Boston: ‘We Get to Buy the Whole Bridge? That’s Wicked Awesome!’

OK.
It’s official.
I really don’t understand the new NHL.
The Bruins trading Joe Thornton to San Jose for Wayne Primeau, Marco Sturm and Brad Stuart?
That’s just shocking.
Is Boston worried about being too successful? Did they not want a big, bruising forward who can score? Why didn’t they throw in goalie Andrew Raycroft?
I think this is an example of new NHL thinking. The Bruins are struggling and the first instinct is to clear cap space, so they can bring in someone who’ll turn the team around. You know. The same way compulsive gamblers offset huge losses by betting more.
Obviously, the only way to clear cap space is to give up someone expensive, but of value. And for Boston, that was Thornton.
I never got the feeling the Bruins organization was particularly enamored with Thornton. I think they always held it against him that he actually needed time to develop as a player. So in trading him to San Jose, the Bruins have room to take on someone else (perhaps Todd Marchant from Anaheim?) and they get rid of a player they seemed to resent (or so I suspect).
And San Jose? They just got a hell of a lot better. This is an amazing opportunity for them.
PJ is all over this, as you might imagine.
Meanwhile, the Penguins placed goalie Jocelyn Thibault on waivers, as did Florida with forward Kristian Huselius.
These are the types of players who could fall through the cracks of the new CBA. Once these players clear waivers out of the NHL, if they’re called back up, another team can claim them, and their original team in on the hook for half of the salary, which counts against their cap. So if you have some cap space, and the contract isn’t awful, it almost pays to claim a player coming up off of waivers, since you’re paying half price, and sticking it to another team, or perhaps even, a division rival.
So there’s a good chance that the teams might not ever bring these players back up. And trading isn’t a much better option, since players still have to clear waivers to play for the team to which they were traded.
Krzysztof Oliwa was sent down by the Devils last month and he’s in that kind of hockey purgatory. They don’t want him playing with their AHL team because they don’t want to take ice time from developing players. So he’s just working out on his own, trying to figure out a way to sneak back into the NHL via the waiver wire.
It sounds awful.
But at least Oliwa will have some company in hockey hell.