The Boston Bruins have traded forwards Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverley and minor league defenseman Ryan Button to the Dallas Stars in exchange for right wing Loui Eriksson, RW Reilly Smith, defenseman Joe Morrow, and LW Matt Fraser.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: In an age where blockbuster trades are rare, this one caught a lot of folks (myself included) by surprise. Seguin was reportedly being shopped heading into the NHL Draft Weekend, but reports out of Boston subsequently claimed Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli had cooled to the idea after Nathan Horton decided to become a free agent. That he’s willing to give up on Seguin, only 21 and once considered a “can’t-miss” NHL star, suggests there’s some maturity issues with the young forward.
Chiarelli’s not stupid. He wouldn’t give up on a promising youngster for merely cap reasons. Whatever the reason, this could haunt the Bruins down the road if Seguin blossoms into a superstar. It’ll be interesting to hear the Bruins’ rationale for this in the coming days. In the meantime, the Bruins find a suitable replacement for Horton in Loui Eriksson, who’s been a consistent point producer over the past five seasons. He’s also more affordable that Seguin, carrying a $4.25 million per season cap hit to 2016. They also pick up some affordable depth in Smith (who played 37 games with the Stars last season) and Fraser (12 games with the Stars).
The Bruins will shed around $5 million, clearing up sufficient cap space to re-sign Tuukka Rask, ink Patrice Bergeron to a long-term extension which would kick in next summer, and leave additional space for another addition via trade or free agency
As for the Stars, new GM Jim Nill is proving he’s unafraid to make a bold move. Eriksson’s been the Stars most consistent scorer over the past five years, with three seasons of 70-plus points, but Nill obviously feels Seguin has more upside, possibly becoming the first line center the Stars have been lacking. If Seguin is paired with winger Jamie Benn, the duo could provide the Stars with a lethal offensive punch.
Moving out Eriksson, however, does leave them weak on right wing, especially on the first line. I don’t see Peverley going into that role, as he’s best suited for checking line work.The Stars also take on salary with this deal. In addition to Seguin’s $5.75 million per season cap hit to 2019, they also get Peverley’s $3.25 million cap hit for this coming season and 2014-15.
In the short term, this deal could favor the Bruins, but if Seguin blossoms into a superstar playing alongside Jamie Benn in Dallas, they could rue the day they made this move.