Now that the season is over and news is dying down I've seen a few articles on this topic and figured I'd throw in my own thoughts. I remember when the trade first happened there was not a ton of support for the deal. After all Seguin was supposed to be the franchise star and most Bruins fans had not heard of Eriksson, Smith, Fraser or Morrow before. After this past season the Bruins are the clear winners of this deal. For one the Bruins got 2 top six forwards along with a future fourth or third line guy in Fraser and a top defensive prospect in Morrow while they only gave up a first line center and a third line center with a defensive prospect with years to go before he's in the NHL. The only reason this trade is even being discussed as a possible good deal for Dallas is Eriksson was hurt and missed 21 games and had hard time finding chemistry until landing on the third line. While Seguin had a career season scoring wise finishing 4th in the NHL with 84 points.
If we take a closer look at Eriksson he is a much better player then we were able to see last year. In the previous 3 full seasons he had 71,73, and 71 points and in the year before that Eriksson scored 36 goals and finished with 63 points. So clearly he has more to offer then his 37 points in 61 games this past season. With the departure of Iginla that leaves the right wing on the first line wide open for him to take which will give him the opportunity to show what he can really do. Playing with an elite passer like Krejci should show that he is a 30+ goal scorer and I wouldn't be surprised if he scored around 35 goals next season. Another huge plus to Ericsson's game over Seguin's is that he is a very good two way player which Seguin was severely lacking during his time in Boston. We all know the Bruins play a defense first game so getting a guy that fits that style but can still score as much as Seguin is a huge win. Yes Seguin might put up 80+ every year but Eriksson can easily be a 70+ guy and his two way play makes up for the small offensive advantage Seguin has. The biggest thing that makes this swap a win for the Bruins is the cap hits. Seguin has a cap hit of 5.5 million next season and 6 million for the four years after that. While Eriksson has a cap hit of 4.5 million over the next 2 years. So clearly the cap strapped Bruins are happy to save 1.5 million the next two seasons.
Now let's take a look at the Reilly Smith vs Rich Peverley part of the deal. Smith was the surprise of the season in Boston scoring 20 goals and 51 points with a plus 28 rating. While Peverley was a key addition to the Stars who lacked severely at the center position he could only play in 62 games scoring 30 points. Unfortunately Peverley's season was cut short when he collapsed on the bench from a heart problem which had to be corrected with surgery and it is unclear if he will play in the league again. Now if he is able to continue to play his production is not likely to go above the 30s especially with Spezza now on the second line. Smith however has a long NHL future ahead of him at just 23 years old with plenty of room to improve on his numbers from this past season. Smith was able to score 20 goals but had a long slump during the end of the season till he came alive in the playoffs. Having a young player that can rise in the playoffs under the pressure is huge and Smith will only get better the more he plays. Peverley was a key part of the Cup run in 2011 but his ceiling was limited with Smith we have a young player with only the sky as his limit after this past season and a long road of top 6 play ahead of him. So this was a huge win for the Bruins and hopefully we are able to sign him for a long term deal after next season since right now we are just struggling to get him under contract for this year.
Now come the prospects which include the Bruins dealing Ryan Button a defensive prospect and receiving Matt Fraser and Joe Morrow. Button spent last season split in the ECHL and the AHL. In 33 ECHL games Button scored 23 points but could only score 3 points in 26 AHL games. Button is still years away from making any meaningful NHL contributions so being able to get 2 players who could be in the NHL in the next two years is a huge win for the Bruins. First Matt Fraser who played 14 NHL games this season but was only able to score 2 goals but played better in the playoffs also scoring 2 points but in just 4 games. Fraser spent the majority of the past 3 seasons in the AHL scoring over 30 goals each season with the Texas Stars and 20 goals in 40 AHL games in Providence this past season. With the Bruins looking to create some cap space Chris Kelly could be on his way out and Fraser could possibly fit that third line wing role. If not another year of AHL hockey will just develop his skills more till he makes the jump. Morrow was a first round pick and the defenseman looks to have NHL talent but just needs some time to develop on a less stacked defensive team he could be a bottom pairing guy this season. In 56 AHL games he scored 29 points and had a minus 1 rating which isn't outstanding but it's not that bad. His last season in the WHL Morrow scored 64 points in just 62 games so he has the ability to be a good puck moving defenseman who can play a lot of power play time. A few years ago the Bruins would have loved to have him but now it seems like we have too many puck moving defensemen with Krug and Hamilton already in the NHL and a few still in Providence. As a first round pick Morrow still has value and is worth developing to see where he could be as an NHL player. Again another clear win for the Bruins in this trade.
So once we break the trade down it is very easy to see that the Bruins came out way ahead in this deal. The Stars need for a top center seems to have blinded them into sending the Bruins far more then what they were getting back. The only possible way this deal could go bad is if Seguin turns into the next Crosby which is not going to happen. You could even look back at the Kessel trade and see that because of that trade the Bruins now have Hamilton Eriksson Smith Fraser and Morrow. The Bruins know how to get value for their guys and while it may upset fans to see offensive players traded away in this case the return is far more then what was lost. Trading 1 star for a first, second, and third line winger and a NHL defenseman looks like a great deal to me. Keep checking back for the latest updates on all of your Boston teams.