Boston, MA- One day after signing defenseman Dennis Wideman to a contract extension and waiving Glen Murray, the Boston Bruins were right back on the phones. Thursday, the team pulled off a trade, sending forward Pascal Pelletier to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forward Martin St. Pierre.
Pascal Pelletier was a pleasant find for the Boston Bruins organization during the 2005-06 season. Following 2002-03, the Labrador City, New Foundland native was offered a contract by the Minnesota Wild, but turned it down so he could play one more season in the QMJHL. He then entered the ECHL, and finally got his chance to move up to the AHL when Boston came calling on December 16, 2005. From that day on, Pascal's name became very well-known among fans of the Providence Bruins. In just under three full seasons with Providence, Pelletier found the back of the net 71 times, while handing out 99 assists for 170 points. The 170 regular season points were good for fifth on the all-time list, just 40 shy of Andy Hilbert's franchise record of 210. Pelts was also a clutch performer in the playoffs for the P-Bruins, as he picked up another 27 points in 29 postseason contests. During the 2007-08 season, the 25 year old got his first call-up to the big club, playing in six scoreless games for the Black and Gold.
Similar to Pelletier, Martin St. Pierre is also known primarily for his offensive numbers in the American Hockey League. Ironically, he and Pelletier were both undrafted. St. Pierre's AHL career began during the 2004-05 campaign, when he played in 18 games for the Edmonton Roadrunners. In that span, the Embrun, Ontario native managed to put up seven points. Edmonton was a good starting place for Martin, but his career really turned the corner when he signed on with the Chicago Blackhawks the following season. In 77 games with the Norfolk Admirals, St. Pierre picked up 23 goals and 50 assists for 73 points. Despite playing in 12 less games thanks to an extended stay in the NHL, those numbers went up in 2006-07. That season, Martin scored 27 goals, while dishing out 72 assists for 99 points in just 65 games. 2007-08 saw a slight dip in production, but St. Pierre continued to be an assists machine with 67 and 88 points in 69 contests with the Rockford IceHogs. Over the course of three seasons in the Chicago organization, the 24 year old saw a total of 21 games with the Blackhawks. In that time, he scored his first NHL goal, while picking up three assists.
When push comes to shove, this trade between the Bruins and Blackhawks is pretty even. One player is 24, the other is 25, so age really isn't a factor. Height can be crossed out as well, since there is only a two inch gap in between the two. Both are restricted free agents, and both have been AHL all-stars in the past thanks to their skills around the opposition net. The biggest difference between Pelletier and St. Pierre is how they get their points. Martin is much more of a passer, as he has recorded over 50 assists in three straight seasons. Meanwhile, if Pascal sees an opening on the net, he will put it there.
By trade, Martin St. Pierre is a center. Although General Manager Peter Chiarelli mentioned that this deal would add more depth to that position, St. Pierre is going to have a tough time making the team on Causeway Street. Marc Savard, Patrice Bergeron, Phil Kessel, David Krejci, and Vladimir Sobotka all have center ice experience with Boston. In all likelihood, Martin will begin the 2008-09 season playing with what looks to be a very young, but extremely exciting bunch of players in Providence.