Bruins trade Wideman to Florida for Horton, Campbell

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Bruins trade Wideman to Florida for Horton, Campbell

By Art Martone
CSNNE.com

The Bruins' offseason makeover began Tuesday afternoon, as the team traded defenseman Dennis Wideman and two draft choices -- its own first-round choice (the 15th overall selection) this year and a No. 3 next year -- to the Florida Panthers for forwards Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell.

Horton, a 25-year-old center, was the third overall selection in the 2003 draft and has scored 142 goals in six NHL seasons. His career high in a season is 31 (in 2006-07), and he's scored 20 or more in each of the last five years. Last season he had 20 goals and 37 assists in 65 games.

He is the jewel of the deal, as far as the Bruins are concerned.

"Nathan is big, powerful, young man," general manager Peter Chiarelli said in a statement. "He is 25 years old, has scored over 30 goals once, and over 20 goals in five consecutive seasons. He is a shooter who plays a power game."

Horton will earn 4 million for each of the next three seasons.

In a conference call, new Florida general manager Dale Tallon said that Horton had asked for a trade.

"Obviously he was frustrated with what has gone on in the past and wanted to know if we could help him out to see what is out there forhim," Tallon said. "That's how this all began. He showed frustrationand felt it would maybe be better if he was able to go somewhere else.

"I said in my introductory press conference that players want to be here will behere and players that want to play elsewhere will play elsewhere.That's what is going to happen here."

Campbell -- the son of NHL discipline chief Colin Campbell -- is a 26-year-old center who is a restricted free agent. His best year was 2008-09, when we went 13-19-32 in 77 games. He slumped to 2 goals and 15 assists in 60 games last year.

"Gregory is a hard-nosed, smart, two-way player," said Chiarelli. "He is strong in his zone and can play a variety of roles."

Wideman's disappointing 2009-10 season in Boston has been well-chronicled, and both Chiarelli and Tallon say a change of scenery may be what the veteran defenseman needs.

"Dennis had a terrific three years in Boston," said Chiarelli. "He hit a couple of bumps along the way this past year. This happens sometimes with skill players and their confidence. He rebounded to be one of our best players in the stretch run and in the playoffs. He is a clutch competitor and is one of the best passers in the game. I wish Dennis the best of luck in Florida."

"I think he was frustrated early in the year, lost some of his minutes and probably tried to do too much," said Tallon. "But he bounced back after the trading deadline and had a good finish to the season and an outstanding plauoff.

"He'll get plenty of ice time in Florida and spark the power play."

Tallon said he tried to acquire the second overall pick from the Bruins, but was rebuffed.

"There had been discussions, yes there were, but they were adamant on keeping it," he said.

Art Martone can be reached at amartone@comcastsportsnet.com.

Thursday, Jan. 19: Torts doesn't think LeBron could play hockey

Thursday, Jan. 19: Torts doesn't think LeBron could play hockey

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering if the Bruins are ever going to poop, or get off the pot.
 
*John Tortorella wants everybody to know that he thinks there isn’t a chance that Lebron James could play hockey.
 
*In the interest of self-promotion, here’s my radio hit with Toucher and Rich this morning about whether or not Claude Julien should be fired after back-to-back bad losses against the Islanders and Red Wings.
 
*How did Shane Doan arrive at an unhappy place with the Arizona Coyotes where he now is open to moving elsewhere ahead of the trade deadline?
 
*Henrik Lundqvist’s season is entering a crisis level based on what he’s done, and the diminished performance level he’s showing as a more mature goaltender.
 
*A nice piece with a Canadian hockey hero, Hayley Wickenheiser, who recounts some of the legendary moments of her career through a series of pictures.
 
*I totally respect the work that Travis Yost does, but stating the Bruins should stick with Claude Julien because their shooting percentage is bound to turn around isn’t good enough grounds to keep a floundering situation intact, in my opinion. You need to check where the shots are coming from and how many of those shot attempts are completely missing the net to get a better grasp on some of the reasons behind Boston’s dreadful 10-year low shooting percentage. That would also explain some of the reason why Julien needs to be replaced coaching a team that’s largely content on perimeter shots to do it for them while also only sporadically showing the effort required from a middle class talent type of team.

*The Lightning are struggling at Joe Namath levels right now without Steve Stamkos in their lineup, and they need that to change.
 
*For something completely different: congrats to the Boston boys in New Edition for a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.