BOSTON – Boston Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli made the calculation that prices were so high on rental players leading up to the NHL Trade Deadline on Monday that it would be better to spend on a player the Bruins could control beyond this season.
That player turned out to be 22-year-old forward Brett Connolly, who the Bruins acquired early Monday morning from the Tampa Bay Lightning in a trade for second-round picks in the 2015 and 2016 NHL Drafts. Connolly has 12 goals and 15 points in 50 games this season.
The Bruins didn’t have a lot of maneuverability below the NHL salary cap to make a bigger trade without also trading a player with a large salary. Connolly carries a salary-cap charge of $851,000 this season, according to nhlnumbers.com.
"For us, we’re obviously under a cap crunch. But it’s just hard to get a deal done," Chiarelli said at TD Garden on Monday. "And you see that the prices are so high that it makes it prohibitive. And that’s really why we ended up going towards Connolly rather a rental. We looked really across throughout the forward rental market. He’s a young guy. He’s going to be with our group for a while. We will control his rights and he’s going to grow into a good player and he can help us now. So looking to the future but also to the present. And that’s necessitated by the prices. And what we looked at was, if we’re going to spend the picks that we’re going to spend, let’s look at all options, not just rental options."