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Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli made team history by sending a 2010 third-round draft pick and a conditional fourth-rounder in next year’s draft to the Buffalo Sabres for left wing Daniel Paille (pronounced: pie-YAY) in the first-ever trade between the Northeast Division opponents.
Paille, a Welland, Ontario-native (and newlywed, Google has pointed out), comes to the team with a one-year, $1.3 million salary and unmet expectations. A first-round pick by the Sabres in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft (when current Bruins assistant GM Jim Benning was the Director of Amateur Scouting for the Sabres), Paille has yet to play up to his expected potential. The 6’0”, 197-pounder, who has one assist in two games this season, had his best year in 2007-2008, when he notched 19 goals and 16 assists in 77 games, but has only amassed 35 goals and 40 assists in 195 games, numbers hardly worthy of a first-round selection.
However, Paille’s presence will provide some quick relief to the absence of Milan Lucic, since he is strong checker (although he is not a fighter). More importantly, Paille is expected to play on the Bruins’ penalty kill, which currently ranks fourth worst in the league at 69.7% and is in desperate need of help. Paille is expected to play in Wednesday night’s game against the Nashville Predators.
Daniel Paille is not going to replace Milan Lucic or Phil Kessel, not by a long shot. While some argument can be made that he can put up Chuck Kobasew numbers, Paille is simply a cheap band-aid until Lucic returns and head coach Claude Julien can work out efficient lines with the recent call-ups of Vladimir Sobotka and Brad Marchand. Unless Paille will hit his career stride in Boston (which would be great since the Bruins need all the help they can get at the moment), don’t expect him to play in the 75 remaining games or to even stay in Boston beyond this season.