New team, same role problems for Big Baby


New team, same role problems for Big Baby

BOSTON -- Coming out of the game's first timeout, a song began to play over the Garden loudspeakers.

Then, a Glen Davis highlight reel flashed onto the Garden JumboTron. Here was the moment Davis had been waiting for: his video tribute.

For more than 30 seconds, all eyes were on the screen, as highlights of charges taken, shots made, and celebratory moments were shown of Davis' time in Boston.

But where was Davis? He wasn't heading out onto the court with his teammates. Instead, he emerged from the bench -- in his warmup suit -- to wave to a crowd that was standing and cheering for him. Davis pumped his fists, and smiled from ear to ear . . . at least for that moment.

Then, it was back to the bench for Baby, a place he never wanted to be on the Celtics -- never accepted.

When free agency came, Davis wanted two things: a bigger contract and a bigger role. The Celtics weren't willing to give him either.

Now almost a month into the lockout-shortened season, Davis is still trying to find -- or perhaps accept -- how he fits with the Magic.

"I don't know. I don't know yet," Davis said. "I'm in the same situation I was here in Boston, coming off the bench. Only thing I know is that, um I got paid a little bit more money. So, like I said, it's a process, it's a system I have to get used to. Then I don't know. I know what I'm supposed to do. But I don't know yet, I'm still searching."

Sure sounds like the same Big Baby that Celtics fans pulled their hair out over.

Davis finished the game with six points and 11 rebounds in 24 minutes. Brandon Bass, the player the C's got in return in the Davis sign-and-trade, tied Paul Pierce with a game-high 19 points to go along with eight rebounds in 34 minutes.

You certainly don't hear Bass wondering what his role is with the Celtics, the one he essentially took over from Davis.

But with the emergence of Ryan Anderson at power forward for the Magic, it's deja vu for Davis, who still longs for the spotlight.

"I'm looking for everything -- a different role, more money," he said. "One for two."

Sounds about right.

Haggerty: Bruins would be foolish to deal away Carlo right now

Haggerty: Bruins would be foolish to deal away Carlo right now

There’s been smoke for weeks signaling trade talks between the Boston Bruins and the Colorado Avalanche, and things are reportedly heating up with the Bruins potentially reaching a tipping point with their subpar play on the ice. According to Bleacher Report columnist Adrian Dater, things may be progressing between the two teams because the Bruins are beginning to entertain the idea of trading away 20-year-old top pairing rookie defenseman Brandon Carlo.

Bruins Director of Player Personnel John Ferguson Jrwas expected to be out in Colorado scouting the Avalanche/Blackhawks game on Tuesday night, and perhaps getting a long look at players like Gabriel Landeskog, Matt Duchene and Tyson Barrie among others.

The expectation is that 24-year-old Landeskog is in the middle of these trade discussions, and that he would be one of the players targeted by a Bruins team that could use more size on the wing, and more players that can put the puck in the net. Certainly Landeskog has done that in his brief NHL career after being a No. 2 overall pick, and has four 20-goal seasons on his resume prior to a disappointing, injury-plagued current season in Colorado.

The word around the league was that talks fizzled between the Bruins and Avs previously when Joe Sakic asked about the availability of the Colorado Springs native Carlo, and those discussions hit the same crunching roadblock that Winnipeg did in discussions with Boston about Jacob Trouba.

Perhaps that has changed in the last 24 hours after Cam Neely and Don Sweeney watched their Bruins completely no-show against the worst team in the Eastern Conference, the New York Islanders, on Monday afternoon. Now one would expect that Bruins management is getting desperate feeling that a third “Did Not Qualify” for the Stanley Cup playoffs could be in their future if they don’t make a bold, swift move to shake up their dazed hockey club.

But let’s not pull any punches here. The entire Bruins management group should be fired on the spot if they trade a 20-year-old, top pairing shutdown defenseman on an entry level contract like Carlo unless they are getting a bona fide superstar in return. Carlo, Charlie McAvoy and David Pastrnak should all be young, untouchable assets for a Bruins organization that is years away from legitimately holding a chance at a Stanley Cup.

Landeskog is not a bona fide superstar. He’s a good player that’s topped out at 26 goals and 65 points in the NHL, but he’s also the Captain on a horrendous, underachieving Avalanche team over the last three years.

If the price were right for Landeskog it would make all the sense in the world for the Bruins to deal him, but it’s a giant honking red flag that Colorado is looking to unload a player like him that’s signed for a reasonable $5.5 million price tag over the next four seasons. Teams don’t trade young players like that with term unless there’s more to the story, and that’s something the Bruins would do well to consider before giving up a player that could be a top-4 shutdown defenseman in Boston for the next 10 years.

Teams like the Bruins that are in reloading mode also shouldn’t be trading 20-year-old players for 24-year-old players that have already cashed in on their second contract. That’s exactly how the Bruins can get right back into salary cap trouble, and do it with a team that’s producing far less than the Peter Chiarelli groups that were at least still making the playoffs.  

Certainly the Bruins have other young D-men like Charlie McAvoy, Jakub Zboril and Jeremy Lauzon coming down the pipeline, but none of those defensemen are in the mold of a true shutdown D like the 6-foot-5 Carlo. With Zdeno Chara in the final few years of his career with the Black and Gold, the B’s are going to need Carlo to slide into that defensive stopper role given his size, strength, wing span and willingness to do the dirty work the D-zone.

That goes beyond the simple fact that rebuilding the back end with ALL of those young stud D-men is the best way to actually build the Bruins back up into a legitimate Eastern Conference power. 

It would be a giant mistake for the Bruins to ship away a player like Carlo with the hope Landeskog can put Boston over the hump for the playoffs this season, and perhaps ease some of the intense pressure currently weighing on Sweeney and Neely. That kind of desperate move smacks of doing it for all of the wrong reasons, and that’s one way to ensure that the Bruins will never escape the web of mediocrity that they’re currently caught in.