BOSTON -- After unsuccessfully trying to deal Marco Sturm and his cap hit away to the Kings on Dec. 2, the Bruins completed the trade Saturday, sending the winger to Los Angeles in exchange for what was termed “future considerations” in the trade announcement, but according to Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was really “nothing”.
With this trade Chiarelli -- in a salary cap pinch since the summer -- was finally able to get the Bruins under the NHL’s $59.4 million salary cap. According to Capgeek.com -- the web site the Bruins GM jokingly told the media to check for their cap space figure -- the Bruins are currently $288, 793 under the cap.
While he was happy to finally have a little wiggle room, Chiarelli was sad to see an old client and friend from his days as an agent leave the team.
“Yeah, it’s been in the works a little bit, part of it due to Marco’s physical recovery [from knee surgery],” Chiarelli said. “Really, that’s the large part as to why we’ve delayed. Dealing with someone like Marco is difficult. He’s obviously a really good person and I actually, when I was an agent, I actually co-represented him, so there’s a relationship there too.
“But it helps us with our cap situation and as far as what we got in return, it was classified as ‘future considerations,’ but really it’s nothing. Part of that speaks to the trading him now, versus trading him later on in the year, which we could have done also, but in fairness to Marco it’d be good to allow him to begin his journey, so to speak, at a place that is a good landing spot for him. [Kings GM] Dean Lombardi drafted him and knows him quite well. They were looking for a player like that.”
While understanding the ramifications of the salary cap, a number of Bruins players expressed their disappointment to ESPNBoston.com that a good teammate and player was dealt away for “nothing”. But while not trying to justify the move, Chiarelli did reiterate to the media that he simply had no choice, and may have not been able to get the Bruins cap compliant later if he didn’t pull the trigger on this trade.
“No, nothing [in return for Sturm],” Chiarelli reiterated. “Keep in mind the value of cap space. That’s what you have to keep in perspective. I’m not trying to justify trading him for nothing. Of course you’d like to get a return for a good player, but that’s really the being able to do it now versus later, it helps both sides.”
Bruins center Marc Savard didn’t want to share his thoughts on the deal itself, but wanted to make it known how much the only remaining player from the 2005 Joe Thornton trade meant to him and the team.
“[Sturm’s] a great man,” said Savard, who said he exchanged goodbye texts with Sturm just before Saturday’s game. “When I came here we lived in the same building and he’s just a good friend for a while now. You hate to see him go especially not just because of that but you think he can help us on the ice too. But for cap reasons and the way it works now, that’s just the world we play in and it’s too bad.”
When reminded of Sturm’s trademark moment in Black and Gold -- the game-winning goal in the epic Game 6 of the 2008 Eastern Conference quarterfinals series with Montreal -- Savard agreed that was memorable but recalled a different moment as his favorite.
“Oh yeah, that was awesome and you look at that and it was just an example of his enthusiasm for the game, his reaction, his celebrations and that was one of many memories I have of Sturmie,” Savard answered when asked if that play stood out the most. “But I’ll remember most I think, the play when I set him up when he first returned from his first knee surgery in ’09 and him just thanking me. He was a class act. He’s going to get a great chance at a Cup there and they’re getting a great person and a great player in LA. I wish him nothing but the best unless he’s playing us.”