Two of the Bruins’ division rivals set the market for today’s trade deadline last night — one with a signing and one with a trade.
In Ottawa, defenseman Chris Phillips made good on his vow that he wanted to stay for the long haul by signing a three-year extension with the Senators. As a pending unrestricted free agent, Phillips was coveted in trade talks despite his no-trade clause. Now he won’t be going anywhere and the price for available D-men has definitely increased.
Impact on the Bruins: Phillips was once on Boston’s radar, and might’ve creeped onto it again today depending on how the Bruins are viewing Andrew Ference’s injury. Now the Bruins don’t have to worry about Phillips bolstering any of their potential playoff foes. He’ll be a solid part of the rebuild in Ottawa, but as far as making the Sens a threat to Boston’s Northeast Division supremacy, Phillips won’t make much of an impact for some time.
The second deal involving a Northeast Division team featured Buffalo acquiring former Bruins forward Brad Boyes from St. Louis for a second-round pick. Say what you want about the Bruins’ Chris Kelly deal, but the Sabres’ ability to land someone with Boyes’ scoring touch at the same price the Bruins paid the Sens is pretty impressive. Boyes has scored just 12 goals this season after a 14-goal last year. But he’s still just 28 and scored 33 goals in 2008-09.
Impact on the Bruins: The Sabres were supposed to be done for the season once Derek Roy went down with injury. Instead, they’ve stayed in the race and have now added a potential sniper on the wing for the stretch run. The Bruins play the Sabres just once more this season, but a potential playoff match-up isn’t out of the realm of possibility. It’ll be interesting to see how Boyes responds to returning to the Eastern Conference and being in the thick of a playoff race.