After missing the playoffs a year ago the Boston Bruins look to be in a good position to return to the postseason in 2016. Because of that, they decided to be buyers on Monday and added forward Lee Stempniak from the New Jersey Devils and defenseman John-Michael Liles from the Carolina Hurricanes in separate deals.
For Stempniak, the Bruins gave up second (2017) and fourth (2016) round picks, while they sent Anthony Carmana, as well third (2016) and fifth (2017) round picks to Carolina for Liles.
That is an awful lot of draft picks to give up for two rentals, especially when they could have had one of them (Stempniak) before the season for next to nothing. But these moves, combined with the decision to keep Loui Eriksson, means the Bruins are willing to see what they can do this season in the playoffs.
Stempniak, who briefly skated with the Bruins before the season before signing a tryout contract with the Devils, has 16 goals and 25 assists this season and was the Devils' leading scorer before the trade. It is the third consecutive year he has been traded at the deadline after going from Arizona to Pittsburgh in 2014 and then going from the New York Rangers to the Winnipeg Jets in 2015. The Bruins will be his ninth team in the NHL.
For a player that has bounced around as much as he has, he has been able to piece together a pretty solid career for himself and should provide some nice scoring depth to the Bruins lineup. Boston is already one of the highest scoring teams in the league this season and adding another guy that is scoring at a top-six pace will not do anything to hurt that.
But for as good as the Bruins have been offensively this season, their defense has been a major sore spot. They attempted to address that with the addition of Liles but that is probably not going to be a move that makes a huge difference for them. In 64 games this season he has six goals to go with nine assists with the Hurricanes.