In a move to make cap space in anticipation of the Tomas Kaberle to Boston deal, the Bruins have traded winger Blake Wheeler and defenseman Mark Stuart to the Atlanta Thrashers in exchange for forward Rich Peverley and defenseman Boris Valabik.
Jul 08, 1982
The 28-year-old right-handed forward can play both center and wing. He ranked fourth in goals on the Thrashers before being sent to Boston. Peverley will likely see time as a third line forward. Peverley still has another year left on his contract. He makes $1.25 million this season and is scheduled to earn $1.4 million next season ($1.325 cap hit).
Czech Slovakian defenseman has spent the entire '10-'11 season with the Chicago Wolves, the Thrashers' AHL affiliate. Valabik has appeared in 80 NHL games with the Thrashers, recording 7 points (0-7-7) to go along with a -14 rating and 210 PIMs. The 25-year-old blueliner will likely be sent to Providence or serve as a depth defenseman. Valabik seems like a guy that wanted out of the Atlanta organization badly. According to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Valabik was quoted as saying the following after hearing that he was traded:
"I was thinking that if I get traded I will be the happiest guy in the world. Now, it's up to me and not anybody else."
Wheeler had an exceptional rookie season when he posted 21-24-45 totals and a +36 during the '08-'09 season. Wheeler quickly became a scapegoat for Bruins fans last year due to his reluctance to the play the body and go to the danger areas on the ice. This season Wheeler has shown improvement in all three zones, but has yet to recapture the offensive prowess we saw his rookie year. Wheeler currently makes $2.2 million and will become an RFA at the end of the season.
Mark Stuart developed a reputation as a solid physical defenseman, but after a series of injuries Stuart did not look like himself on the ice this year. Stuart's recent play coupled with the emergence of Steven Kampfer and Adam McQuaid seemed to have firmly placed Stuart in Claude Julien's dog house on the 9th floor.