Boston Bruins: How asset management leads to hockey success

VANCOUVER, BC - JUNE 15: Milan Lucic (L)
VANCOUVER, BC - JUNE 15: Milan Lucic (L) /

Boston Bruins need to sell high and buy low to turn assets into team success.

Wall Street is not the only place where the above advice makes sense.  This is also a lesson Boston Bruins management should have learned and more importantly, should be applying to this season’s team as training camp begins to wind down and we inch closer to the start of the 2017-2018 NHL regular season.

Let’s look at some examples of how poorly the Bruins have managed assets in the past.

Johnny Boychuck

Boychuck was traded to the Islanders for draft picks which in turn were traded away to Tampa Bay for Brett Conolly who proved to be a bust in Boston and walked as a free agent.  Boychuck was a top 4 defenseman and a great character guy who the Boston Bruins ultimately gave away for zilch.

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 09: Adam Pelech
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 09: Adam Pelech /

No return on investment for this asset.

Dennis Seinenberg

Seinenberg is another top 4 defenseman for a cup winner who the Bruins overpaid and eventually were forced to buy-out after the worst season of his career following major knee surgery.  This is the definition of selling low my friends.  Return on investment on this asset was nada!

Lee Stempniak

Stempniak is on a PTO at training camp and Boston Bruins management elects not to sign him and he signs with New Jersey.

So what you say?

Well Bruins management in a feeble attempt to make a run for the playoffs trades a 2017 2nd round pick and a 2016 4th round pick for the same player they could have had for a dirt cheap contract at camp that season. Two valuable draft picks gone and zero return when the Boston Bruins miss the playoffs and Stempniak walks as a free agent.

Tyler Seguin…

Need I say more?

More from Boston Bruins

This is just a small sample size and there are many more examples of the Boston Bruins management extracting little or no value from assets and being forced to swallow contracts and let players or picks go with little or no return on investment.

Not good business! Not good hockey!

Lesson learned?

With this said, the Boston Bruins have managed to draft well under Don Sweeney (thank you Keith Gretzky) and are now in the unique and enviable position of having some solid organizational depth with some highly affordable and highly sought after youth, pushing for roster spots.

So, what does this mean? It means that Don Sweeney and Cam Neely need to recognize the opportunity they have to “sell high” on players that had strong camps but may not fit into the long term plans.

Exhibit A would be Austin Czarnik. The Bruins speedy pivot has shown well in camp and there are several teams out there (New Jersey and Pittsburgh to name a few) that are in search of a 3rd or 4th line Center. Rob O’Garra would be another valuable asset in today’s defense starved NHL to consider dangling to teams in desperate need of a solid number 5 or 6 defender.

Next: Boston Bruins projected lines and pairings before the season opener

Let’s hope Bruins management can time the market and pull of a few shrewd, under the radar trades now that we might look back on at the end of the season and smile as we realize the return on investment.