The 33-year-old from West Seneca has become a trade deadline tradition, having been moved on the day for the last three seasons.
On March 5, 2014 he was traded from the Calgary Flames to the Pittsburgh Penguins. A year later, he was traded from the New York Rangers to the Winnipeg Jets.
In 771 career games for the Devils, Jets, Rangers, Penguins, Calgary Flames, Arizona Coyotes, Toronto Maple Leafs, and St. Louis Blues, Stempniak has 410 points. His best season came as a member of the blues in 2006-2007, when he put up 52 points in 82 games.
Stempniak has become a quality journeyman for the NHL and he’s earned the nickname “Suitcase” because he’s been moved with such frequency. He’s been traded five times in his career and he’s learned to deal with the results.
“You realize that you got traded to a team that wants you and wants you to do well,” he said. “They want you to play to your strengths as an individual. Jumping in with both feet really helped me out so much more.”
Stempniak is a valid addition on special teams and that should be where the Bruins look to put him. He is adaptable enough to play point on the power play and he has a solid wrist shot, but he could use a little work when playing without the puck.
Right now, though, the Bruins know what they’re getting. They didn’t move Loui Eriksson, as anticipated, and it was likely a matter of price. Now they’ll work with the pieces they have and will look to play Stempniak in a depth role. It won’t alter the course of their chances, but it’s not a bad fit either.