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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bruins Acquire Rolston and Mottau from the Islanders in Exchange for Riendeau and Cantin — Who Got the Best Deal?

Bruins President Cam Neely and GM Peter Chiarelli felt that they needed to strengthen the team leading into the playoffs, and subsequently they went looking for some veteran players. Before the trade deadline they decided to surrender two prospects to the Islanders in exchange for Brian Rolston and Mike Mottau. Isles GM Garth Snow knew that his team was not going to be in the playoffs and he wanted a couple of young prospects that have the potential of being NHL players.

Let’s talk about the four players involved and see who got the best of the deal.

Brian Rolston has been at it a lot of years and was drafted in the 1st Round by the Devils in 1991. He has played for five different NHL teams (Devils, Avalanche, Bruins, Wild and Islanders) and this will be his second time as a Bruin. He is 39 years old and has put up good numbers his entire career, although his point production has been declining a little over the last four years. This year, his first one with the Isles, had been his worst by far and he only had 9 points in 49 games and was -12. I believe his big drop in offense is partly due to lack of effort and not just less ice time. He played well for the Devils last year so I am sure that he will find the energy to play for the defending Stanley Cup Champions. The Bruins made a wise decision in acquiring him as they attempt to win the Cup again. Even having him on the fourth line will help and he is good insurance in case somebody gets injured. He can play right or left wing and even center if necessary. He will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and is making a big paycheck this year at just over 5 million.

Mike Mottau is a defenseman who was drafted by the Rangers in the 7th Round of the 1997 draft. He is 33 years old and has primarily been a minor-league player but did play three successful full seasons in the NHL with the Devils from 2007 to 2010. Last year he was with the Isles but did not make the team and this year he had only played 29 games with the Isles and had 2 assists and was -10. He was born in Quincy MA, not far from Boston so he is fulfilling a dream in being with the Bruins. The Bruins only played him one game thus far while they have played Rolston three games; so, it is obvious that they obtained Mottau as an emergency measure in case some injuries develop. Mottau at least was able to play one game for the team that he loves and always wanted to play for. He will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and is only making $950 000 this year.

Yannick Riendeau is a 23 year old who looks promising and I believe that he will he make it to the NHL one day. He is only 5'11'' and 180 pounds but there is a place for smaller players if they have enough talent. In the QMJHL in 2008-2009, for the Drummondville Voltigeurs, he had 58 goals and 68 assists (126 points) in 64 games. In the three years following he was with the Providence Bruins in the AHL and the Reading Royals in the ECHL. Currently he is with the Royals and has 29 points in 31 games played. In the last two years of playoff hockey he has averaged one point a game.

Marc Cantin is a 21 year old defenseman who also looks like he could make it to the NHL. He’s 6'1'' and 200 pounds. He had several very successful years in the OHL, contributing both offensively and defensively. Last year with the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors in the OHL he accumulated 10 goals and 31assists (41 points) in 61 games. He was also +44. This year he has played with three teams, the Providence Bruins in the AHL, the Reading Royals in the ECHL, and he is currently with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers.   

Final Analysis

The Bruins want to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions and they made the right move by adding depth to the team. They surrendered a couple of good prospects and the Isles are surely thankful to get them since Rolston and Mottau were not contributing that much to the team anyway. There was no way that the Isles would have signed Rolston or Mottau next year, and the Isles are not going to make the playoffs so they saved money and also received two good prospects.

At this point in time both teams are winners. The Bruins would take a loss if Rolston is not effective and they don’t win the Cup, while the Isles cannot lose and might gain one or even two young NHL players. Just having Riendeau and Cantin in the system is a benefit.

TJ Stanley