Not five minutes after the Bruins had announced the trade of the season, acquiring Tomas Kaberle from the Toronto Maple Leafs for Joe Colborne and the team's first-round draft pick, the news broke out of Atlanta: Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart are heading south in return for C Rich Peverley and D Boris Valabik.
Wheeler and Stuart, both of whom had served as lynchpins for the Bruins' shortcomings in the first two-thirds of the season, bring a physical presence to a Thrashers team that has been missing it of late. They're reunited in Atlanta with former Bruins assistant coach Craig Ramsay.
Valabik is a throw-in in the deal and he'll report to AHL affiliate Providence, meaning Steven Kampfer is in Boston to stay. Peverley is the focus of the move, and he brings a goal-scoring mentality to the center position; he's likely to pivot the Bruins third line with Tyler Seguin and Michael Ryder upon his arrival. The Guelph, Ontario native has scored 14 goals and 20 assists on the season and has 144 points over his 253-game NHL career.
Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli had been under a remarkable amount of pressure from the front office to make moves that would a) make the team more cap-compliant and b) put them in better position to win. He did both, and now the Bruins - along with the Flyers - are back to being the cream of the conference's crop.
Whether or not that's still the case in late May remains to be seen.