For the scoring-starved Bruins, the ultimate prize from yesterday's meat market leading up to the 3 p.m. NHL trade deadline would have been to land Marian Hossa from Atlanta.
Pittsburgh, however, strengthened its bid for the Stanley Cup, trumping any offer the Bruins could afford.
The Penguins acquired Hossa and forward Pascal Dupuis for forwards Colby Armstrong and Erik Christensen, prospect Angelo Esposito, and a 2008 first-round pick. A Boston offer to Atlanta general manager Don Waddell most likely would have included Phil Kessel, a prospect, and a first-round draft pick.
While GM Peter Chiarelli declined to reveal whether he was in the mix for Hossa yesterday, two NHL sources said the Bruins were in play for the Thrashers' All-Star right wing. Hossa wasn't traded until five minutes before the deadline.
"It's expensive," Chiarelli said of the price Pittsburgh paid. "[Hossa] is a very good player. It's expensive. It rivals, if not exceeds, the going price for [Keith] Tkachuk and [Peter] Forsberg last year."
Chiarelli had hoped to land a top-six forward and some depth on defense. The Bruins are still hoping that Patrice Bergeron and Andrew Alberts, both recuperating from injuries, could return to fill those needs this season. Chiarelli also said he has considered prospects in Providence (Matt Lashoff and Matt Hunwick) as possible defensive reinforcements.
Chiarelli singled out Pittsburgh as improving significantly in the Eastern Conference, and said it was good for the Bruins that Buffalo shipped defenseman Brian Campbell to San Jose. Chiarelli was surprised that Montreal traded goalie Cristobal Huet to Washington for a 2009 second-round pick.
Alberts progressingAlberts skated on his own for approximately 25 minutes at TD Banknorth Garden. He is scheduled to be reevaluated Friday as he continues his comeback from a neck injury that has kept him out since Dec. 15.
Alberts has been slowed by flu-like symptoms lately. He has been experiencing headaches, but thinks they might be related to his illness instead of his neck.
"I'm slowly getting back day by day," said Alberts. "Every day, I feel better."
Once he's reevaluated, Alberts hopes to increase the intensity of his skating and jack up his weightlifting program.
No AHL for ChistovThe Bruins lost their appeal with the AHL regarding Stanislav Chistov and his 2007-08 eligibility.
They had hoped Chistov, cut loose by his Russian Super League club this month, would be cleared to play for the Providence this season. The AHL, however, has a rule under which players who have competed for a European team after Dec. 15 are not considered eligible to play in the league.
Chistov, who was due to earn $800,000 in the NHL, will become a restricted free agent at season's end. He remains under Boston's control.