On Tuesday, September 11, 2018, the Boston Bruins announced the trade of defenseman Adam McQuaid to the New York Rangers in return for Steven Kampfer, a 4th round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and a conditional 7th round pick in 2019.
McQuaid was acquired in 2007 from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for a 5th round pick. His 11 years with the Boston Bruins sum up his professional career to date, having not skated with any other NHL team.
The 6’4” native from Prince Edward Island was on the Bruins team that brought the Stanley Cup back to Boston in 2011. McQuaid was not afraid to throw himself in the direct path of a puck regardless of the speed with which it was hurtling toward his team’s goal. Many have commented that he wore his heart on his sleeve. His quiet demeanor off the ice was unexpected given his fierce competitive nature on the ice; including his willingness to drop the gloves to protect his teammates.
“Very difficult day for me personally and for the organization as well,” said Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney. “We want to thank Adam. He was a tremendous Bruin, a tremendous teammate—very difficult decision. I was there every step of the way. And as I said, it was a difficult decision because of what he meant to the Boston Bruins and will always mean to the Boston Bruins.”
McQuaid was willing to help the up and coming prospects. Though he often deferred questions about his leadership abilities, it was clear that the young players admired McQuaid and appreciated all that he shared.
“I’m so happy, I’m so thankful, blessed to call him a teammate and to have been able to play with him and become friends with him. I learned a lot from him,” shared Charlie McAvoy. “He’s just so selfless, it’s insane. It’s so refreshing—he’ll do anything for you, literally anything. You can lean on [McQuaid] and you know that and he makes that pretty obvious.”
It is these intangibles that may not be replaceable. There is no way to know until the 2018-19 roster is in place and the Bruins take to the ice. Hopefully there are those on the team who will step up and take on the qualities that McQuaid brought to the bench, the ice, and the locker room.
If the player who is coming the other way sounds familiar, that is because he was once a Bruin. Kampfer played his first game for the Boston Bruins on December 9, 2010 against the New York Islanders. He played four years with the University of Michigan until 2010, and after that he went on to play with the Providence Bruins in the spring of his senior year. Though he was originally drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in 2007, he was traded to the Bruin in March, 2010.
Since turning pro, the Ann Arbor, Michigan native has played eight years including 249 AHL games—where he amassed 27 goals and 81 assists for 108 points—and 166 NHL games—notching 10 goals and 26 assists for 36 points. After his first stint with the Bruins, he was traded to the Minnesota Wild at the trade deadling in 2012, and played with them and their AHL affiliated Houston Aeros and then the Iowa Wild. He spent almost three seasons with the Florida Panthers organization, playing both at the NHL and with their AHL San Antonio Rampage. He was traded to the New York Rangers in November, 2016 and has played with them and their AHL affiliated Hartford Wolf Pack since.
One of the biggest questions heard after the announcement was—why this trade? It would appear that the business side of the game forced the move—a salary dump of McQuaid’s $2.4 million contract for the much more modest $650,000 for Kampfer. Whether or not the 5’11” defenseman will play in Boston or Providence remains to be seen. Throughout his career he has played for both levels, seldom sticking at the NHL level.
Kampfer does have a connection to the Bruins run for the Stanley Cup in 2011, as he was one of the Black Aces brought up from Providence. And while he was seen skating around the rink in Vancouver with the Cup, his name is not inscribed on the most cherished of trophies.