Keeping Loui Eriksson will serve Bruins well

The Boston Bruins had an interesting trade deadline.

General manager Don Sweeney did not trade pending unrestricted free agent Loui Eriksson, but also wasn’t able to sign him to a contract extension. Sweeney has said from the start that his intention is to re-sign Eriksson, and now the sides will have a little more time to talk, if that’s the next course of action.

According to league sources, the Bruins were shopping Eriksson hard. But having him in the mix will help the team’s chances down the stretch and in the postseason. Sweeney could still trade Eriksson’s rights prior to the draft, but those deals normally don’t generate huge returns.

The Bruins acquired forward Lee Stempniak from the New Jersey Devils and defenseman John-Michael Liles from the Carolina Hurricanes. Boston sent a 2017 second-round pick and 2016 fourth-round pick to the Devils for Stempniak. For Liles, the Bruins sent forward Anthony Camara, a 2016 third-round pick and a 2017 fifth-round pick to the Hurricanes.

So Boston is left with two first-round picks, one second-round pick, two fifth-round picks and a sixth- and seventh-round pick in 2016.

It’ll be interesting to see where Bruins coach Claude Julien inserts Stempniak in the lineup. He could play with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

In 63 games with New Jersey, Stempniak had 16 goals and 25 assists.