldn't insist that the pick he gave up was Boston's, which will be the lowest of the three? Why not just walk away from the trade and admit that this isn't the year, and the Bruins will not continue to throw more good money after bad behind a team that doesn't have enough to get the job done?

Chiarelli could have used that pick to take a project with high upside, or he could have leveraged it to get an NHL player as part of a package. Instead, he gave it up for a guy who could be posing in another team's jersey and smiling for the cameras as soon as July 1. And for what? To simply make the playoffs? Funny, but I think Bostonians have seen that movie before: it played on a regular rotation between 1995-2008. Last year was supposed to be the start of something different, which is what makes today's actions that much more perplexing.

Was Seidenberg really worth having that much to concede the price Boston paid while practically giving Morris away?

Chiarelli was the toast of the town last year and took the credit and accolades. Now, this club has his fingerprints all over it, and I've yet to see any real strategic vision to make things right. Seidenberg may just be the tip of the iceberg.


  1. I think PC got caught trying to create a little cap space to make a deal for a forward and then deemed the price too high. Bad bad move.

    And these recent college players the B's traded for? Seems like a total waste of time to me. Maybe PC should have been focusing more on getting a deal done for a scorer rather than giving away that 2nd rounder for Seidenberg.

  2. That's a pretty good read on the situation, hence my quote about "lead, follow or get the hell out of the way."

    You make a move only to pull back in failure? Get it done, or stay out of the bidding altogether, take your lumps and reload.

    Lose-lose...he now gets the worst of both worlds and deserves the criticism. It'll either be a teaching moment for him or it won't, but Boston can't afford too many more bungled trade deadline deals of this nature.

  3. The problem with Peter Chiarelli is that he gave out too many bad contracts that have come back to haunt him and the team. For example; Marco Sturm, Tim Thomas, Michael Ryder, Milan Lucic and Matt Hunwick. Many of these players (Lucic, Thomas, Hunwick and even Ryder) he could have signed for less, but he didn't. What happens when Lucic and even Krejci become a free agent? They're not going to accept less than 4 million per year that's for sure. Chiarelli also panicked and threw money at Hunwick when he did not deserve it. These contracts have "bad" written all over them.
    I completely agree that the Bruins got practically nothing for Derek Morris, especially when Alberts gets Carolina a 3rd pick. If they really wanted Seidenberg, then they could have gotten him last summer for cheap. Bottom line: Chiarelli needed to prioritize scoring and looked at defense afterward - the latter was done. They're played 61 games; Savard doesn't have a winger, there is a lack of consistency overall - time is running out.

  4. why chiarelli backed himself in a corner giving Morris a NMC is beyond comprehension....

  5. The more I think about these moves, the more I dislike them. Can't believe Chiarelli gave that 2nd rounder away. What a waste.