BOSTON – Andrej Meszaros is excited to be joining the Bruins after being acquired Wednesday at the NHL trade deadline and called heading to Boston a “fresh start” for a veteran defenseman that had hit a wall in Philadelphia.
He was traded just ahead of the 3 p.m. trade deadline for a conditional 2014 third-round pick that becomes a second-round pick if the Bruins get to the Eastern Conference finals with Meszaros playing in two-thirds of the playoff games. The Flyers will also get additional compensation if the Bruins re-sign Meszaros beyond this season once he hits unrestricted free agency.
The 28-year-old former Ottawa Senators first-round pick has five goals and 17 points this season for the Flyers, but was scratched in 24 games for Philadelphia after questions poured in about his conditioning at the beginning of the season. Part of the issue was a logjam of NHL-caliber defenseman with the Flyers that saw them shuttling defenseman in and out of the lineup.
Meszaros said he hopes to jump right into the lineup for the Bruins on Thursday night against the Washington Capitals and clearly he’ll be motivated heading into unrestricted free agency following the season. The former Sens, Lightning and Flyers defenseman also has the versatility of playing on the left or right side, and was Zdeno Chara’s defenseman partner with Ottawa back in his best NHL season in 2005-06.
“It’s a great opportunity, a great team and a great organization that I am happy to be a part of,” said Meszaros. “Obviously, I really liked it here in Philadelphia, it was great – great guys great, organization.
“But this year it wasn’t working out for me. I wasn’t playing much, I was in and out of the lineup. So I am happy now that I have the opportunity now to play hopefully more consistently and I’m better. So I’m happy it will be a new, fresh start for me and I am really excited.”
Meszaros averaged 17:22 of ice time per game this season with the sporadic playing time while paired with highly overrated blueliner Luke Schenn. It's clear he’s not quite the same player that put up 32 points and a plus-30 in his first season with the Flyers.
But the Bruins are hoping to get a few good months out of Meszaros now that he’s over his shoulder, back and Achilles injuries, and perhaps motivated by fellow Slovakian Chara working side-by-side with him.