Two Smaller Trades

ANAHEIM, CA - JANUARY 17:  Nick Boynton #4 of the Anaheim Ducks waits on the ice during a face off against the Calgary Flames during the game on January 17, 2010 at Honda Center in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

The headline grabbing deals aren’t the only ones that get made as the NHL Trade Deadline nears; teams are always looking for depth players, either near the bottom of their NHL rosters or even in the AHL.  I wanted to comment briefly on two of these smaller trades, because I’ve written about the players involved previously.

The player pictured above is veteran defenceman Nick Boynton.  Readers may remember that Boynton was placed on the waiver wire earlier this year by the Anaheim Ducks, and after nobody snagged him was placed on re-entry waivers.  I strongly suspected that someone would make a claim on the rearguard, who has appeared in more than 500 NHL games.  Needless to say, when the Ducks put him on the re-entry wire, I was shocked when he went unselected (I wasn’t alone, either).

Today the Chicago Blackhawks acquired him in exchange for future considerations, and assigned him to their AHL affiliate.  I’m a fan of the move, and Boynton could come in handy down the stretch or if the ‘Hawks go on a playoff run.

The other trade I wanted to mention saw the Edmonton Oilers send prospect Cody Wild to Boston in exchange for Matt Marquardt.  I’ve spent quite a bit of time on Wild during his time in the Oilers organization, and last year I did a detailed profile on him.  Both were late picks in the 2006 draft, and both had recently been demoted to the ECHL by their parent club.  Despite the fact that Marquardt is a forward and Wild a defenceman, Wild has outscored Marquardt at the NHL level, and despite the fact that Marquardt has played for a decent team and Wild has been stuck in the black hole of Springfield, they have a fairly comparable plus/minus.  The astute reader undoubtedly knows where this is headed.

Both are fringe prospects at this point, but it’s difficult to look at this trade and not think the Bruins got the better end of it.  While Marquardt provides a physical game that Wild does not, his offence is so close to non-existent that it’s difficult to picture him ever scoring enough to make the NHL.  Wild has good offence, needs to tighten up his defensive game, but his deficiencies aren’t nearly as career-limiting.

For more on Wild, I heartily recommend Derek Zona’s work; his take on the trade is here, his interview with Wild is here, and his take on the Oilers’ management of Wild can be found here.