Bruins notebook

Chiarelli still dealing

Trade with Sabres lands forward Paille

A first-round pick in 2002, Daniel Paille never quite lived up to expectations with the Sabres. A first-round pick in 2002, Daniel Paille never quite lived up to expectations with the Sabres. (File/Associated Press
By Brendan Hall
Globe Correspondent / October 21, 2009

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WILMINGTON - Less than 48 hours after trading struggling forward Chuck Kobasew for draft picks, general manager Peter Chiarelli is at it again, trying to shake the complacency out of the Bruins.

Chiarelli traded a third-round pick and a conditional fourth-rounder in next spring’s draft to Buffalo yesterday in exchange for forward Daniel Paille. It comes two days after the Bruins sent Kobasew to Minnesota and called up forwards Vladimir Sobotka, Brad Marchand, and Guillaume Lefebvre from Providence.

Inquiries to Chiarelli and the NHL Player’s Association were not returned.

Paille signed a two-year deal worth $2.25 million with Buffalo before the 2007-08 season, and is set to make $1.125 million this season. He’ll be a restricted free agent July 1. Kobasew’s removal cleared the Bruins of $2.33 million in cap space.

A 6-foot, 197-pounder from Welland, Ontario, Paille was a first-round draft pick (20th overall) of the Sabres in 2002, when Bruins assistant GM Jim Benning was the Sabres director of amateur scouting. In that same draft, the Sabres selected Dennis Wideman in the eighth round (241st overall). Paille played on Team Canada’s silver medal winning squads in the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships in 2003 and 2004, captaining the 2004 team.

The jury is still out on whether he’ll live up to his first-round potential. He has 77 points (35 goals) in 195 NHL games. The 25-year-old has just one assist in two games this season. His best season came in 2007-08, when he registered 19 goals, 16 assists, and a plus-9 in 77 games. His numbers dipped last season, with 12 goals and 27 points in 72 games.

He’s considered a solid defensive forward while toiling on the third and fourth lines. His speed and energy can rub off on teammates - the Sabres were 14-8 in games last season in which he had at least a point.

Paille can also fill some of the physical void created by the absence of Milan Lucic, who is out 4-6 weeks with a broken right index finger. Paille has demonstrated strength on the puck and a willingness to play the body, having registered 84 hits (sixth-best on the Sabres) last season.

Paille might help shore up the Bruins’ penalty kill. Entering tonight’s game with Nashville, they sport a penalty-kill percentage of 69.7, fourth-worst in the league. Saturday night, the Coyotes took just two power play shots and scored on both. The power play has also faltered, with a 15.6 percentage for 22d in the league.

Coach Claude Julien chalked up the poor special teams play to effort and concentration following yesterday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena.

“It’s like last game, we talked about the backdoor feed coming in, we didn’t respect that, and they scored two goals from that area,’’ Julien said. “We weren’t on top of it, and when we are those goals don’t go in.’’

Another day off
Shawn Thornton was absent from practice for the second straight day. “It’s maintenance, I think he’s a day-to-day,’’ Julien said. “He’s banged up a little bit, and it was wise for us to keep him out.’’ . . . Thornton’s absence created a shuffle in the lineups at practice, with Marc Savard centering a line flanked by Marco Sturm and Mark Recchi. Sobotka was paired with David Krejci and Blake Wheeler on the second line, Marchand paired with Patrice Bergeron and Michael Ryder on the third, and Johnny Boychuk filled in on the fourth line with Steve Begin and Byron Bitz . . . Andrew Ference came off the ice an hour into practice, with a trainer holding a towel over a cut above his right eye, the result of a puck deflecting off his stick. “It’s a gash, and it’s a good one, but he’ll be OK,’’ Julien said.

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