BOSTON — The Bruins suffered two losses on Saturday.
The overtime defeat to the Flyers with just three seconds remaining in the extra session was especially bitter in the wake of last year's playoff collapse to this same Philadelphia team last spring. But the personal loss of a close friend and teammate when Marco Sturm was traded to Los Angeles just before the game may have been even more painful.
"From my perspective it's sad because we get along well and he's a great guy," said Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. "On the team, everybody loves him, so it's tough that way.
"It was sad," added Seidenberg. "I've known him for a while. I've played with him on the [German] national team so I've known him for quite a while. Our families got along well, so it's not just the hockey part, it's the personal part. For him, I think he's got a good chance in L.A., but for us it's just bad that we lose a guy like that."
That was a common reaction around the Bruins' locker room. The players understand the realities of trades in their business, particularly in the salary-cap era. But that doesn't make it any easier to see a friend head across the country.
"Yeah, he's a great man," said center Marc Savard. "I lived in the same building when I came here and we drove together a lot and we became great friends. He's a great hockey player, so we really could have used him. I'm sure he's going to help L.A."
Seidenberg agreed with that assessment.
"I think he has to take the positive out of it," said Seidenberg. "He's going to a club that has decent cap space for next year so if he plays well he has a decent chance [of re-signing]. The other thing is [Kings GM Dean] Lombardi drafted him, so they know what they're getting and Marco knows at least that the guy likes him."
Sturm should also know that he's leaving a lot of guys who liked him.
"He's a great teammate," said forward Shawn Thornton. "I wish him all the best. Hopefully he goes to L.A. and has a ton of success and gets himself an extension and makes himself a home there. He's a great, great teammate. I can't say enough about him. In my three and a half years here, I don't know if I've met a better guy."
Thornton didn't learn of the trade until after the game, and was obviously disappointed with the news despite reports of an impending deal for more than a week.
"It's never easy when someone gets moved, but it's also out of our control too," said Thornton. "You feel for him and you offer him any help if needed for his family while they're around. But then you just accept it and move on."
It also doesn't help when the team doesn't acquire any assets back in exchange for the friend who's departing.
"It's the salary cap era, sometimes things happen that you don't like," said Thornton. "As far as who we get back, that's management's decision. It's way above my pay grade."
Bruins coach Claude Julien also has to live with managements decisions, and he too will miss the winger who led the Bruins in goals last year before suffering a knee injury in the playoffs that ended his season and has kept him from playing yet this year.
"It's another player that I think has given us a great service here over the years and it's unfortunate that he's run into so many serious injuries that's just kind of knocked him out of the game for long periods of time," said Julien. "I think we could have used a player like him had it not been for the salary cap. It is what it is and you've got to make those kinds of moves and you move on.
"He was a real good team player," added Julien. "I think he was well respected by his teammates. He was well respected by the coaching staff, and even at times when he had those injuries he was always around and finding ways to participate in the team camaraderie if you want, and he purchased some stuff one year just before the playoffs for the players and wanted to do his part and his share, so he was definitely a well-respected team player."
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