Bruins

Bruins trade Wideman to Florida for Horton, Campbell

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Bruins trade Wideman to Florida for Horton, Campbell

By Art Martone
CSNNE.com

The Bruins' offseason makeover began Tuesday afternoon, as the team traded defenseman Dennis Wideman and two draft choices -- its own first-round choice (the 15th overall selection) this year and a No. 3 next year -- to the Florida Panthers for forwards Nathan Horton and Gregory Campbell.

Horton, a 25-year-old center, was the third overall selection in the 2003 draft and has scored 142 goals in six NHL seasons. His career high in a season is 31 (in 2006-07), and he's scored 20 or more in each of the last five years. Last season he had 20 goals and 37 assists in 65 games.

He is the jewel of the deal, as far as the Bruins are concerned.

"Nathan is big, powerful, young man," general manager Peter Chiarelli said in a statement. "He is 25 years old, has scored over 30 goals once, and over 20 goals in five consecutive seasons. He is a shooter who plays a power game."

Horton will earn 4 million for each of the next three seasons.

In a conference call, new Florida general manager Dale Tallon said that Horton had asked for a trade.

"Obviously he was frustrated with what has gone on in the past and wanted to know if we could help him out to see what is out there forhim," Tallon said. "That's how this all began. He showed frustrationand felt it would maybe be better if he was able to go somewhere else.

"I said in my introductory press conference that players want to be here will behere and players that want to play elsewhere will play elsewhere.That's what is going to happen here."

Campbell -- the son of NHL discipline chief Colin Campbell -- is a 26-year-old center who is a restricted free agent. His best year was 2008-09, when we went 13-19-32 in 77 games. He slumped to 2 goals and 15 assists in 60 games last year.

"Gregory is a hard-nosed, smart, two-way player," said Chiarelli. "He is strong in his zone and can play a variety of roles."

Wideman's disappointing 2009-10 season in Boston has been well-chronicled, and both Chiarelli and Tallon say a change of scenery may be what the veteran defenseman needs.

"Dennis had a terrific three years in Boston," said Chiarelli. "He hit a couple of bumps along the way this past year. This happens sometimes with skill players and their confidence. He rebounded to be one of our best players in the stretch run and in the playoffs. He is a clutch competitor and is one of the best passers in the game. I wish Dennis the best of luck in Florida."

"I think he was frustrated early in the year, lost some of his minutes and probably tried to do too much," said Tallon. "But he bounced back after the trading deadline and had a good finish to the season and an outstanding plauoff.

"He'll get plenty of ice time in Florida and spark the power play."

Tallon said he tried to acquire the second overall pick from the Bruins, but was rebuffed.

"There had been discussions, yes there were, but they were adamant on keeping it," he said.

Art Martone can be reached at amartone@comcastsportsnet.com.

Postma "ready and excited" to make his Bruins debut

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Postma "ready and excited" to make his Bruins debut

BRIGHTON, Mass – It took seven games into the regular season, but it looks like Paul Postma will be making his Bruins debut on Saturday night after signing on in Boston as a free agent last summer. The 28-year-old Postma is getting into the Bruins lineup after a couple of blocked shots knocked Adam McQuaid out of the Bruins lineup with a broken leg, but it’s a moment he’s been prepared for since the end of NHL training camp.

“Those things happen. I obviously wish him the best and we’re going to miss him a lot, but it’s up to the other guys to step up and I’m going to get a chance to play now. [I’m going to] make the most of it,” said Postma, who finished with a goal and 14 points along with a plus-3 rating in 64 games for the Winnipeg Jets last season in his eighth and final year with the organization that dated back to their days as the Atlanta Thrashers. “It was a long summer and I obviously play this game because I want to get into the lineup. I’m ready and excited, and I’m excited to just play my first game as a Boston Bruin.”

Postma has pretty good size at 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, but he’s more of a puck-mover and offensive catalyst with a strong, accurate shot from the point than he would be considered a defensive stopper-type. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has to keep that in mind while building the defensemen pairs, and adjusting to also potentially being without fellow stay-at-home defenseman Kevan Miller on Saturday night as well.

The book on Postma, according to sources within the Winnipeg Jets organization, was that he could impress with the talent and skills within his game, but that he could never consistently put it together on a consistent basis. With injuries piling up for the Bruins, Postma will now get a new, fresh chance with the Bruins after serving as the seventh defenseman for the first few weeks of the season. 

“He’s working diligently to close a little quicker and understand what his assignment is. We’re more zone oriented in terms of layers [than Winnipeg] and we’re not going to chase people away from our net, so he’s had to get used to that,” said Postma, of his adjustment from the Jets system to the one that the Bruins play. “The puck-moving department will always be there. That’s one of his strengths and we’re going to expect that from him. He’s got a big shot, so he’ll definitely add some offensive blue line presence.”  

The nice part for Postma is that all of the talk and theory about how he’ll look in a Bruins uniform will be over at puck drop on Saturday night, and it will be about impressing a team full of new people where he’s looking for a permanent role.  

Morning Skate: Two sports writing legends talk Bruins

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Morning Skate: Two sports writing legends talk Bruins

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while shaking my head that’s going to be close to 80 degrees in late October today in New England. Summer clearly isn’t over around here.

*A couple of Boston sports writing legends shoot the breeze about the Bruins and hockey as Bob Ryan hosts FOH (Friend of Haggs) Kevin Paul Dupont on his podcast.

*Auston Matthews is happy to share his stick-collecting stories as a hockey-loving kid growing up in Arizona that’s now living the dream.

*The Los Angeles Kings are off to the best start in franchise history, which really seems strange given the Cup-winning pedigree that this organization has built up over the last five-plus seasons.

*The NHL has admitted that they completely botched a coach’s challenge for offside that cost the Avalanche a very important goal. This is the Pandora’s Box that you open up once you start making replay a big part of the game.

*Kailer Yamamoto is making a late push to stick around with the Edmonton Oilers for the entire season rather than be returned to junior hockey. Again, it should be mentioned that Yamamoto was Edmonton’s first-round pick this summer while the Finnish defenseman that the Bruins tapped wasn’t even a training camp invite.

*Claude Lemieux enjoys his son’s NHL debut in Winnipeg long after the notorious forward wound up his own event-filled NHL career.

*For something completely different: I think we all enjoyed Patrick Beverley taking Lonzo Ball to school in his first NBA game this week.