By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Don Sweeney apparently channeled his inner Godfather leading up to Monday’s trade deadline.
In Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts column this week, he wrote that the reason Loui Eriksson remains on the Bruins is that the team was asking for a major, major return.
Boston’s ask for Loui Eriksson was big. At least a first-rounder and another strong player/prospect. The Bruins know Eriksson fits well, so only a Corleone-style “offer you can’t refuse” was going to pry him loose.
The report meshes with Jimmy Murphy’s tweet on Tuesday, which said the Bruins wanted an NHL player plus either a first- or second-round pick, plus a prospect for Eriksson.
Given the return that other plays have gotten for their teams, the asking price was high but not necessarily out of control. Last year, Curtis Glencross fetched a second- and third-rounder, Braydon Coburn fetched an NHL D-man plus a first- and third-round pick, Antoine Vermette got Arizona a first-rounder and an NHL D-man, and Keith Yandle got Arizona an NHL D-man, a top prospect, a second-round pick and a conditional first-round pick.
Obviously, all of those players play different positions and have different impacts for their teams, but Eriksson would fit among them.
Vermette might be the best comparison point, as he had 13 goals and 22 assists in 63 games for the Coyotes before getting Arizona that first-round pick and defensive prospect. Eriksson had 23 goals and 25 assists in 62 games prior to the deadline. (As a side note, Vermette went on to score zero goals for Chicago but did post 4-3-7 totals in 20 playoff games before going on to re-sign back with Arizona in the offseason, thereby making Chicago “losers” of the deal. Yet it’s hard for a team to truly be a loser when that team hangs a Stanley Cup champions banner, so that one goes down as being fairly even.)
Still, none of this explains Sweeney’s asset management. He sent a second-round and fourth-round pick to New Jersey for rental forward Lee Stempniak, and he sent a prospect, a third-rounder and a fifth-rounder to Carolina for rental D-man John-Michael Liles. Both deals might have made more sense had Sweeney acquired the high pick or picks he sought in exchange for the Eriksson deal that never materialized.
Friedman added that Boston had no intention of trading away its top prospects, hence the decision to part with those draft picks.