Originally Posted by FreeTedWilliams
At this point, they made the smart deal. If you haven't been paying attention, the Bruins have a very good, but very young core with Bergeron (setting the world on fire), and his linemates Boyes and Sturm (the old man of the group at 27, remember the name? Got him for Thornton), Stuart (another Thornton trade asset) and Boynton at 25 on defense (as well as Andrew Alberts and Milan Jurcina, just over 20), and Hannu Toivonen in goal at 22 (Raycroft wasn't traded either, though I suspect he'll be moved on draft day, or next year). The problem is a weak system outside of two defensemen who could be 3-4s in the NHL someday (Stuart and Lashoff). Wayne Primeau (the final part of the Thornton deal), Tim Thomas (kept them in the playoff hunt for awhile), PJ Axelsson (one of the best defensive forwards in the game, though he can't finish to save his life) and a few other veterans will help develop these players.
The Bruins are in a rebuilding stage. They should have been since the beginning of the season, but Jacobs always cares about the bottom line rather than fielding a truly competitive team. Sure, he wants them to make the playoffs for extra TV revenues and gate sales, but the team is built for an early exit rather than a Cup run. One problem is that they still have completely useless Alexei Zhamnov taking up a few million a year and Muzz, who's still solid at times but isn't the same without Joe centering for him, for four million a year for the next 2 years. It's doubtful they would have retained Sammy next year anyways, since he is an UFA this summer, along with Leetch, who also should've been moved at this deadline for whatever they could've got for him in picks or prospects. The Thornton trade was excellent in retrospect (I always thought he was overrated, B's needed a new direction) and this Samsonov trade, while not ideal, could still work out. Samsonov, for all his tricks and moves, could never finish like he should have been able to (and can't score in a shootout for his life) and like Joe didn't show up on some days. Reasoner is a BC boy (I hate MOC's love affair with local players) who has never really done much in the pros and he's 28 so his upside may be gone, but he's a UFA after this season so it doesn't really matter since he's got about 20 games in a Bruins uniform to audition for a paying job with someone next year. He'll center a line with Czerkawski replacing Sammy and Murray at right wing, freeing up Primeau to play on a very nice checking line with Langfeld and Axelsson.
Really, this season is pretty much over. Mathematically, they're still in it, but barring a complete collapse by the Habs, this season's in the bag. They got a prospect and a pick to let the Oilers rent Sammy, and while it wasn't one of the prospects I'd want, Stastny isn't too bad (he's already been in the B's system). I wish they had moved Leetch for a pick (probably a 4th, but anything would've been okay because it would have allowed Alberts to move into a top 6 role and stop dressing as a wing). Raycroft will be moved eventually since Thomas still has a good 5 or 6 years left assuming he is resigned (he is an UFA) and Toivonen looks like a top 5 goalie for years to come, but his value right now is very low and they do best waiting until the summer or next year to make a deal that could net a much better return than anything they'd have made this year, especially with all the goalies moving at the deadline already. Right now, MOC should hope he still has a job next year and focus on extending Toivonen, Raycroft (or letting him become a RFA, then trading his rights on draft day), Bergeron, Boyes, Boynton, and possibly Tanabe.
With some special young players on the roster, this team could be really good in a few years, just like the Celtics. Their one problem right now are weak prospects outside of Stuart, Lashoff, Kalus, Krejci, and Karsums (Stuart is in Providence, Lashoff and the three K's are still in juniors), none of whom project as stars, though Stuart could be a solid stay at home defenseman like Boynton and Lashoff a good offensive defenseman. Stastny gives them another decent forward prospect with pedigree (his father is Peter Stastny) to go along with Kalus, Krejci and Karsums, though the upcoming draft is pretty weak outside of the top 7 or so players so the pick doesn't mean much. Don't be surprised if Raycroft and the extra 2's from this trade and for comp for Lars Jonsson are used to make a big deal to move up on draft day and get a top forward like Peter Mueller. Also, with tons of cap space to work with, they will likely be big players in free agency. Hello, Zdeno Chara or Wade Redden? How about Simon Gagne?