April 4, 2013

Analysis of the Bruins' Jagr, Redden deals

By Kirk Luedeke

Jaromir Jagr, Max Sauve, Lane MacDermid and Wade Redden were all on the move in the final 24 hours leading up to the NHL trade deadline. (Getty Images)

Jaromir Jagr, RW

What the Bruins got:

At 41, Jagr is in the twilight of a magnificent pro hockey career that has spanned 25 seasons (and counting) in the NHL, KHL/Russian Elite, Czech, Italian and German pro leagues.  The 6-foot-3, 240-pound winger isn’t the scoring force he was in his prime, but is still a dangerous player with the man advantage given his hockey sense and ability to shield the puck. Jagr’s nearly 1,400 NHL games of experience compensate for diminishing speed and skills. The B’s needed scoring, and Jagr arrives in Boston and jumps to the top of the team’s goals list with 14 tallies (tied with Brad Marchand).

Jagr won’t solve the club’s challenges on defense, nor will he bridge the sizeable chasm left if Patrice Bergeron is lost for an extended period as a result of the concussion he sustained against Ottawa this week.  However, in the wake of the Jarome Iginla fiasco, Peter Chiarelli won a moral victory in landing a player who is not only still a big name, but is producing enough offense to elevate those around him. As the old saying goes: better late than never; like Mark Recchi, Jagr may be well past his prime, but he could provide a similar boost to his old Pens mate and his mere presence injects some pride and excitement into much of the Boston fan base.

What the Bruins lost:

Lane MacDermid, 23, was a fourth-round pick in 2009 after being selected in his final year of eligibility. The son of former NHLer Paul MacDermid is a rugged, gritty forward who has progressed considerably since the B’s drafted him, but could not crack the NHL roster for an extended run. Game, tough and driven, he’ll add an edge to the Stars, but his upside is limited and while possessing a surplus of character, it isn’t clear when MacDermid will establish himself as an NHL regular.

Cody Payne was the second of two fifth-round picks (Seth Griffith) the Bruins made in last June’s draft and is an intriguing long-term project. The 19-year-old Florida native is a hard-nosed power forward in the OHL who is coming off his best season, scoring 24 goals in 66 games with the Plymouth Whalers.  Possessing underrated hockey skills and the ability to fight and stick up for teammates, this is the one departure at the deadline that Bruins fans may lament in the coming years. Still maturing, Payne is poised for a breakthrough junior season in 2013-14, but he’ll do it under the umbrella of the Stars organization. Anthony Camara’s presence made Payne somewhat redundant for the B’s, but some would argue Payne has a higher NHL upside in the long run. Time will tell.

A conditional second-round pick is not a steep price to pay for a player of Jagr’s pedigree, though the selection morphs into the top-30 if the B’s reach the Eastern Conference Final. Because the team still has an abundance of prospects in the system, losing the top-60 pick is a blip on the radar, though it does come in a projected deeper-than-average draft.

Wade Redden, D

What the Bruins got:

Like Jagr, Redden’s best years are behind him. Turn the clock back 10 years, and both of these moves would be earth-shattering deadline deals for Boston, but in 2013, they merely bolster a contender.  One of the biggest free agent busts in recent memory when the Rangers signed him to a bloated contract in 2008 only to buy him out after two years in the NHL and two more in the AHL at full price, the 35-year-old was signed by St. Louis after the lockout. With the additions of Jordan Leopold and Jay Bouwmeester, the Blues needed to move Redden, and the player taken nine picks ahead of Iginla in 1995 will bring experience if not top-four ability to Boston.

A former long-time Senator anchor known for his vision and first pass ability, Redden is a marginal NHL talent these days in terms of his overall game.  The thinking from Boston is- if he can recapture some of the old Ottawa magic with Zdeno Chara, the B’s will take it. Given the dearth of teams in a position to sell off assets and the prices commensurate with difference-making blueliners, Redden reflects the current environment and gives Boston 1,000 games of experience to lean on.

What the Bruins lost:

Seventh round pick in 2014.  Chiarelli didn’t think twice about surrendering a selection that will likely fall past 200 next year, and the Blues got something out of a free agent pickup.

Rob Flick, C

What the Bruins got:

The former Mississauga pivot was the 120th overall selection (and last pick of the fourth round) by Chicago in 2010 and has gained a reputation for being a rugged forward and a loose cannon at times.  Don’t expect much in terms of NHL upside with Flick, who provides some toughness and depth for Providence. He was never a point-per-game player in the OHL, so he’s more of a defensive, physical forward who might make it on a fourth line somewhere.

What the Bruins lost:

One of the more talented, yet frustrating prospects in Boston’s system, the team finally gave up on the oft-injured Max Sauve. When healthy, the 2008 second-rounder looked like a legitimate NHL prospect with top-six potential, but has yet to play more than 61 games in any of his three professional campaigns plus a last year in the QMJHL. At 6-foot-2 and190 pounds, Sauve has speed and quick hands to back up defenders. If he can kick the injury bug, he provides the Blackhawks with a skill option in the top-12, but it looks like it is out of the frying pan and into the fire for Sauve, who goes to the top team in hockey and will find it even tougher to crack the Windy City lineup.

Twitter: @kluedeke29
Email: kluedeke@hockeyjournal.com