The Boston Bruins acquired former 1st-round pick (20th overall in 1992) Daniel Paille from the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday for Boston's 3rd-round selection and a conditional 4th-rounder in 2010.
The 25-year-old left wing came from the Guelph Storm of the OHL, posting a career-best 37 goals and 80 points in 57 games in 2004 before joining the Sabres organization.
This move has B's Assistant GM Jim Benning's fingerprints on it, as he was Buffalo's director of amateur scouting in 2002 when Darcy Regier made Paille the team's top pick. Paille became an NHL regular in the 07-08 season with a 19-goal rookie season, but dipped to just 12 markers last year. In two games thus far prior to the trade, he has no goals and an assist. Oh, and in that '02 draft, Benning picked a guy late you may have heard of- Dennis Wideman- so, if the B's can capture lightning in a bottle again with Paille, this may turn out to be another one of those under-the-radar deals that Peter Chiarelli has been adept at making. Time will tell.
My friend and die-hard Bruins fan, Jeff MacKey, made an interesting point this morning that Paille was acquired at around the same age as Chuck Kobasew was when the B's picked him up from Calgary. That's not to say that Paille will go on to become the 20-goal guy Kobasew was for Boston over the last two seasons, but he's young, relatively cheap ($1.125M) and provides some speed, penalty killing proficiency and scoring potential as he enters his prime.
The downside is that the Bruins give up their third-rounder, a top-90 selection. Given that they currently have five choices in the top-60, it's not that big a loss-- you had to believe that Boston wasn't going to keep all 11 of their picks. There's also a conditional fourth-round pick involved (as long as he hits 15 goals)- I don't know if it is Carolina's or Boston's, but assuming that the B's lose one of the fourths, that leaves them with 9 picks in 2010.
For now, Paille should help with Boston's woeful PK, and if the trade can light a bit of a spark in him, he just might pop in 10-15 goals from here on out, which is nothing to sneeze at. Some Bruins fans aren't pleased with the move, but the PK needed serious re-tooling, and he'll certainly address that. With Marc Savard (broken foot) and Milan Lucic (broken finger) both out, Vladimir Sobotka and Brad Marchand will get their chance at this level. But, you have to wonder how well Boston will do without its top scorer and 2/3 of its top line out of action for the immediate future. Paille and the youngsters are not going to fix that void in the lineup.
Bruins 2010 Picks at a Glance...updated
3rd- To Buffalo for Dan Paille 10/20/09
*4th- Conditional to Buffalo for Dan Paille?
**Conditonal to Buffalo for Dan Paille? Either or- the Bruins will retain one of the fourth-rounders they currently possess.
Total picks: 10* (Conditions-based)