Bruins add Stafford at Trade Deadline

Many expected the B’s to stand pat at the trade deadline due to the team’s current success, 7-1-0 since Interim Head Coach Bruce Cassidy took over. Another reason for this train of thought was the fact that the Bruins might have to give up substantial to bring in a player that in all likelihood be a rental player and Don Sweeney has made it clear that the B’s aren’t interested to bringing in those types of players. The deadline came and went without the Bruins making a move, but about 15 minutes later reports came out that the Bruins had acquired a forward. This mystery forward turned out to be Winnipeg Jets forward Drew Stafford, veteran of ten years in the NHL primarily with the Buffalo Sabres. Going to Winnipeg in exchange was a conditional sixth round draft pick. In 40 games this season Stafford has four goals and nine assists for 13 points, including 3 points on the powerplay. Not very impressive statistics for the 31 year-old but he was stuck behind a number of very talented forwards in Winnipeg such as Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele. Beyond being dealt to Winnipeg during the 2014-15 season, Stafford spent eight and a half years in Buffalo typically averaging about 40-50 points a season. By no means is he coming in as a guy that’s gonna step up on the first two lines as the B’s are pretty much set in that area. Stafford I would expect will be slid into the third line working with Frank Vatrano and Ryan Spooner. Jimmy Hayes might see his playing time diminish a little bit but I think with the coaching change, the Bruins feel Hayes still can give them something. Stafford gives the Bruins some much needed depth on the right side of their forward group and should expect to be a pretty significant part of the Bruins push to the playoffs. Expect Hayes and Stafford to split time on that third line right wing spot, I would also not be surprised to see the B’s put Stafford on the second powerplay unit as he has a good, accurate shot. Not a huge move by the Bruins, but it could pay dividends down the line as the team aims to get back into the postseason for the first time in three seasons.

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