It was an extremely minor-looking move on February 3, 2007.
The Boston Bruins traded minor-leaguer Kris Versteeg to Chicago for Brandon Bochenski.
Bochenski wasn't playing in Chicago. He played in just ten games for the Blackhawks in 2006-2007, and he was virtually invisible in those. In Boston, he made some noise, notching 11 goals and 22 points in 31 games down the stretch.
At that point, it looked like the Bruins got themselves quite a bargain.
This is exactly why we don't judge trades right when they're made. That bargain for the Bruins has turned into a steal ... for the Blackhawks.
Versteeg didn't crack the Blackhawks' lineup until this year (outside of a 13-game cup of coffee last season), but he's shown himself to be quite the young talent on a team full of young talents.
And he can rap, too.
Meanwhile, Bochenski's Wikipedia page tells you all you need to know about his career.
On January 2, 2008, the Boston Bruins announced that they have traded Bochenski to the Anaheim Ducks for Shane Hnidy and a 6th round pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
On February 26, 2008, the Anaheim Ducks announced that they had traded Bochenski to the Nashville Predators for future considerations.
On July 8, 2008, the Tampa Bay Lightning signed Bochenski to a two-year contract.
On September 25, 2008, the Tampa Bay Lightning place Bochenski on waiver for the purpose of sending him to the American Hockey League team Norfolk Admirals.
Bochenski is currently with the Admirals, where he's got eight points in 13 games.
Obviously, no one in the Boston organization could have foreseen this trade turning out like this. No way they make it if the crystal ball is actually working for them.
Imagine the difference Versteeg could make in the Bruins' lineup, compared to what Bochenski is doing for them. Versteeg is at nearly a point per game so far (six goals and ten assists in 17 games), and he's earned some time on the Blackhawks' top line. Moreover, he doesn't look out of place there. Watching the Chicago-Phoenix game last night, I'm beginning to think the Blackhawks may have something going with this kid.
My point here isn't to rip the Bruins or praise the Blackhawks. In the end, it's worth mentioning that even trades that look like total throwaway deals at the time can end up making a huge impact.
So, Who Do You Think Won the Bochenski-for-Versteeg Deal? originally appeared on NHL FanHouse on Wed, 19 Nov 2008 14:50:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.