Boston Bruins Add A Winger
Don Sweeney waited to exactly the last minute to pull the trigger on a trade.
The Boston Bruins receive Drew Stafford from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for a conditional 6th round pick.
Stafford is a good veteran forward who will help provide depth to the Bruins. I assume he will most likely be going on the 3rd line with Spooner and Vatrano if Spooner continues to center the line. This will mean that Hayes will either be a healthy scratch or play on the 4th line.
“I think he can play probably anywhere on the right side,” Sweeney said of the right shot forward. “Good shot, strength, can get to the net, and has power play acumen, has a good shot, so hopefully he can contribute in all those areas.”
Stafford is a 31-year-old who is in his 11 NHL season. He has played in 40 games this season for Winnipeg tallying 4 goals and nine assists. He is a guy that will add some size to the team as he stands 6-foot-2, at 214 pounds. I believe Sweeney wanted to add depth and size after seeing all of the Big guys that Montreal added. He has skated in 707 career NHL games, recording 179 goals, 213 assists for 319 points. His numbers are lower than usual this season because he is only playing 4th line minutes for the Jets.
“You’d have to ask Drew when he gets here [why his numbers have dropped off],” said Sweney. “In talking with him [on Wednesday], I think with a player like [Patrik] Laine coming into their lineup, maybe some situational opportunities were a little different for him, another pretty good player in [Nikolaj] Ehlers, and Drew had a pretty consistent scoring record until this year, so hopefully he’ll jump right back in and be somewhat invigorated.”
The Bruins now have too many forwards in Schaller, Beleskey, Nash, Moore, and now Hayes most likely all players who could play on the 4th or 3rd line. It will be interesting to see him with the Bruins Tonight against the Rangers if he is put in the lineup, but maybe not until Saturday when they play New Jersey.
Stafford is slotted to fly in some time today. According to Bruins.com he will not make morning skate, and will be here before the Rangers game.
Here is what Don Sweeney had to say about Drew Stafford:
“We’re fortunate that we were able to add Drew to our lineup,” Sweeney told reporters during a press conference on Wednesday evening at Warrior Ice Arena. “I felt that it was an area that we could add, and I was going to look to do that without pulling away into the things that we’d been committed to doing.”
Now Sweeney has the problem of does he want to play the young guys or stick with the older guys.
“Going to be somewhat performance related and where our other young players fit in along those lines,” said Sweeney, in regards to Stafford joining the team on a short-term basis. “And we have some other players that are likely to come on line here in the next little while and we’re going to evaluate them as well, where Drew fits in, but we’re staying in the moment and he’s excited about the opportunity.”
Drew Stafford is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July so he is most likely a rental, as the Bruins are trying to push for the playoffs.