"When any team doesn't win hockey games something has to change," Boston coach Dave Lewis said today.The Flames traded Andrew Ference and Chuck Kobasew to Boston for Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau. The Boston coach is right no doubt, but I expected Lewis' head to roll before trades started happening. But the inability to sign Stuart to a deal forced Peter Chiarelli's hand. Did Boston get fair value back for those 2 players? My answer is no.
Sure, Stuart has struggled in Boston this year, scoring 17 points in 47 games, and a -23 rating. I would not expect the same struggles on a successful team like Calgary. A couple years ago, Stuart had 39 points in 77 games on a good San Jose team.
The other player arriving in Calgary, Wayne Primeau will be a great 3rd or 4th line addition. Primeau had 15 points in 51 games with Boston this season.
Defenceman Andrew Ference enjoyed his best offensive season last year, scoring 31 points in 82 games. But he otherwise has not panned out as the offensive defenceman that he was in Portland in the WHL. He is a tough customer though, but just not in Stuart's class.
Right-winger Chuck Kobasew is even more of a disappointment. He scored more than a point a game in Kelowna (WHL) but has never materialized offensively at the NHL level.
It's no doubt more of a gamble by Chiarelli than for Darryl Sutter. Was there no better deal out there for Boston?
On the flipped side, the Bruins have shaved some money of their cap total. Stuart ($2.4 million) and Primeau ($1.15 million) were more costly than Kobasew ($1.2 million) and Ference ($750,000).
Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems with this deal for Bruins fans is that Boston, in a sense, now traded Joe Thornton to San Jose for Marco Sturm, Andrew Ference, and Chuck Kobasew. This may haunt the Bruins fans' minds for an eternity.
We'll see. Maybe Ference and Kobasew will suprise us. All I know is that Calgary just got better.....again.