Depth the order of the day for Bruins at deadline

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Depth the order of the day for Bruins at deadline

Depth was the name of the game for the Boston Bruins at this years NHL trade deadline.

While last season the Bs executed deals that led to three key players in last years Cup run, its unclear whether any of the three players snagged this February will play the same kind of role this spring.

But they bring the Bs depth prior to another long playoff run that will surely test their staying power and ability to withstand injuries.

We were happy; we were fortunate to be able to get one forward. Theres a bunch of teams that were maybe trying and they didnt get what they wanted. We were fortunate to add to our depth, said Chiarelli. Anytime you have uncertain injuries you automatically think, 'Jeez I got to get deeper, I got to get deeper,' so thats what we tried to do.

The Bs started their series of transactions by locking down a versatile forward in 39-year-old former Bruins skater Brian Rolston, who in some ways is like an older version of Rich Peverley. Rolston can kill penalties, play point on the power play with his booming shot as he did during his Bruins days, and can play up and down the lineup just as Peverley does.

The big difference is clearly age. Rolston will be a little more injury-prone approaching 40 years old and he might not have the same wheels as he did pre-lockout when he was last a member of the Black and Gold. But Rolston also brings leadership qualities most will remember form his former days with the Bruins, and is a friend to Bs goalie Tim Thomas after the two grew up playing hockey together in Flint, Michigan as youngsters.

Rolston hasnt had a great year, but I feel hes a motivated player. Hes got a terrific shot, said Peter Chiarelli, who added Rolston will wear the No. 12 he donned the last time he played in Boston. He can really skate, and hell add to our depth and versatility. He can move up and down the lineup. Youve heard me say the same thing before with some of our additions and he has that big shot.

Mike Mottau has been limited to less than 30 games this season due to a nasty concussion suffered with the Islanders, but two years ago hed turned into a steady, 20-minute per night defenseman for the New Jersey Devils. Mottau and the Bruins had actually spoken about the defenseman coming to Boston as a free agent, but it didnt appear to be a good fit at the time.

Now it is for a Bruins team looking for left-handed shooting defenseman and excited to add Mottaus cerebral hockey style and ability to move the puck up the ice with precision. Best of all hes a Massachusetts native that wanted badly to get involved with the Bruins, and the recent additions of Josh Hennessy and Mottau have been a reminder that its so much better to have a couple of locals skating for the Bs.

Mottau returned to action last weekend and cant wait to get started. He may very well be in the lineup on Tuesday night against the Ottawa Senators wearing No. 27.

I always said that Id take a puck in the teeth to play for the Boston Bruins, said Mottau. Now Ill get that chance.

The Bruins surrendered ECHL talent in Marc Cantin and Yannick Riendeau to acquire the two Isles players, but had to give up Steve Kampfer in order to land 32-year-old Greg Zanon. The rugged, blue collar Zanon was described by Chiarelli as a warrior and finished second behind only Dan Girardi in blocked shots (212) last season among all NHL players. The fact he had 38 more blocked shots than Dennis Seidenberg stands as a testament to just how hard-nosed Zanon plays the game.

Hes a left-handed shot as well from the blue line and will be a viable option for Claude Julien should injuries or ineffectiveness hit the rest of the Bs defensemen crew during the postseason. Whereas Claude Julien had only Shane Hnidy and Steve Kampfer to turn to if he wanted to go away from a struggling Tomas Kaberle during last years playoffs, hell now have Zanon if Joe Corvo becomes too much of a defensive liability during the postseason.

Zanon is a terrific shot blocker; hes a real gritty competitor, said Chiarelli. Hes a warrior-type defenseman, so now we have eight defensemen in the mix now. Weve added the forward, so weve improved our forward depth. Well wait and see what happens with our two forwards (Nathan Horton, Rich Peverley) that are currently injured right now.

With the injuries and postseason mounting for the Bruins, depth was the name of the day at the trade deadline and thats exactly what the teams front office accomplished.

Haggerty's Morning Skate: Phil Kessel emotional about reaching Stanlery Cup Final

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Haggerty's Morning Skate: Phil Kessel emotional about reaching Stanlery Cup Final

Here are all the links from around the hockey world and what I’m reading while picking the San Jose Sharks over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Stanley Cup Final.

 

*Patrick Lalime hopped on sports radio in Ottawa, and said the Chris Phillips/Zdeno Chara defense pairing was the best he ever played behind.

 

*Don Cherry had a major problem with Steven Stamkos suiting up and playing in the losing Game 7 to the Penguins.

 

*Phil Kessel gets pretty emotional about finally getting to the Stanley Cup Final after years of struggle in Toronto.

 

*USA Today’s Kevin Allen says the gap between the No. 1 goaltender and the backup isn’t what it used to be.

 

*Speaking the Sharks, the trip back to Pittsburgh for the Cup Final brings back memories for Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau.

