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Why teams should trade early

Updated: March 21, 2013, 12:08 PM ET
By Craig Custance

TORONTO -- In 2011, when Peter Chiarelli bolstered the Bruins for a Stanley Cup run, he made his deadline deals with plenty of time to spare. He acquired Chris Kelly on Feb. 15 and both Tomas Kaberle and Rich Peverley on Feb. 18. By the time the Feb. 28 trade deadline came, the new Bruins were already getting acclimated with the team.

"As the playoffs started and into the playoffs, you could see them start to get comfortable," Chiarelli said on Wednesday.

By contrast, he's not sure last season's trade deadline additions -- Brian Rolston, Greg Zanon and Mike Mottau -- ever got comfortable with the team. Those three were added at the buzzer on deadline day.

"I don't even know if they were acclimated when the playoffs started," Chiarelli said.

There's added value when the players you acquire for the stretch run have time to get settled before the postseason. This season it could be even more pronounced.

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