The Bruins didn’t make a huge move at Wednesday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline, and it seemed that they hadn’t made one at all before ESPN reported 15 minutes after the deadline that Boston had in fact made a deal.
In a swap with the Winnipeg Jets for a conditional sixth-round draft pick, the Bruins picked up a 31-year-old right wing Drew Stafford who is a pending free agent after this season.
Stafford has played on the fourth line in Winnipeg and has seen power play time, posting four goals and nine assists for 13 points and a minus-2 rating in 40 games this year. After spending the bulk of his 12-year career with the Buffalo Sabres and spending a couple seasons in Winnipeg, Stafford looks to play on the Bruins fourth line in hopes to find some production.
His best year came in the 2010-11 season with Buffalo when he had 31 goals and 21 assists for 52 points and a plus-13 rating in 62 games. He is likely an upgrade over Riley Nash or Tim Schaller on the fourth line, and he still has the ability to move up and down the lineup for wherever Coach Bruce Cassidy wishes to place him.
At 6’ 2” and 214 pounds, Stafford brings size to the right side of the ice that sees limited production from players like Nash and Jimmy Hayes. He establishes an option for the Bruins to not have to call up and rush a player from the AHL or put another player out of position.
Even if the Bruins don’t get much out of him, it’s a low risk gamble with hopes that he can regain his ability to score in high amounts. He’s a four-time 20-goal scorer in the NHL, as just last year he scored 21 goals for the Jets, and hopefully he’ll be able to find ways to put the puck in the net for the Bruins.