The Boston Bruins improved at the deadline. The caveat is that their improvement was marginal at best. It appears that Don Sweeney was trying to take advantage of the seller's market and trade Loui Eriksson, but when his demands for a top prospect and a first or second round pick were not met, he bargain shopped as the clock struck midnight. The Bruins ended up making two moves that raised more questions than answers. As the team tries to rebuild on the fly, Sweeney shed valuable draft picks for marginal return.
Bruins Acquire: John-Michael Liles
Carolina Hurricanes Acquire: Anthony Camara, 2016 3rd round pick, 2017 5th round pick
This was the first move the Bruins made at the deadline and it was meant to bolster their putrid blue line. Liles is a 35-year-old defenseman that has seen his offensive production drop off a cliff the last few seasons. This year, with Carolina, he posted a 6 goal, 9 assist, -3 rating in 64 games. The embarrassing part of the Bruins acquisition of Liles is that he immediately became the Bruins third best defenseman. Liles made his debut vs. Calgary on Tuesday and played solid, albeit unspectacular play on the third pairing with Adam McQuaid. Liles was on the ice for the first Bruins goal and had a solid pass out of the defensive zone to begin the scoring play. If Liles can continue to play like he did on Tuesday he will bring a calming presence to the back end at the expense of allowing the young guys to develop while the Bruins make the playoff push.
Bruins Acquire: Lee Stempniak
New Jersey Devils Acquire: 2017 2nd-round pick, 2016 4th round pick
Stempniak has played for nearly 1/3 of the NHL and earned the nickname suitcase for his efforts. Stempniak comes in and joins the first line as Bergeron's right wing, pushing the inept Brett Connolly to the fourth line. Stempniak was having a good year for the Devils with 16 goals, 25 assists, and a +3 rating but could of been signed by the Bruins this offseason without them having to give up these draft picks. Stempniak also played a decent game against Calgary and will benefit from playing with the Bruins two best players, but this move again only makes the Bruins marginally better while putting the long term direction of this team in question.
On top of these two trades the Bruins trimmed some fat at the bottom of their roster and sent Max Talbot, Zac Rinaldo, and Joonas Kemppainen to Providence. None of these guys make much of an impact on the Bruins and Rinaldo is a dirty player who was again suspended for a hit vs. the Lightning. None of these moves should turn any heads and look to be addition by subtraction.