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Bruins trade for Zac Rinaldo, seemingly on purpose

06.29.15 at 3:51 pm ET
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The Bruins continued their bewildering offseason Monday by swinging a trade with the Flyers for forward Zac Rinaldo.

Boston sent a third-round pick in the 2017 draft to Philadelphia for Rinaldo, a 25-year-old who has more games served in suspensions (14) than he has goals scored in his NHL career (eight). The most notable part of the Ontario native’s career to date was when he was handed an eight-game ban for this hit on Penguins defenseman Kris Letang.

Rinaldo has two years remaining on his contract, which carries a cap hit of $850,000. He was originally drafted in the sixth round by the Flyers in 2008.

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Pierre McGuire on MFB: ‘I do think [the Bruins] have a plan’

06.29.15 at 12:26 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports analyst Pierre McGuire joined Middays with MFB on Monday to discuss the Bruins’ rebuilding strategy and the direction they will go after surprise moves prior to the NHL draft last week. To hear the full interview, visit the Middays with MFB audio on demand page.

Amidst highly controversial moves, McGuire does not expect the Bruins to hold a fire sale and rid themselves of other veterans like Zdeno Chara and Tuukka Rask.

“I can’t see that happening,” McGuire said. “They’re a proud franchise. I can’t see that alienation of their fan base. They’ve been down this road before back in the [mid-1990s]. It was painful. … They’ve still got a very solid infrastructure of players. But again, they’re going to have to pass the torch here because some of their better guys are getting older.

“I can’t see them trading Patrice Bergeron. You put his name out there and every team in the league’s going to want him. … This is my one word of caution on this: I would be really careful pre-judging this thing if I were a Bruins fan, because I do think they have a plan. Doesn’t mean they have to share it with everybody only because you don’t want to show your cards too often in this league. In this league, they throw you anchors, not life jackets.”

According to McGuire, the recent moves made by the Bruins are part of a trend that began last offseason with the departure of Shawn Thornton and Jarome Iginla, among others.

“[My reaction was] that Don Sweeney wanted to put his stamp on the team early on along with Cam Neely that this was clearly something that was approved by ownership, that they felt that maybe something had gone a little bit astray in their building plan and they wanted to try to get it straightened out as soon as possible,” McGuire said. “I remember being in Boston last year when Johnny Boychuk got traded away … and I remember the reaction of the players and it was really negative. They were not happy at all.

Shawn Thornton moves on to Florida, Jarome Iginla moves on to Colorado, Johnny Boychuk moves on to the New York Islanders and then you see what happens this year — Chiarelli gets fired, Gregory Campbell‘s not coming back, Danny Paille’s not coming back, Milan Lucic isn’t coming back and obviously Dougie Hamilton’s not coming back. Start doing the math. That’s a huge part of your infrastructure, so clearly they knew that they wanted to go in a younger, different direction and they’ve started that process.”

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Read More: Don Sweeney, Dougie Hamilton, Martin Jones, Milan Lucic

10 post-draft thoughts on a chaotic weekend for Bruins

06.27.15 at 3:49 pm ET
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Zach Senyshyn was the Bruins' third first-round pick. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Zach Senyshyn was the Bruins’ third first-round pick. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

SUNRISE, Fla. — The Bruins’€™ brass arrived in Florida with a team that was a few tweaks away from contending again. They leave it with a better chance at getting 2016 top prospect Auston Matthews than the Stanley Cup.

What’€™s done is done, however, and Bruins fans have no choice but to proceed hoping the front office knows what it’s doing.

(For reaction to Friday’s moves, click here, here and here.)

Here are 10 thoughts with the draft in the books:

– The fact that the Bruins used 10 of the 11 picks that they had after Friday’€™s trades means they either see this team’€™s return to glory as a long-term project or that their plans to turn those picks into something else failed. It might be more the latter than the former. The B’s insist they were aggressive in their efforts to get into the top 10 to take Noah Hanifin, Ivan Provorov or Zach Werenski.

– If there’€™s an “other shoe to drop” in order for the Bruins to ice a Cup-contending roster next season, you’€™d have to figure it will be extremely difficult to execute now. It’€™s abundantly clear that the Bruins need to make moves to save the immediate future, so trade partners will be wise to up their prices just like they did when Peter Chiarelli’€™s job was on the line.

– Speaking of Chiarelli, the moves that the B’€™s made might have been avoided if Neely fired Chiarelli during the season and sold off parts then. Carl Soderberg could have fetched the B’€™s a first-round pick at the trade deadline, which the Bruins hypothetically could have used to get into the top 10. At the very least, it would have allowed the Bruins to seek young players for someone like Hamilton rather than just taking picks.

Of course, the performance of Boston’€™s front office on Friday might leave some Bruins fans regretting ever wanting the B’€™s to can Chiarelli.