 

*PHT writer and FOH (Friend of Haggs) writer has the news about Dustin Brown getting stripped of the captaincy with the LA Kings.

 

*Bryan Rust was in the AHL to start this season, but much like Mike Sullivan and Matt Murray he killed it for the Penguins in the playoffs.

 

*For something completely different: It’s official that moving Jackie Bradley Jr. in the lineup wasn’t what killed his hitting streak.

Rodriguez to start Tuesday, Buchholz to bullpen

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Rodriguez to start Tuesday, Buchholz to bullpen

As expected, Eduardo Rodriguez will start for the Red Sox on Tuesday in Baltimore and Clay Buchholz will go to the bullpen, manager John Farrell told reporters in Toronto.

The move became apparent after Buchholz (2-5, 6.35 ERA) struggled again Thursday night, allowing three two-run home runs in an 8-2 loss to the Rockies.

Rodriguez, who hurt his knee in spring training, has yet to pitch for the Red Sox this season. The left-hander, who was 10-6 with a 3.85 ERA as a rookie last season,  made three rehab starts at Triple-A Pawtucket. 

"The bottom line is the results, and there's been a strong precedent set with that," Farrell said of Buchholz in annoucning the move. 

Blakely: No. 1 pick isn’t necessarily the road to title contention

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Blakely: No. 1 pick isn’t necessarily the road to title contention

BOSTON – Celtics fans are slowly but surely getting over the disappointment of the team not landing the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft lottery earlier this month.
 
As cool as that would have been, the conference finals serve as a reminder that while having the top pick can be a good thing, most teams have to take a different route when it comes to getting on track towards and NBA title.
 
Of the four remaining teams in the playoffs, the Cleveland Cavaliers are the only one that has truly been elevated to their current lofty status courtesy of landing the number one overall pick (first with LeBron James back in 2003 and more recently with Kyrie Irving in 2011).
 
That means the rest of the remaining field built their way up into an NBA power relying on a combination of making wise draft picks and shrewd additions via free agency and trades.
 
So much of that has to do with leverage, something the Celtics have plenty of on all three fronts.
 
They have the potential to free up enough salary cap space to sign a pair of max players, a first for this franchise. Boston also has eight draft picks in next month’s draft (three in the first round, five in the second), the most of any team leading up to the draft since it went to a two-round system in 1989.
 
Those picks plus a roster full of really good but not great talent, gives them the kind of ammunition to pull the trigger on a trade that could add that much-needed All-Star caliber talent.
 
But it’s like a high school chemistry experiment as the Celtics try to figure out the right combinations to avoid having it all blow up in their face.
 
For now, the emphasis has to be on the June 23 draft.
 
A big part of that planning process involves figuring out what to do with the No. 3 pick, the highest selection the Celtics have had since they took Jeff Green (and traded him that night) with the fifth overall selection in 2007.
 
If the Celtics keep the pick, it will certainly bring about some controversy regardless of who they select.
 
By taking Dragan Bender of Croatia, the Celtics will be selecting the youngest player in the draft (he turns 19 in November) who may take years to develop into a legitimate contributor.
 
Selecting Providence College’s Kris Dunn, arguably the best perimeter defender in this draft, seems a bit redundant considering all the guards Boston has under contract whose strengths are essentially the same as Dunn’s.
 
Buddy Hield of Oklahoma is another option. He’s the best shooter in this draft, but doesn’t provide much other than scoring. Is that really worthy of a No. 3 overall pick?
 
Regardless of who the Celtics take with the No. 3 pick (and that’s assuming they keep it and not trade it away which is indeed an option), one thing we know for sure.
 
History tells us that if the Celtics keep the pick, he will wind up being a pretty good player.
 
In the past 20 years, the No. 1 overall pick has produced 12 All-Stars.
 
Among top six picks in that same span of time, the No. 3 selection has generated the second-highest number of All-Stars (8), while the No. 2, 4, 5 and 6 picks each had five All-Stars.
 
That’s important to note because the need to have multiple All-Stars is paramount to a team’s chances at making a deep playoff run.
 
Take a look at the four remaining teams.
 
There’s the defending champion Golden State Warriors, whose roster includes a quartet of current (Stephen Curry; Klay Thompson and Draymond Green) and former All-Stars (Andre Iguodala).
 
Cleveland’s roster includes a similar breakdown of recent (LeBron James; Kyrie Irving; Kevin Love) and not-so-recent (Mo Williams) All-Stars.
 
And then there’s Oklahoma City (Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook) and Toronto (Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan) who each have a pair of All-Stars.
 
For Boston, the team's lone All-Star is Isaiah Thomas, who knows all too well that he can’t carry this team to a deep, meaningful playoff run without getting some All-Star caliber help.

The top two picks in this year’s draft – Duke’s Brandon Ingram and LSU’s Ben Simmons – are head and shoulders above the rest of the draft class, but the Celtics are in a good spot if you’re talking about adding a key piece to a potential title contender.