Last February, as the 2011 NHL trade deadline was fast approaching, many believed they knew what Bruins’ GM Peter Chiarelli was looking for; a “puck-moving defenseman”, something that had alluded the team for quite a while. For better or worse, Chiarelli brought in Tomas Kaberle, to fill that void. However, in order to acquire that defenseman, the GM had to clear some cap space. He did so by sending former first round pick Mark Stuart, and under-achieving forward Blake Wheeler to the Atlanta Thrashers, in exchange for AHL d-man Boris Valabik and forward Rich Peverley. On the surface, the deal looked to have only been made, in order to comply with the salary cap, and to accommodate the acquisition of Tomas Kaberle. However, the B’s savvy GM was well aware of the type of player Peverley is, and knew that the 29-year-old Guelph, ON native, and former 55-point scorer could provide a much bigger impact on his team, than most previously believed. Eight months later, and a Stanley Cup championship under their belts, it has become apparent which of the two deadline deals, would have more of a long-term impact, on the team.
The B’s leading scorer this year, with 2 goals in 3 games, has now recorded 6 goals and 9 assists, in 26 regular season games, as a member of the Black & Gold. Undoubtedly more impactful was Peverley’s 4 goals and 8 assists in 25 playoff games for Boston, during their memorable run to the Stanley Cup. Peverley’s impact on the team has run far deeper than just the points he has put up. #49 has proven himself to be one of the most durable players on the B’s roster, being able to be successful in every situation; whether that be playing alongside Campbell & Thornton on the 4th line, or filling in for the injured Nathan Horton, on Boston’s top line, Peverley can do it all. Peverley has also become a valuable player on the penalty-kill for Boston, as well as the power-play.
On Tuesday, Peverley’s hard work and contributions were well rewarded by Chiarelli & Co. , as he became the recipient of a 3-year contract extension, worth a total of $9.75 Million (cap hit of $3.25M per year). Peverley’s new deal also came with a no-trade clause, meaning that any trade involving #49, will have to be approved by the player. Rich seemed genuinely excited by the new deal, and the chance to play 3 more seasons in the Hub of Hockey:
“You look back, but I don’t really like looking back too much. I was given an opportunity in Atlanta that gave me a great opportunity to get my foot in the door and I came here and was lucky to fit in on a team and found a role with a team, and with a great team. I really kind of enjoy the fact of committing to an Original Six team, coming to a place where hockey is a big deal.” — Rich Peverley
Krejci Injured At Practice; Out Indefinately
Despite the struggles of Boston’s 1st line to begin this season, David Krejci has been the most consistent performer of the trio. The leading scorer from last year’s playoffs (12 goals, 11 assists) was injured yesterday during practice at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington. While the team has yet to confirm or deny the nature & severity of the injury, it is being reported that Krejci suffered injury to one of his knees. Krejci has not been given a timetable for return, but it is known that he has not made the trip to Carolina with his teammates, for Wednesday’s game against the ‘Canes. It is unknown at this point, whether or not he will join the team in Chicago, for their game on Saturday evening, at United Center.
With Krejci absent from the lineup, it is expected that 19-year-old phenom Tyler Seguin will take his place, centering Milan Lucic & Nathan Horton. Seguin has 3 assists in 3 games this season, and the Bruins hope he can provide a spark and provide some production from that top line. The success of the B’s 2nd line would be hard to tamper with at this point, so it is likely that Claude Julien wants to keep that group together. With Seguin moving up to the top line, one would expect Jordan Caron to slide into Seguin’s former position on the 3rd line, alongside Benoit Pouliot & Chris Kelly.
Bruins Set To Take On Hurricanes In Raleigh
On Wednesday evening, the Bruins (1-2-0 (2 points)) will take on the Carolina Hurricanes (0-2-1 (1 point)) , in Raleigh, North Carolina at the RBC Center, in their 1st road game of the 2011-12 season. Tonight will mark the first time defenseman Joe Corvo will face his former team, since being traded to Boston on July 5, 2011. Former B’s blue-liner Tomas Kaberle will also get his first crack at the Bruins, since signing with the ‘Canes over the off-season. The Czech native has 0 goals and 0 assists, with a -3, in 3 games for Carolina. Tonight’s Line-Up projects as this:
Tonight’s game can be heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub, the flagship station of the Boston Bruins, and can been seen on Versus, beginning at 7:30 PM. As a side note for B’s fans, Versus will be running a Stanley Cup special at 6:30 PM, for all those interested on once again reliving the glorious moments of the 2011 playoffs.
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About the Author: Boston Bruins writer for Hockey Independent. Have written for The Hockey Guys and SB Nation Boston. Follow me on Twitter @_BWoodward or shoot me an email at BWoodward.HI@gmail.com.