– The Bruins have expressed mild interest in Ducks winger Matt Beleskey, who will become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday. Beleskey is 27 and had the first solid year of his career by hitting the 20-goal mark for the first time. He will be paid well given how weak this free agent class is. The guess here is he isn’€™t a fit with the B’€™s.

– With Sweeney now serving as general manager, Jay Pandolfo will run the Bruins’€™ development camp. Sweeney first organized the now annual prospects camp in July 2007. The B’€™s hired Pandolfo as a development coach last August.

– With Milan Lucic gone, Brad Marchand is the only impact player at left wing guaranteed to be in Boston going forward. He’€™ll be joined by Loui Eriksson if Boston keeps the veteran left-shot right wing and flips him to the other side, but Eriksson is an obvious choice to be dealt now. The 29-year-old will be a free agent after the coming season and the Bruins are not a contender as currently constituted. The Bruins are officially at the ‘€œtrade the good players’€ stage, and they should be willing to listen on anybody.

(Say this for the Bruins: At least they’€™ve got some prospects at wing now, and they need it. The NHL roster remains overflowing with right wings, but the Jake DeBrusk pick could give the Bruins the first left wing they’€™ve developed since 2006 draftees Lucic and Marchand. As for perceived first-round reach Zachary Senyshyn, assistant general manager Scott Bradley said the skilled right wing was ranked low by evaluators because he played on the fourth line of a loaded OHL team in Sault Ste. Marie.)

– With the Bruins now hard-pressed for NHL defensemen, they should actually keep Dennis Seidenberg and take him into the season. He will almost certainly be better than he was last year coming off knee surgery, so the veteran blueliner could re-establish his trade value and be a sellable piece at the trade deadline. Seidenberg turns 34 on July 18 and is entering the second year of a four-year deal worth $4 million annually.  Read the rest of this entry »

Bruins keep their picks, add seven more prospects on second day of draft

06.27.15 at 10:28 am ET
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SUNRISE, Fla. — For the second straight day, the Bruins used a bevy of draft picks to… draft players.

After using three consecutive picks on Friday, Boston spent seven of the eight picks it took into the second and final day of the draft. The only pick traded was a fifth-rounder that the B’s sent to Minnesota.

The B’s kicked off the second day by drafting Tri-City (WHL) defenseman Brandon Carlo with their first pick of the second round (37th overall). They then took center Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (a Boston University commit) with the 45th pick and defenseman Jeremy Lauzon (Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL) with the 52nd.

Carlo is a big kid at 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds. He was rated as the No. 25 North American skater by NHL Central Scouting, which is well ahead of Zachary Senyshyn, whom Boston chose 15th overall Friday night. Central Scouting had Senyshyn as the 38th North American skater.

While Carlo has similar size to the recently traded Dougie Hamilton, they are not similar players. Carlo described himself as more of a defensive defenseman, with Kirk Luedeke of the Red Line Report and New England Hockey Journal projecting him to be a shutdown player.

The pick was originally the Flyers’€™, but it was sent to the Islanders in the Andrew MacDonald trade before being flipped to Boston in the Johnny Boychuk trade.

Forsbacka-Karlsson led the Omaha Lancers (USHL) with 53 points (15 goals, 38 assists) in 50 games this past season and will head to BU in the fall. He’s a very good defensive center and is great on faceoffs, and yes, his nickname is JFK.

Lauzon put up 15 goals and 21 assists in 60 games from the blue line for Rouyn-Noranda this past season. He is considered a good skater who can get the puck up ice in transition.

The picks used on Forsbacka-Karlsson and Lauzon were both acquired in the Hamilton trade. The Bruins’ own second-rounder was traded to Tampa Bay at the trade deadline when the Bruins acquired Brett Connolly.

Boston followed their second-round picks by tabbing 6-foot-5 Czech goaltender Daniel Vladar in the third round with the 7th overall pick. Vladar has played in his home country to this point, but will head to the States next season to play for the Chicago Steel of the USHL.

Vladar is a friend of fellow Czech prospect Jakub Zboril, whom Boston drafted with the 13th overall pick on Friday night.

In the fourth round, the Bruins went to the WHL for a third time, taking an energy player in left wing Jesse Gabrielle. The 5-foot-10, 205-pounder models his game after Brad Marchand, saying that while he might not be as skilled as Boston’s pesky winger, he hopes to bring a similarly tough style of play.

The B’s finally traded one of their picks when they flipped their fifth-rounder to the Wild for Minnesota’s fifth-rounder in the 2016 draft. They held on to their sixth-rounder, selecting University of Wisconsin center Cameron Hughes and wrapped up the draft by selecting Jack Becker out of Mahtomedi high school in Minnesota.

Scott McLaughlin contributed to this report.

