A couple of familiar faces to Bay State hockey fans have switched places, as the Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired former Bruin Matt Lashoff for a pair of prospects, including Danvers, Mass. native and former UMass-Amherst forward Alex Berry, in a deal announced Friday afternoon.
Lashoff, 23, was selected by the Bruins in the first round of the 2005 draft (22nd overall), but never quite developed as hoped. He spent most of his four seasons in the Bruins organization in Providence, playing just 46 games in Boston with 1-7-8 totals and a minus-7 rating.
Lashoff was dealt with Martins Karsums to Tampa Bay at the trade deadline in March, 2009 for Mark Recchi and a 2010 second-round pick, which was sent to Florida at this year?s deadline in the Dennis Seidenberg deal. While Recchi and Seidenberg have both re-signed with Boston and made significant contributions to the Bruins, Karsums finished last year in the KHL and Lashoff played just five games in Tampa last season with no points. He was 8-16-24 in 58 games with the Lightning?s AHL affiliate in Norfolk.
Lashoff will have an even tougher time cracking the Toronto blue line, where eight veterans are already vying for spots. Dion Phaneuf, Tomas Kaberle, Mike Komisarek, Francois Beauchemin, Luke Schenn, Carl Gunnarsson, Brett Lebda and Jeff Finger will all be ahead of Lashoff on the depth chart heading into camp.
Berry, 24, was picked in the fifth round of the 2005 draft by Toronto, and spent the bulk of his first full pro season last year with the Toronto Marlies, the Leafs? AHL affiliate. The 6-foot-2, 212-pound forward had 3-4-7 totals and 97 penalty minutes in 55 games, along with five assists in five games with Reading, the ECHL affiliate Toronto shares with the Bruins.
Also going to Tampa Bay is forward Stefano Giliati. He?s a Montreal native but does have a New England connection as well, having played his junior hockey in Lewiston, Maine in the QMJHL. Giliati, 22, had 3-6-9 totals in 25 games with the Marlies and 23-32-55 totals in 46 games in Reading last year after being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2008.