After trading away Chuck Kobasew and recalling Vladimir Sobotka and Brad Marchand, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was wheeling and dealing again on Tuesday night, acquiring forward Daniel Paille from the Buffalo Sabres for Boston's natural third-round pick in the 2010 draft and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2010.
Chiarelli, coach Claude Julien and Paille were unavailable for comment on Tuesday night, though they're scheduled to address the media following the team's game-day skate on Wednesday.
But after a quick glimpse at Paille's stats, style and salary-cap hit, it's not much of a stretch to see Paille as a cheaper and younger version of the recently departed Kobasew. Kobasew, 27, was slotted to make $2.33 million this year and next and Paille, 25, is on the books for $1.35 million this season and will be up for restricted free agency next summer. Paille has yet to crack the 20-goal plateau — something Kobasew has done three times in his career — but he's shown the potential to do so, having fallen just shy when he scored a career-high 19 goals in 2007-08.
One of the Bruins' biggest problems this season has been their penalty kill. Julien said on Tuesday that he believes that deficiency is a systematic result of the team's complete game right now, but Paille could provide some help on the penalty kill. During that breakout season in 2007-08, he averaged nearly two minutes per game on the penalty kill and had three shorthanded goals.
According to one professional scout, Paille's style fits perfectly into the system Julien wants his club to get back to.
"He's a good fit for them and a responsible two-way player," the scout told NESN.com Tuesday night. "With the right center, a position at which the Bruins have depth, he could find success again in Boston. [It's a] nice pickup by Peter [Chiarelli]."
It will be interesting to see how this affects the game-day status of Marchand and Sobotka, as the Bruins may have to make one of their forwards a healthy scratch unless Shawn Thornton, absent from practice the last two days, isn't ready to go.