Buyers and sellers face off as Bruins battle Senators
It would not be unusual for Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs fans to look on ebay to buy memorabilia of their favourite team.
But these days, you might wonder if some of the teams’ actual players may pop up on the internet auction site. As the Senators got ready to face off against the Boston Bruins at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa Friday night, both teams showed up with new faces in the line-up. The Bruins had newly acquired Chris Kelly and Tomas Kaberle wearing the black and gold for the first time.
The Senators, meanwhile, have dealt away four players, including Kelly, in the last eight days. More moves are on the way. Michael Jackson probably never even had a face lift to the magnitude of what is going on in Canada’s capital.
Kaberle (photo by del Tufo) was greeted with boos from the Ottawa crowd every time he touched the puck – once a Leaf, always a Leaf – but trailed only Zdeno Chara and Steven Kampfer in ice time. Kaberle was also a factor as the point man on the Bruins’ power play.
The Czech veteran waved his no-trade clause to go to the Bruins. He leaves Toronto as the second-leading scorer among defencemen in club history, trailing only Borje Salming.
"On behalf of our entire organization I would like to thank Tomas for all of his many outstanding contributions to the Toronto Maple Leafs on the ice, and in the community," said Maple Leafs president and general manager Brian Burke. "He has been a model citizen and it's never easy to trade a player that has conducted himself as professionally as Tomas has for the past 13 years."
The Bruins gave up a 2011 first round draft pick, a conditional 2012 second round draft pick, and Joe Colborne, who was their first round pick in 2008. Colbrone, the 21-year-old forward who spent two years playing at the University of Denver, has 12 goals and 14 assists with Providence (AHL) this season.
Kelly, meanwhile, was greeted warmly by the Ottawa crowd. The veteran Senator, who was dealt immediately after Ottawa’s shootout loss to the New York Islanders Tuesday night, received a standing ovation when a video tribute thanking him for his contribution to the community was presented during his tenure with the Senators.
Boston GM Peter Chiarelli was happy to land Kelly for a second round pick, saying that he was a character player who played a big role in Ottawa’s 2007 run to the Stanley Cup finals. Chiarelli was Ottawa’s assistant GM before taking over as GM with the Bruins. Both he and Bruins coach Claude Julien are Ottawa natives.
Kelly had 12 goals and 11 assists for the Senators before the trade, but was known primarily for his work as a defensive centre and was considered the team’s best penalty killer.
The Bruins also made a deal with Atlanta and acquired Rich Peverley and Boris Valabek for Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart. They had not yet joined the team in time to play in Ottawa.
While the Bruins added the new faces to their line-up, the Senators had to bolster their line-up with call-ups from their Binghamton affiliate. Before trading Kelly to Boston, they had dealt fan-favourite Mike Fisher to Nashville for a first round draft pick. Tjhe trade was expected, as Fisher is married to country music star Carrie Underwood. On Thursday, the club dealt Jarko Ruutu to Anaheim for a sixth round draft pick. Ruutu will join fellow Finish national team members Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne in Anaheim.
Another game day trade that brought an interesting twist to the game was Ottawa’s deal with the Colorado Avalanche that sent goalie Brian Elliott to Denver in exchange for Craig Anderson. It was the only one of the four trades that actually brought a player into Ottawa.
Senators GM Bryan Murray said that Anderson, a UFA as of July 1, was one of the players they had been eyeing. The team may sign him to a contract extension, which would enable them to send 19-year-old Swedish goalie Robin Lehner back to Binghamton for some more seasoning.
Whiel the new faces were everywhere, the most surprising face fans saw on the ice was the uber-fragile Pascal Leclaire, who has spent most of his two seasons in Ottawa on the injured reserve list. The Senators received an exemption from the NHL before the game to have Leclaire dress as Lehner’s back-up until Anderson arrived from Denver and got dressed. He appeared on the bench late in the first period, at which point Leclaire was scratched from the line-up.
While the Bruins may be finished retooling their team for the playoffs, the Senators’ personnel enema is expected to continue. Alex Kovalev, Chris Phillips and Sergei Gonchar are being shopped around, although Phillips does have a no-trade clause. Tough guy Chris Neil, another heart-and-soul character player, is another name being thrown around in rumours and speculations. Murray said that he will entertain offers on any player except injured captain Daniel Alfredsson, star centre Jason Spezza, and all-star defenceman Erik Karlsson.
Around the boards – Tampa Bay picked up defenceman Eric Brewer from St. Louis in exchange for Brock Buekeboom and a third round pick.... Defenceman Ian White went from Carolina to San Jose for a second round pick, while Derek Joslin went from San Jose to Carolina for future considerations... Defenceman Paul Mara went from Anaheim to Montreral for a fifth round pick... Does anyone remember Todd Bertuzzi? The veteran winger has four goals in his last three games for Detroit... Former University of New Hampshire star Bobby Butler has three goals in his last three games for Ottawa... Teemu Selanne has eight points (3G, 5A) in his last four games with the Ducks... Nikolai Khabibulin’s worth on the trade market is growing. He has a 2-0-0 record in his last three games with a 0.87 GAA and a .971 save percentage while playing for the last place Oilers.