Read More: Brandon Carlo, Daniel Vladar, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Jeremy Lauzon

Breaking down Bruins’ moves from Friday

06.27.15 at 8:36 am ET
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Don Sweeney

Don Sweeney

SUNRISE, Fla. — The Bruins did a lot on Friday. It’s obvious that the moves as a whole represent a horrid day for new general manager Don Sweeney, but at least one of them made sense in a vacuum.

As such, here’s an attempt to break down each of the individual moves made by the Bruins:

Bruins trade Dougie Hamilton to Flames for picks No. 15, 45 and 52

One-word summary: Unforgivable.

The Hamilton fiasco represents really two lapses on the part of Don Sweeney.

First is the struggle to sign the team’s most important young player to a second deal. He asked for a lot of money because the best young defensemen in the league make a lot of money on their second deals. The Bruins’ unwillingness to pay it does not bode well for the future.

Consider this: David Pastrnak has two more years left on his entry-level deal. Guess who represents him? The same guy they just swung and missed with in J.P. Barry. This group can only hope it has better a better feel for re-signing youngsters by then.

The second part of it is the trade itself. Hamilton was one of the very best chips Sweeney had, and one that should have been kept at nearly all costs. Instead, he was flipped for the 15th overall pick and two second-rounders.

At the very, very least, the Bruins should have been able to get at least another first-round pick or a top prospect from a team in exchange for the already established Hamilton. This was the kind of move that can set a franchise back.

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After losing Dougie Hamilton, Claude Julien says young players ask for too much too soon

06.26.15 at 11:48 pm ET
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SUNRISE, Fla. — Claude Julien lamented the fact that Dougie Hamilton wanted top dollar hours after the Bruins traded the 22-year-old star defenseman in a stunning deal with the Flames.

With statistics and big-name comps on Hamilton’s side, the defenseman’s camp sought a deal commensurate with those of other top young defensemen such as Drew Doughty and Alex Pietrangelo. The Bruins were unwilling to pay that, with a source telling WEEI.com Friday that none of Boston’s offers exceeded $6 million a year.

Julien said he understood why Hamilton wants to be paid like his peers, but he doesn’t like how soon players cash in these days.

“The players and the organization, I guess everybody’s in their right with the way CBA is,” Julien said after the first round of the draft on Friday. “As a coach, to be honest with you, I find it very unfortunate that players that have played maybe three years in the league, all of a sudden they’re looking to be up there with the top-paid players.

“I prefer it the other way, where they work their way up: years of service and everything else.

“That’s not to say he wasn’t in his right. He’s in his right. He’s entitled to do what he did. I’m not standing here blaming him at all. Would we like to have kept him? I think we would have liked to have kept Dougie Hamilton. He’s a good promising young player, but you move on.”

Read More: Claude Julien, Dougie Hamilton,

Bruins take Jakub Zboril, Jake DeBrusk, Zachary Senyshyn in first round

06.26.15 at 8:43 pm ET
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Jakub Zboril was Boston's first pick on Friday. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Jakub Zboril was Boston’s first pick on Friday. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

SUNRISE, Fla. — With the first of three consecutive picks, the Bruins selected Saint John (QMJHL) defenseman Jakub Zboril 13th overall. The B’€™s then went with Swift Current (WHL) left wing Jake DeBrusk with the 14th pick and right wing Zachary Senyshyn of Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) 15th overall.

The selections add a prospect to a blue line that was weakened by the trade hours earlier and gives the Bruins a chance to groom a legitimate top-six winger for the first time since 2006 third-round pick Brad Marchand. They do not make the Bruins better in the short term, as none are expected to be NHL players next season.

Zboril is a well-rounded left-shot defenseman who stands at 6-foot-0 3/4 and 184 pounds. The Czech blueliner was considered the fourth-best defenseman in this year’€™s draft class behind Noah Hanifin (Hurricanes), Ivan Provorov (Flyers) and Zach Werenski (Blue Jackets), all of whom were selected in the first eight picks.

Don Sweeney said after the first round that he pushed hard to trade up to get one of the top three defensemen, but that the asking prices for higher picks were so high that they opted to wait for the 13th pick and take Zboril.

Zboril eventually will be part of a rapidly changing Bruins blue line. The Bruins lost both Johnny Boychuk and Dougie Hamilton to trades over the last calendar year and expect bigger contributions from the likes of Zach Trotman and Joe Morrow in the coming seasons.

The 5-foot-11 3/4, 174-pound DeBrusk was the 19th-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting. The Edmonton native scored 42 goals last season for the Broncos, adding 39 assists for 81 points in 72 games. He is the son of former NHL player Louie DeBrusk.

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Read More: Jake DeBrusk, Jakub Zboril, Zachary Senyshyn,
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