Just how bad WAS the Bartkowski and Seidenberg trade with Florida?

Jared Wickerham

Sorry, Florida. And to some extent, Tampa.

On March 3, 2010, the same day the Bruins traded Derek Morris, they also traded Byron Bitz, Craig Weller, and a draft pick to the Florida for Dennis Seidenberg and some prospect named Matt Bartkowski. Three years later, on the surface, this seems like a really, really bad deal on Florida's end. Sure, draft picks can pan out to be big deals or busts, there's always a gamble there. If we're making gambling analogies though, Florida in this trade is the dude who brought $5000 to Vegas and is headed home without any of his $5000 and probably also his pants.

To Florida: Craig Weller

Craig Weller was a Providence Bruin for the hottest of seconds. He came over earlier in the 2009-2010 as part of the Chuck Kobasew trade, an exchange with the Minnesota Wild that also landed the Bruins Alexander Fallstrom (note: still with Providence) and the draft pick that would become Alexander Khokhlachev (note: also still with Providence.) Weller scored a few goals and played in a bunch of AHL games for three teams in 2009-2010. In the offseason after the Seidenberg trade sent him to the Chicago Wolves, he bolted for the UK, where he played with the Cardiff Devils of the EIHL for a season. From a couple of EIHL fans:

So that's fun. Craig Weller: NOT a successful piece of the trade for the Florida Panthers.

To Florida: Byron Bitz

Byron Bitz didn't even play hockey this season at all, you guys.

After parts of two pretty good seasons as a Bruins' fourth-liner (except that one time Claude put him on the first line...oh 2009-2010 season, you were a comedy of errors) including that one time he scored two goals and the Garden chanted we want Bitz (against FLORIDA! wow, Panthers, you are terrible), the Bruins dealt Bitz.

Since then, he's played 41 hockey games in four seasons - including a grand total of seven for Florida.

He didn't play at all in 2010-2011, then signed with Vancouver in 2011-2012, where he played 10 games in the NHL, 24 in the AHL, then dropped off the face of the earth; Bitz battled injuries his whole career. Florida: 0-for-2.

To Florida: Tampa Bay's 2010 second round pick

The Bruins acquired this pick as part of the deal that sent Martins Karsums and Matt Lashoff to Tampa for Mark Recchi. The Panthers used it to draft Alex Petrovic; they passed up Ryan Spooner, Justin Faulk, Devante Smith-Pelly, Tyler Toffoli...etc. Petrovic has played six games in the NHL so far, so maybe he'll pan out as a successful defenseman for Florida, but it's far more likely that some of these other players will develop into far better NHLers, so...yeah, sort of a fail again, Florida.

To Boston: Dennis Seidenberg and Matt Bartkowski

Is it wrong that I want Seids and Bartkowski to be a d-pair for some time just so I can laugh more at Florida?

Seidenberg was a successful NHL player before he came to Boston; he broke himself in time for the 2010 playoffs, and Bruins fans didn't think much of him until the following season, when he emerged as a solid second pairing anchor. He had career numbers that season, including a goal and ten assists in the playoffs, helping the Bruins to their first Stanley Cup since 1972.

Matt Bartkowski was the unknown in this trade, and it's looking more and more like that piece is panning out successfully for the Bruins. After two great seasons at THE Ohio State University in 2008-2009 and 2009-2010, Bartkowski made the jump to the AHL in 2010-2011. He's gotten a look at the NHL level in all three seasons since, but it's not until this playoffs that he really emerged. He played a forgettable 11 games in the regular season this year. His game has developed incredibly at the AHL level; known for his offense, he's gradually gotten better in his own end as well, to the point where he and fellow callup Torey Krug have been the anchors on the Providence blueline.

And now he has two points - including his first NHL goal - in five playoff games. Not too bad.

So yes, in conclusion: sorry, Florida. Next time you go to Vegas, please try to at least come back with your pants.

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