If you’re hoping that today’s trade by Toronto of Francois Beauchemin to Anaheim would give you an indication of what the Bruins are going to have to surrender to get their own new puck-moving defenseman, you’re probably out of luck.
Once again, the Maple Leafs made a trade that wasn’t a complete salary dump and wasn’t a complete move to make it look like they’re trying to contend. Sure they shed Beauchemin’s $3.8 million cap hit for the rest of this year and all of next. But in return they took on Joffrey Lupul’s $4.25 million cap hit for the rest of this season and two more beyond. The prize, obviously, for the Leafs was prospect Jake Gardiner.
Before I go any further, let me just extinguish the notion right now that Beauchemin might’ve been able to help the Bruins. If the extra year on his deal and his steep cap price aren’t enough to convince you, consider that while skating more than 23 minutes per game this season he has posted just 12 points in 54 games. He is clearly on the wrong side of his career after going through some injury problems last year.
As for the Lupul-prospect-conditional draft pick package setting some kind of market for the Bruins in their shopping, you have to consider that Leafs general manager Brian Burke has a history with the 27-year-old Lupul and believes he can resurrect his career after some major injuries and at least come close to making good on his ridiculous multi-year contract. It’s unlikely that a team would value any of the Bruins’ higher-priced, under-performing players as much.
When it comes to the Bruins prying away a solid puck-mover for the back end — and the list of available ones is quite short — those of you dreaming of the Bruins not parting with any of their higher draft picks or most-touted prospects are probably out of luck. You have to figure the Bruins are going to pay a pretty price to get their man between now and Feb. 28.