Monday, February 05, 2007

The petit trade acquisition du jour: Brandon Bochenski

In a tip of my hat (aka toque) to our American and Canadian fans, that's my first ever half-English, half-French headline. I, too, pray it never happens again...especially since it also contained a player with a Polish last name.

In a season where a fire sale seems imminent, the B's keep making minor tweaks to their roster. This time trading Kris Versteeg and a conditional draft pick to Chicago for Brandon Bochenski. Somehow, this makes sense to Peter Chiarelli. He was seeking a pure goal scorer...which apparently Bochenski is...while in return giving up Providence's leading scorer (49 points in 43 games). The thing is, with that kind of mindset, you'd expect the Bruins to get a seasoned veteran sniper along the lines of, say, a Petr Bondra. Instead they get someone who's played 50 games over the last two years and was expendable because "because of the emergence of forwards such as Jeff Hamilton and Rene Bourque". You read that quote from PC correctly. Jeff Hamilton (24 points in 46 games) & Rene Bourque (8 points in 24 games). Maybe Hamilton I can see, but Rene Bourque? They feel more comfortable with Bochenski than giving Versteeg a shot in the bigs?

But maybe they're on to something. Hockeysfuture.com considers him a decent prospect and echo the sentiment that he's a pure goal scorer. He's also put up an impressive 33 goals and 33 assists in just 35 games while playing in the AHL. Rotowire (link for subscribers only) reports that he's a candidate to skate on the Bruins' top line with Savard and Murray. Conversely, Hockeysfuture also reports that his greatest weaknesses are his skating and his defensive game (gulp).
His greatest weakness as far as the defensive side is concerned is his positioning when attempting to defend against opposing players one on one. More often than not, he’s not where he should be and it has led to some good scoring opportunities for opposing players, particularly in the slot and crease areas.
Uh oh. So, with the defensive play the biggest question mark on this team, will Bochenski help or just further contribute to their woes? Another snippet from Hockeysfuture which is more amusing than anything else.
His draft stock suffered because of some criminal problems where Bochenski and a friend were accused of printing counterfeit money.
Hey, any chance he can enhance that skill and try to learn positive salary cap manipulation for the B's? :)

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13 Comments:

Blogger neb said...

im a little perplexed at why people are upset when we traded the providence bruins leading scorer for the ahl's leading scorer (calculated by points per game played)?

we are deep at center and shallow at pure goal scoring wings... what is not to like about this swap.

moving for a bondra is a deal for this year only and a waste of time as this season is another to be writing off for maturing and developing. if they make the playoffs (very doubtful) get these kids the experiance not some grey overpaid vet, who will bad mouth the team as he signs out of town.

1:19 PM, February 05, 2007  
Blogger Zanstorm said...

For a while there, Bochenski sure looked good in Ottawa! Hopefully he can recature some of that form in Beantown, where they are in need on something real quick..

1:21 PM, February 05, 2007  
Blogger Zanstorm said...

recapture...I meant

1:22 PM, February 05, 2007  
Blogger Doobie said...

Well, I can only speak for myself, but I'm personally wondering whether or not trading for an undeveloped sniper is the best course of action when the biggest need on your team is better defensive play.

Numbers-to-numbers, you really can't argue against trading for Bochenski. Hell, he's probably a better prospect than Versteeg who may have never made it past being a 3rd or 4th line starter in the big leagues. But the big question is exactly how he's going to fit in with this team. Thus far, Stanislav Chistov has been a bust for the Bruins and it looks like we just traded for another one of his ilk (defensive liability & undeveloped offensive potential).

Is his presence on the ice going to help this team or hurt them? The defensive play on this team is bad enough, but now we're talking about three players (Kessel, Chistov, Bochenski) with undeveloped offensive talents that, while could potentially be explosive on one end of the ice, are also going to create a great amount of turnovers, thus creating an even greater defensive headache.

But hey, for all I know, these may just be minor pieces that PC is addressing through small trades now and he plans on addressing the defense needs through free agency in the offseason, or perhaps through a Brad Stuart trade.

