The Boston Bruins have traded stalwart defenseman Johnny Boychuk to the New York Islanders, first reported by Arthur Staple (and eventually confirmed by the Bruins), in exchange for draft picks. It’s a trade that will perplex Boston fans, given the central leadership and on-ice ability that the 30-year-old Boychuk brought to the team. However, given the increasingly dire salary cap problem that the team faces, a decision had to be made on how to alleviate the issue (if only temporarily).

In exchange, the Bruins will receive two second round picks (one 2015 pick from the Flyers, and a 2016 pick from the Islanders) plus a conditional third round draft choice in 2015. Of course, the conditional pick seems unlikely to be sent, given that it will only be triggered if the Islanders trade Boychuk again to an Eastern Conference team in the coming season (which seems a weirdly narrow set of conditions).

In his six seasons with the Bruins, Boychuk helped bring the Stanley Cup back to Boston in 2011, and nearly achieved the same accomplishment again with the team in 2013. Known for his thunderous slap shot (seen above), Boychuk was affectionately given the nickname, Johnny Rocket.

As for who will replace him, Bruins fans will be watching the opening seasonal games with heightened scrutiny. Their sadness at seeing Boychuk go could quickly turn to anger if the team appears to lag in physicality or toughness (two attributes that the defenseman brought to the table every night).

Featured image via Wiki Commons

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