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Trade: Tampa Bay acquires Benoit Pouliot from Boston

Jun 23, 2012, 10:55 AM EDT

Benoit Pouliot

Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman came into the 2012 NHL Entry Draft armed with picks and many expecting him to use them in a potential trade.

On Saturday morning, that prediction came true.

Yzerman made the first significant move of Round 2 by sending Michel Ouellet and his fifth-round pick to Boston in exchange for Benoit Pouliot.

Okay, the rights to Benoit Pouliot.

Pouliot, 25, is an impending RFA coming off a deal that saw him make $1.1 million last year with the Bruins. The former first-round pick — Minnesota took him fourth overall in 2005 — had a decent-if-unspectacular 2011-12 campaign in Boston, scoring 16G-16A-32PTS in 74 games (career highs in goals and points, by the way.)’s Joe Haggerty said the Bruins “had little intention of qualifying [Pouliot] as an RFA,” so the deal gives Yzerman a head start on negotiating  — within the parameters of restricted free agent qualifying offers, of course.

As for the fit, the deal makes sense given Pouliot’s ties to the Lightning. He briefly played under head coach Guy Boucher with Montreal’s AHL affiliate in Hamilton, along with Lightning forwards J.T. Wyman and Tom Pyatt.

  1. pastabelly - Jun 23, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    Benoit is a talented player who lack hockey sense. He belongs on a fourth line and certainly belongs in the league. But the Bruins have a fourth line and there was no room for him. I wish him well in Tampa.

    • sunking1 - Jun 23, 2012 at 11:58 AM

      I’d love to have a 4th line filled with 16G-16A-32PTS guys.

    • thesableo - Jun 23, 2012 at 1:17 PM

      I would say consistency is Pouliot’s problem, not hockey sense. He had 37 takeaways last year and only 8 giveaways, so clearly he was playing intelligently. At times he had trouble translating that into scoring chances (and at times he was f-ing brilliant). I think with the right linemates he can put up 2nd-3rd line points. There’s no guarantee he will, but he’s still worth a gamble.

  2. drewsylvania - Jun 23, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Pouliot might have turned a corner. But it makes just as much sense to trade him while his value is high. Plus, if the Bruins weren’t going to qualify him, they’re basically getting something for nothing.

    Ouellet (I think this is the proper spelling, BTW–there’s a Michel Ouelette but he appears to be out of hockey) looks like he might be decent if he returns from playing in Hamburg. And more picks are always good.

    • lordfletcher - Jun 23, 2012 at 11:55 AM

      his value high?

      an AHLer and a 5th.

  3. odj810 - Jun 23, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    I Don’t like the move. Pouliot has unbelievable ability. He was turning a corner playing for the bruins. He would have cost 2m for this year and would most likely have signed a 1 yr deal. You have the cap space sign him. You got nothing in return. It would have been a low risk high reward move to see how he further develops under the coaching staff.

  4. pastabelly - Jun 23, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    He’s not good enough to play on the Bruins 3rd line. Peverley, Kelly, and Caron or Knight should get that spot.

  5. lsxphotog - Jun 24, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    I think he’ll be a good fit in Tampa. However, Ouellet was good as well, albeit less proven. Interesting move, let’s see how it pans out. Hell, he may not even make it through camp! haha

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