3:17 PM, February 05, 2007  
Blogger TreeBob said...

I am fine with the trade, but it does little to help us right now. I think these two trades are clearing a little cap space (more the Jurcina trade). The Boshenski(spelling) trade is just a minor tweak of the offence. I still maintain that the Bruins problem is not offence. We are currently going through a rough patch but I think it more a case of the team giving up. Our problem as always this year is defence. PC has to be working on something right now (otherwise he is a fool), in fact he mentioned it many times and even said Jurcina was extra cap space.

I am happy to see the new guy and I hope he'll add some youthful enthusiam to the lineup. Of course this won't happen if he's on the 4th line. Hopefully that site was right and he will be playing with Savard and Murray.

4:40 PM, February 05, 2007  
Blogger Zanstorm said...

You mean before Dave Lewis gets fired! :) Why trade for a good defenceman when your whole team defence sucks?

4:41 PM, February 05, 2007  
Blogger neb said...

right now the bruins have two defensemen signed for next year. chara and mara. i suspect that pc will be pursuing the free agent waters for defense this summer. trading away your future for defensemen for this year, well that seems a little short sighted as this team has been fataly flawed since its core of rolston, knuble and nylander were allowed to walk at the eve of the lockout. this blunder will be another year maybe two in recovery

as far as team defense this is something that can be coached (i hope)....

5:52 PM, February 05, 2007  
Blogger Doobie said...

That would only be flawed if they were trading away defensemen slated to walk after this year. I can't see any reason why they wouldn't try to trade Versteeg for either a young, solid defensive-minded player or prospect who's either a) a defenseman or b) a defensive forward. And, of course, under contract.

For all I know, they MAY have tried to make a trade like that, but were unsuccessful.

6:08 PM, February 05, 2007  
Blogger Doobie said...

Sorry, that should read "trading away *FOR* defenseman slated to walk after this year"...

9:12 PM, February 05, 2007  
Blogger number4bobbyorr said...

neb said, ... "this team has been fataly flawed since its core of rolston, knuble and nylander were allowed to walk at the eve of the lockout."

Geeze neb, Nylander was just a renta-player. He was a Bruin for what? Three months? No way he was part of a "core."

The way I look at it, the last "dynasty" lost its chance the prior year. When it failed to show any heart in the playoffs, with Jumbo Joe's dissapearing act, and that horrid loss to Montreal... that would have been the end of the era regardless of the lockout. *That* team was fatally flawed. This one is still in it's infancy.

All the lockout did was to draw out the house cleaning for an additional two years...

10:19 PM, February 05, 2007  
Blogger neb said...

nylander, rolston and knuble are all guys that mc says he wanted to sign at the end of that season....he was only allowed to sign pj stock and um...fitzgerald i think.... the flawed decision that high priced talent was going to be available for nickles on the dollar was my main point.

11:17 PM, February 05, 2007  
Blogger number4bobbyorr said...

"the flawed decision that high priced talent was going to be available for nickles on the dollar was my main point"

Quite right. But I'm beginning to suspect that MOC was just being set up as a fall guy. I also suspect that the Thornton trade was at the very least encouraged by Jacobs, if not outright demanded.

I think that perhaps this story we've been sold of MOC taking the risk that talent was going to be ripe for the picking may be a bit off mark. I think it's possible that Jacobs wanted a fresh start all along (read new GM, players, everything), and that's what he got.

10:59 AM, February 06, 2007  
Blogger neb said...

well it certainly helps make a smooth transition for your son into the corner office to clean house, so none of the "remember how it was before charlie" guys are left.....

personally i was surprised they ran joe out of town...but not dissappointed. (why was it that he was the only bruin that ever needed a "GO JOE" group in section 324)

i am one willing to give this gm and coach 2-3 years to prove their system/systems. this became a expansion franchise the second they let everyone loose for the lockout...they just didnt bother to say so.

11:31 AM, February 06, 2007  

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