Another Bruin from the 2011 Stanley Cup team will have a new home in 2018-19.
As announced Tuesday by general manager Don Sweeney, the Bruins sent gritty veteran defenseman Adam McQuaid to the New York Rangers for Steven Kampfer and two 2019 draft picks (a fourth round and conditional seventh-round selection).
While Kampfer will have a second go around in Black and Gold following his first stint (from 2010-12), the trade wasn’t easy to digest for McQuaid’s now-former teammates.
“It sucks. There’s really no other way to go about it,” defenseman Charlie McAvoy said about losing McQuaid. “It’s emotional. It’s not the way you wanted to start off the year…there’s a lot of sad guys in here.”
McAvoy, who also praised McQuaid for helping his development early in his career, wasn’t the only Bruin hit hard by the development. From McAvoy to Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchand, Bruce Cassidy and Sweeney, the atmosphere inside Warrior Ice Arena was a little somber.
Kevan Miller, a good friend and similarly built defenseman — both in stature and playing style — put it best when discussing McQuaid’s impact both on and off the ice.
“He’s a good friend of mine and obviously he’s a good teammate…someone who has been great for the organization for a long time and a guy that I looked up to,” Miller said. “He’s paved the way for a lot of guys like myself. He’s been a Stanley Cup champion.
“It’s never easy. It’s part of the business, but it’s never easy to hear that kind of news…When something like this happens it’s never easy to deal with. But I wish him all the best and I know he’s going to do great over there; he’s going to be great for that room and he’s a great player. We’ll miss him here.”
Indeed the Bruins will miss McQuaid, but his trek toward a spot on the blue-line would’ve been difficult, especially after Sweeney inked John Moore to a four-year deal on July 1. That, along with McQuaid’s injury history and his healthy scratches late last year put him behind the likes of Moore, Miller and Matt Grzelcyk to nab one of the final defensive spots.
McQuaid enters the final year of his four-year contract worth $2.75 million. Kampfer will make $650,000 at the NHL level. The trade gives the Bruins more salary cap flexibility as they with roughly $5 million of projected space (via CapFriendly). They need all the flexibility they can get as McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, Ryan Donato and Danton Heinen are all on the final year of their entry-level contracts.
“Again, a very difficult day for me personally and for the organization as well,” Sweeney said.
“Adam was a tremendous Bruin and a tremendous teammate. It was a very difficult decision. We’ve gone back and forth for a little while and [were] debating whether or not to stay as is and feel very confident with our [defensive] group or allow some of the younger guys to continue to push through and feel okay about our depth.”
The business side makes sense, but McQuaid’s presence will be missed.