BOSTON — If nothing else, Peter Chiarelli deserves some credit for honesty.
The Bruins general manager could have hidden behind the vague "future considerations" listed in the release announcing the trade of veteran forward Marco Sturm to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday. Instead, Chiarelli didn't try to hide the fact that Boston will not be getting any tangible assets back for Sturm.
No players. No prospects. No draft picks. In a word, "Nothing," which is exactly the word Chiarelli used to describe the return he netted for the guy who led the Bruins in goals last season.
"It helps us with our cap situation and as far as what we got in return, it was classified as 'future considerations,' but really it's nothing," said Chiarelli. "Part of that speaks to the trading him now, versus trading him later on in the year, which we could have done also. But in fairness to Marco it'd be good to allow him to begin his journey, so to speak, at a place that is a good landing spot for him. [Kings GM] Dean Lombardi drafted him [in San Jose] and knows him quite well. They were looking for a player like that."
And the Bruins were looking for a way to fix their cap situation without disrupting the chemistry of the lineup that was off to a 16-8-3 start heading into Saturday's showdown with the Flyers at the Garden.
"Any time you trade a guy like Marco, you know him, he's a really good person," said Chiarelli. "He's a great guy. So that's going to have some impact at some point. That's why I've been trying to be as transparent as possible with you. I know you guys probably chuckle at that, but it's because I want to make sure the message gets to the team too."
Chiarelli also stated that he won't be making any other moves for the time being, saying that he would "take a step back now for a little bit." That's largely because with the trade, the Bruins are now out of any danger of going over the cap. According to capgeek.com, which Chiarelli jokingly suggested reporters check when asked about the club's exact cap figure, the team is now $288,793 under the cap with the Sturm trade and the deal sending Matt Hunwick to Colorado earlier this month.
"We've cleaned out our cap situation pretty nicely," said Chiarelli, "so I'm comfortable where we are right now."
That doesn't mean Chiarelli was exactly thrilled to have to give away a player like Sturm for nothing but cap relief.
"I mean he's a good player," said Chiarelli. "He's a real good player. There's obviously been a lot of speculation on what move we were going to do and what player. Again, [it's] a difficult thing that we had to do, but it's part of the reality of the salary cap and it's completed now."
Sturm still has to pass a final physical with Los Angeles, but Chiarelli doesn't expect any problems to arise from that. Sturm has not played yet this season after undergoing offseason knee surgery, but Chiarelli stated that Sturm is now only 5-7 days away from being ready to play.
But Sturm will now make that return 3,000 miles away in a Kings uniform.