If the Bruins reach the Eastern Conference finals this year, the pick turns into a first-rounder.
In any case, it is not a steal, but it is a fair price, especially if Jagr’s addition nets at least that trip to the Eastern finals. MacDermid is likely a third- or fourth-line NHLer. Payne, a fifth-round pick in 2012, has blossomed this year in junior.
All in all, to acquire a Hall-of-Famer to be, it meant Chiarelli had to sacrifice some treasure.
“The prices are so high,’’ said Chiarelli, when asked if he knew what other clubs might have chased Jagr, “and you have to judge [what other teams] are in on it. It’s difficult. But he’s a great player.’’
With less than 24 hours to go before the trade deadline, Chiarelli remains on the hunt.
“You are never finished,’’ he said.
His focus right now has to be on the back line. Chiarelli says he is happy with his group of blue liners, noting how newcomer Matt Bartkowski (nearly dealt for Jarome Iginla last week) has helped back there. But the defense needs a lift, help moving the puck.
Slow afoot and slow in transition from the back end, the Bruins haven’t forced other clubs into penalties.
Headed into Tuesday night’s game, Boston ranked dead last in total power-play chances (92), compared with the speedy Canadiens, who led the league with 150. Jagr won’t help the flow from out of the zone. He stands to benefit if Chiarelli can find a fix.
It’s basic NHL anatomy: the back line is connected to the front line.
“I’m probably leaning more to our defense,’’ said Chiarelli.
So stay tuned.
There’s a future Hall of Famer about to arrive in town and still a few hours for Chiarelli to work the phone.
Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.