The trade deadline can always be a tough couple hours, days, weeks for players and GMs alike. Players don't know in any given minute when they will be called to pack up and ship out to another city in a matter of hours.
Even as the time switched to 3:00 p.m., Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli was finishing up his trades, putting through last minute calls and acquiring players who thought they had made it through the deadline unscathed.
One such player, Greg Zanon, thought he was in the clear after going through a pretty normal, routine kind of day.
"It‟s definitely been kind of a crazy day, you know, obviously the trade deadline being just crazy in general and we had practice today and it was just kind of business as usual," Zanon said. "Just sitting at home with my two younger kids and, you know, the deadline had passed so I kind of figured, oh you know I made it through. Especially with some of the moves that Minnesota made earlier with [Nick] Schultz and then, you know, I got a call from Chuck Fletcher [Minnesota‟s General Manager] saying that a trade was made right at the end and it hadn't gone through yet, but you know, that I was going to Boston."
He wasn't the only one either.
In fact, the Bruins acquired two other players before the 3 p.m. deadline, but Chiarelli was taking every second he could.
With 15 minutes left to go, he picked up Brian Rolston--a former Bruins forward who has played in the league for 17 years and was placed on waivers early today. He passed through the waivers without anyone picking him up, and next thing you know, he was heading to Boston.
"I'm super excited I mean obviously going to an organization, a great organization, and a place I've been before," Rolston said. "Obviously a lot has changed since I've been there. I'm just excited to go to a team like that is close like with Claude Julien you know kind of the defense first mentality, something I'm very familiar with playing for Jacques Lemaire as many years as I have. So I'm excited about that. It shouldn't take me long to adjust to the way Bruins like to play."
Though Rolston has had a tough year, with only nine points this season and a -12 rating, both he and Chiarelli are convinced he is going to add depth to the team, and provide some veteran aspects to the game.
"When we go out and we look for these types of players that are rentals we look to see that the players are motivated, and I would put [Rolston] in that category," Chiarelli said. "I mean you are motivated for a number of reasons. One, you want to win. So, you come into a winning team that is a legitimate contender so you want to win. Two, and again I don't know if it applies to Brian but I'm sure it applies to the other two, you want to work for your next contract. But it's primarily you're motivated because you want to win. So I talked to all three of these guys and they're excited and they want to win."
While Chiarelli mentioned that he was hoping to pick up two forwards, he was pleased with the moves that he did make. With adding three new players, and without giving up a whole lot in return, he improved the depth in his lines and maintained a working machine.
Defensively, he added a couple of players that should fit right in--Rolston's teammate Mike Mottau, a native from Quincy, MA, and Greg Zanon, a defenseman acquired from the Minnesota Wild.
After losing Johnny Boychuk to a mild concussion, Mottau or Zanon will have the chance to showcase their talents and their ability to fit into the Bruins system.
Though Chiarelli didn't get his two forwards from the trade deadline, he did mention that he wanted to have eight defensemen. When Boychuk becomes healthy again, he will have the eight, though he's not sure who will play at any given time.
"What played into [the trade] though was I guess, globally, when I've seen over my time in hockey is defensemen can drop like flies, they really can," Chiarelli said. "You can never have enough defensemen and we felt we wanted to have eight NHL defensemen in the mix and that was the blueprint I was working on."
One of the defensemen, Zanon, should provide the type of play similar to that of Dennis Seidenberg. He is currently 39th in the league in blocked shots, though he has played in less than half the games as some of the top blockers in the league. He understands the tough nature of the Bruins team and realizes that he is expected to be just as physical as the other defensemen.
"Well I think, you know, obviously the Bruins are a good defensive team and you know, they play that physical style," Zanon said. "Definitely watching last year when they were making the run at the Cup, you know, they beat up on teams just with their physical play and being able to get up and down the ice the way they do. I just hope I can fit in with my physical aspect of the game. Obviously I'll do anything to try to prevent a goal and just do anything that the team needs me to do. You know, obviously they'll let me know what somewhat of what my role is going to be when I get there but the only thing I can do is come and just play the way I've played my whole career and hopefully it takes care of itself."
Meanwhile, Mottau is thrilled to be coming back to the area. Growing up in Quincy and then going to college at BC, he told the media how exciting it was for both himself and his family in the area to be coming back and playing for his favorite childhood team.
"I grew up watching the Bruins and I had a conversation with my parents and they reminded me I wanted to go to Harvard to be a carpenter and play for the Bruins," Mottau said. "Those were my two things when I was a little kid.
"I‟ll definitely embrace it only because it‟s such a great hockey town. Growing up there and having the experience of playing close to home in college and playing in some big games in the Garden – and having family and friends to be in the stands each night will be quite a thrill for me. Some people might not be able to handle that type of excitement or pressure, but I‟m definitely going to embrace it."