|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.
|07.01.15 at 7:00 am ET|
Poor Matt Beleskey.
He could very well cash in on Wednesday, but you can’t help but feel for the guy.
The newly 27-year-old left wing might be the most offensively potent free agent in this year’s class, yet he’s at the very top of virtually every “buyer beware” list. Instead of the being billed as the solution to teams’ problems, he’s being billed as the second coming of David Clarkson.
Why? Because he’s only done it once.
“It” being reach the 20-goal plateau, that is. In 65 games for Anaheim last season, Beleskey notched 22 goals and 10 assists for 32 points. Not only was it Beleskey’s only 20-goal season; it was just his second 10-goal season in the NHL, as his previous career high was 11 goals, which he registered in the 2009-10 season as a rookie.
What makes Beleskey’s goal total flash red is the fact that this season saw him play on a line with Ryan Kesler after playing in lesser roles in previous seasons. As our pal Nick Goss points out, his shooting percentage nearly doubled last season from his career mark entering the season
As such, arguing that a particular team should sign the player figures to be met with skepticism, but the Bruins could actually be a fit in the right circumstances. Read the rest of this entry »
|06.30.15 at 10:06 pm ET|
According to a source, the Bruins and Ryan Spooner have agreed to a two-year contract extension worth a total of $1.9 million. The contract will carry an annual cap hit of $950,000.
Spooner, 23, concluded his entry level contract with the Bruins and would become a restricted free agent on Wednesday. In 34 games last season, Spooner scored eight goals and added 18 assists for 26 points.
The left-shot center is the favorite to replace the departed Carl Soderberg as the Bruins’ third-line center. Spooner served in that role late in the season following David Krejci‘s knee injury, putting together an impressive stretch on a highly productive line with Milan Lucic and David Pastrnak.
The Bruins originally drafted the Ontario native in the second round of the 2010 draft with the 45th overall pick.
With Spooner signed, the Bruins now have approximately $62,110,667 committed against the cap to 17 players for next season.
The signing of Spooner leaves right wing Brett Connolly as the only remaining restricted free agent the B’s have left to sign. Two of their restricted free agents were traded in recent days in Dougie Hamilton (Flames) and Martin Jones (Sharks), while the team did not send qualifying offers to Matt Lindblad, Rob Flick and Adam Morrison.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|06.30.15 at 9:24 pm ET|
Well, some will. The Bruins probably won’t.
In order to sign a player to an offer sheet, a team must have the proper draft picks to surrender should the rights-holding team opt not to match. The picks must be that team’s natural picks and not selections acquired from other clubs.
So, while the Bruins have a pair of first-rounders next year (their own and the Sharks’) as well as the Islanders’ second-rounder, they do not have their own second-round pick. That selection was sent to Tampa in the Brett Connolly trade.
That means they would not be able to sign a player to a contract with an RFA compensation number in the following ranges:
– $1,826,3280-$3,652,659 (second round pick)
– $5,478,986-$7,305,316 (first, second and third-round picks)
– $7,305,316-$9,131,645 (two firsts, one second and one third-round pick)
Just a reminder: RFA compensation is not calculated like cap hits (total money before before 40 divided by years of contract before 40, not that the 40 thing is relevant to an RFA anyway), but rather by total money divided by years or five, whichever is smaller.
As such, the team could in theory offer a player a seven-year deal worth $6.63 million a year, which would bring that number to $9.28 million. In that case, the Bruins wouldn’t need to give up a second-rounder, but rather four first-round picks. Given the murky waters the Bruins appear set to navigate, gambling future first-round picks would not be a wise move.
In Tuesday’s pre-free-agency conference call, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney was asked about the possibility of offer-sheeting a player.
‘Well, I think every club has that club in their bag, so to speak,’ Sweeney said. ‘If you’ve got the space to be able to do it, and certainly teams that are pushed up against it, you feel that pressure. So yeah, there’s not a general manager, I don’t think, that wouldn’t look at every opportunity to improve their club. An offer sheet is definitely a possibility from every angle, for every team.’
Unless the Bruins are planning on spending a whole lot (or very little), don’t expect them to use the tactic unless they can first re-acquire that pick from Tampa. Furthermore, it isn’t like the Bruins have a whole lot of money to spend. Including the estimated $969,000 in overages from last season and the $2.75 million retained in the Milan Lucic trade, the Bruins have $61,160,667 committed to 16 players for the 2015-16 season, not counting Marc Savard. The salary cap’s upper limit is $71.4 million.
The trade market remains Sweeney’s best shot at improving the team.