|07.02.15 at 12:52 pm ET|
Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry joined Middays with MFB on Thursday to discuss the Bruins’ recent moves. To hear the interview, go to the Middays with MFB audio on demand page.
Prior to the NHL draft Milan Lucic and 22-year-old defenseman Dougie Hamilton were traded to the Kings and Flames, respectively. The trades caught many by surprise, though the return for both of them gave the Bruins pieces to work with, namely those acquired in the Lucic trade.
The winger was traded to Los Angeles for goaltender Martin Jones, defenseman Colin Miller and the No. 15 overall pick in last Friday’s draft. The B’s were able to flip Jones to the Sharks afterwards for a first-round pick in 2016 and the rights to Miami Redhawks rising senior Sean Kuraly.
“I think what happened is [Lucic] sort of fell out of favor with that  goals [last season],” Cherry said. “You expected more goals from him. I have to admit, he wasn’t Lucic of old last year, but somehow or other, I always think of the Bruins, I think of them as tough and everybody thinks of them as tough.”
“Lucic, I know he had an off-year last year, but he’s [going to] come back with a force,” he added. “When you think of the Bruins, when everybody thinks of the Bruins, they think of Lucic, and then a 22-year-old guy. … You don’t get a 22-year-old stud like that guy and Calgary now has the best defense in the league, there’s no doubt about it.”
Following Hamilton being traded there were reports saying Hamilton was a “loner” and an “uppity kid.” Cherry said that wouldn’t matter to him if he were coaching the Bruins.
“If I had Hamilton, somehow I’d work him in, and that’s the job of the organization,” he said. “When I hear he doesn’t work and he’s a loner, who cares? Look at the way he plays, it’s on the ice. I don’t care if he’s a loner or not. I don’t believe in that stuff.”
|07.02.15 at 12:15 pm ET|
If you’ve forgotten what exactly the Bruins roster looks like after all these moves, it’s understandable.
In a nutshell, the Bruins have moved things around offensively while taking a step back defensively this offseason. The team has multiple candidates to take jobs on both offense and defense, though the team’s top-nine looks more or less set at this point.
Including goaltender Jeremy Smith ($600,000 on a two-way deal), the Bruins have approximately $63,085,667 against the cap committed to 18 players for next season.
Here’s our attempt at a forward/defense depth chart after Don Sweeney’s flurry of moves. (Read it vertically rather than horizontally, as these are not projected lines.)
|07.01.15 at 9:25 pm ET|
In announcing their flurry of acquisitions Wednesday, the Bruins slipped in an interesting name that had yet to come up during free agency: Jeremy Smith.
The B’s announced that they had signed the goaltender, who split time with Malcolm Subban in Providence last season, to a one-year, two-way deal worth $600,000 at the NHL level. That would make it likely that Smith will at the very least contend to be the backup in Boston behind Tuukka Rask next season.
Smith has never played in the NHL. The Bruins have had mixed results with giving unproven veteran AHLers their backup gig in recent seasons. Chad Johnson proved to be a steal for $600,000 in the 2013-14 season, while the team lost faith in Nicklas Svedberg last season on the same contract. Svedberg bolted Boston early in the offseason to play in the KHL. Both Johnson and Svedberg had one-way deals, however, so Smith could easily be stashed in Providence for less money should he not make the big club.
Assuming Smith makes the team, the Bruins have $63,085,667 against the cap committed to 18 players for next season.
|07.01.15 at 6:21 pm ET|
The Bruins have signed left wing Matt Beleskey to a five-year, $19 million contract, according to a source. The deal carries an annual cap hit of $3.8 million.
TSN’s Darren Dreger was the first to report the terms of the deal.
The 27-year-old Beleskey scored a career-high 22 goals last season for the Ducks. He figures to serve as a replacement for Milan Lucic, who was traded to the Kings last week.
The cap hit of Beleskey’s contract comes as a surprise, as his status as the top wing in a weak free agent class suggested he might cash in on a mega-deal. However, a source told WEEI.com prior to free agency that Beleskey was “not just going to take the biggest payday,” and that the Bruins were an ideal fit.
It looked unlikely that a deal would happen in the hours after free agency opened, however, as Beleskey began weighing offers from multiple clubs while the Bruins stayed relatively quiet. It’s believed that Boston jumped in as the day went on before emerging as the front-runner.
With the addition of Beleskey for $3.8 million and the trade of Reilly Smith and Marc Savard to the Panthers, the Bruins now have $62,485,667 committed to 17 players for next season.
|07.01.15 at 6:11 pm ET|
The Bruins have traded Reilly Smith and Marc Savard‘s contract to the Panthers for the rights to restricted free agent Jimmy Hayes. The trade was first reported by ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.
The move swapped out Smith, a 24-year-old left shot right wing, for a right-shot right wing in the 25-year-old Hayes. It also freed up space for Boston to sign former Ducks left wing Matt Beleskey, which it did shortly after.
A native of Dorchester and product of Boston College, Hayes scored a career-high 19 goals for the Panthers last season, adding 16 assists for 35 points in 72 games. He is the brother of Rangers forward Kevin Hayes and the cousin of Bruins prospect Ryan Fitzgerald.
In acquiring Savard’s contract, the Panthers will be able to easily sit above the cap floor without having to spend a lot of money. Savard’s contract carries a $4.027 million cap hit for each of the next seasons, but his salary in those years is only $535,000.
Savard has not played since the 2010-11 season, as his playing days are done due to multiple concussions.
|07.01.15 at 2:07 pm ET|
The Bruins have lost a couple of young depth players to teams in the Metropolitan division.
TSN reporter Frank Seravalli reported Wednesday that the Penguins had given defenseman David Warsofsky a one-year deal, while ESPN’s Joe McDonald reported that center Matt Lindblad had signed with the Rangers.
A native of Marshfield and product of Boston University, Warsofsky is a good offensive-minded defenseman who has been stuck in Providence due to the presence of Torey Krug in Boston. The 25-year-old has played just 10 NHL games since the Bruins acquired his rights from the Blues in 2010.
Lindblad played two games for Boston in each of the last two seasons, with the vast majority of his professional career being spent in Providence since leaving Dartmouth College. The Illinois native could have been a candidate to push for a roster spot in Boston next season, but the Bruins declined to send him a qualifying offer as a restricted free agent this week.
|07.01.15 at 1:07 pm ET|
Predictably, Matt Bartkowski’s time with the Bruins is over. Predictably, the next chapter of his career will be in Vancouver.
The Canucks signed the 27-year-old defenseman to a one-year deal on Wednesday, the opening day of free agency. Bartkowski was an unrestricted free agent after spending the first five years of his career with the Bruins.
Bartkowski will be reunited with former Bruins assistant general manager Jim Benning, who took over as Canucks GM last offseason.
The B’s initially acquired Bartkowski in a 2010 trade with the Panthers that also brought Dennis Seidenberg to Boston. Bartkowski was a seventh-round pick of the Panthers in 2008, but never signed with Florida. He left Ohio State after two seasons to turn pro.
Bartkowski’s tenure with the B’s was full of stops and starts and various stints in Boston and Providence. A skilled skater, Bartkowski struggled with confidence and had trouble solidifying a spot in Boston’s lineup, with the 2013-14 campaign seeing him play a career-high 64 games thanks largely to Seidenberg‘s season-ending knee injury.
Though Bartkowski scored a big goal in Game 7 of the first round against the Maple Leafs in the 2013 playoffs, he has no goals in 131 regular-season games in the NHL.