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The Lowdown on the Trade

by John Bishop / Boston Bruins
BOSTON -- It sounds as if the  trade of defenseman Matt Hunwick to the Avalanche was in the works for at least a little while, but the cap space that resulted from the defenseman's departure to Colorado paid immediate cap dividends.

"This will be enough to activate Marc Savard when he’s ready to play," said Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli via conference call on Monday night. "We monitored how he practiced today and we’ll see where his conditioning is and we’ll make a determination [as to his return date] at some point, but nothing definitive at this time."

Whas is definitive is that the B's remain flush with defensive talent. Former Colorado Avalanche Colby Cohen -- aka the guy who scored the game-winner is Boston University's 2009 NCAA Championship win over the University of Miami -- just adds to a cadre of young blueliners in Boston and Providence.

"A big strong kid, right-hand shot, first-year pro," said Chiarelli. "We’ve tracked him for a while and he’s someone that he’s been on our interest list for a while, as far as young defensive prospects.

"From the perspective of trading Matt, whenever you trade a younger player, it’s not a fun thing, especially for future considerations to take someone off your roster. But Matt was a player for us, a good skater, good puck retrieval. He came up through the system, which was nice, as far as being drafted and developed. He’s a very good person and this was one of the steps that we had to take as an organization to take care of the cap situation, in order to get a player or two back.

"I do this recognizing it’s a reality that had to be done," continued the GM.  "It wasn’t fun, but we are confident in our defensive pipeline in the very near future that we can use those prospects. We’ve got three or four young D there that are pushing and use those to replace some of the stuff that Matt brought."

That said, the development of Adam McQuaid certainly helped the B's feel comfortable enough to move Hunwick.

"That was one of the things," explained Chiarelli. "One of the things also was we brought in two new defensive prospects into the mix at the trade deadline last year.

"It was [Steve] Kampfer and [Matt] Bartkowski. [Andrew] Bodnarchuk has taken a step, too. [Jeff] Penner is an NHL player, a depth player, so we’ve got players that can skate and push the puck that we feel very comfortable with.

"Now, they’re not NHL players yet, so there’s obviously a way to go for them. How long that is, we’ll see how our group goes for now," added Chiarelli. "With respect to Adam [McQuaid], he plays a solid game.

"He doesn’t bring to the table what Matt does, but he plays a solid game and he’s still young. He’s a guy that we look at to play in our six."

Boston plans to stick with the six D on the active roster, but Chiarelli did admit that other moves are coming. However, the B's GM didn't wish to speculate as to when or who might be going where or how much room the B's needed to make under the cap for the return of Marco Sturm.

"I’m going to let you 'capologists' figure that one out," said Chiarelli. "We have another move to make and I’ll leave it at that.

"Sometimes I don’t like to play all our cards."

For now, the B's deck has been shuffled, and Chiarelli hopes that the Black & Gold's hand is a good one -- particularly in light of Boston's recent on-ice issues.

"We’ve lost four of five, so you know, maybe it was time for a trade anyways," said Chiarelli. "[And] you can imagine kind of the reverberations that go through the team.

"But you know, it’s a business. We have to ice the best team we can within the parameters of the CBA and we’re going to do that, and we’ll continue to do that."
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