|10.05.14 at 10:41 am ET|
With the season opening at home Wednesday against the Flyers, the Bruins don’t have long to be upset about the loss of one of their best teammates.
Still, even coach Claude Julien said after Saturday’s preseason finale that the team will take a little time to get over “the sting” of losing Johnny Boychuk ($3.37 million) to the harsh realities of today’s salary cap NHL.
Torey Krug, just 23, now understands just how important managing the salary cap is for each team after spending most of the summer without a contract because GM Peter Chiarelli couldn’t fit him under the cap. Krug and Reilly Smith had to wait all summer and through most of camp to sign their $1.4 million deals because the team couldn’t sign them.
“[It’s] another lesson in the business for me,” said Krug. “I learned a few things this summer for sure, and it’s always going to be part of it forever as long as this game exists and the cap situation exists in this sport, so it’s tough to see him go for sure.”
Several defensemen will have to pick up the slack for Boychuk and will have the opportunity to step right in and play a bigger role in place of the 30-year-old who was considered one of the heart-and-soul parts of the B’s Stanley Cup run in 2011 and their finals appearance in 2013.
Adam McQuaid, Matt Bartkowski and Krug all are younger than Boychuk and all likely will get chances to play alongside Dennis Seidenberg on Boston’s No. 2 D-pairing.
“I mean, it’s been like this the last few years, so it doesn’t really change anything,” Seidenberg said. “For me, it’s just trying to play wherever they put me and trying to do it well.”
“I didn’t know that — there was some talk about different things and stuff, but I was pretty much shocked,” McQuaid said in reacting Saturday. “I don’t know, I guess maybe we all just kind of had that hope in the back of our minds that somehow we could all stay. He’s a guy that’s a huge part of this team and for me a guy that always put a smile on my face every day. Always came to the rink in a good mood and was cracking jokes. I think I’ve played seven pro seasons and six have been with Johnny, so we’ve been through a lot together. He’s a guy that — I don’t think it’s really sunk in quite yet — but a guy that will be sorely missed.”
|10.04.14 at 11:06 pm ET|
“I don’t think my thoughts differ from anybody else,” Julien said after his team’s 4-3 shootout loss to the Red Wings Saturday night. “I think we’re all disappointed to see him leave. As I mentioned, Peter [Chiarelli] eluded to that in his press conference. It stings for everybody. He was a good player, he was a good person, very well liked.
“Unfortunately our game is in that position where sometimes we’re forced to make those unpopular decisions. For a coaching staff, we’ll miss him like everybody else. But we have a job to do, and we feel we have a lot of good players here that we can certainly overcome this. And that’s just the way it goes, and part of hockey, and part of a tough day. You hope we’ll be able to turn the page here and by the time we start the season we’ll be ready to go.”
That position, of course, is a result of a salary cap squeeze, brought on – in part – with the signing of David Krejci. Now, the 30-year-old Boychuk (due $3.4 million in the final year of his three-year contract) will head to the Islanders while Julien is left to find a replacement to pair with Dennis Seidenberg.
He has several options, starting with Matt Bartkowski. Adam McQuaid, Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug will also be asked to carry a bigger load.
“I think there’s no doubt that the experience those young guys got was valuable,” Julien said. “But at the same time, we’ve got to remember that we’ve got Seidenberg, we’ve got McQuaid back in our lineup, which is two more veterans. That certainly helps that youth maybe not be so young. So those are things. But the guys that got that experience ‘ you’re talking about Bartkowski, talking about Krug, you know Dougie Hamilton. I think those things will certainly pay off for us.”
|10.04.14 at 8:22 pm ET|
Patrice Bergeron had a hat trick Saturday night at TD Garden as the Bruins lost to the Red Wings, 4-3, in a shootout in their preseason finale.
David Krejci left the game after two shifts in the second period, returned for a third five minutes later before leaving the game for good. Following the game, Claude Julien said that Krejci had a “very, very minor” issue that would not be a factor going forward.
Bergeron scored all three of Boston’s goals, tying the game at one in the first period, burying a rebound of a Dougie Hamilton shot at 3:14 of the third period and finishing off a nice play by Carl Soderberg at 10:46 of the period.
Detroit got goals from Riley Sheahan, Xavier Ouellet and Andrej Nestrasil.
Both Ryan Spooner and David Pastrnak dressed for the B’s, playing for the second time in as many nights. Pastrnak, who was skating on a line with Spooner and Carl Soderberg, had a great scoring chance with just over a minute to play, but had a pair of shots stopped by Petr Mrazek.
Tuukka Rask was in net for the Bruins, who will open the regular season Wednesday when they host the Flyers at the Garden.
|10.04.14 at 5:14 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Saturday that he traded defenseman Johnny Boychuk due to the team’s salary cap situation and because he found the return ‘ two second-round picks and a conditional third ‘ to be strong value. He did concede one point, however.
“This doesn’t make us better now, obviously,” Chiarelli said, “but it’s something that, when I look at it in a series of steps, I think we made the right move.”
Chiarelli mentioned “steps” throughout the press conference to discuss Saturday’s trade with the Islanders. When asked what his next move was, the B’s general manager said that there may be roster moves in the coming days.
Boychuk is a free agent at season’s end and figures to command big money on the open market. Chiarelli said that he did not attempt to sign Boychuk before trading him.
Moving Boychuk, while making the current roster worse, gives the team one less big name to sign before the start of next season. Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Reilly Smith will all be restricted free agents, while Carl Soderberg will be an unrestricted free agent. Though the salary cap is expected to go up from it’s current $69 million ceiling, the already have $49,897,857 against the salary cap committed to 10 players (not including Marc Savard) for the 2015-16 season.
“We’ve got a lot of people to sign,” Chiarelli said. “There’s a list of priorities and part of my job is to prioritize things. That’s a little bit of how it shakes out. I’d love to keep this team together player-to-player as long as I could if I felt it was prudent on the hockey front and the financial front. I’ve tried to keep the critical mass together and will continue to provide the right moves for the organization.”
|10.04.14 at 2:03 pm ET|
The Bruins have traded defenseman Johnny Boychuk to the Islanders for second-round picks in the 2015 and 2016 drafts and a conditional 2015 third-round pick. The B’s will get New York’s 2015 third-rounder if the Islanders trade Boychuk to an Eastern Conference team this season.
Boychuk, 30, was entering the last year of his contract. His deal carries a $3.36 million cap hit and he will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
Though the return for Boychuk provides good value, the trade comes as something as a surprise given previous moves. In signing Reilly Smith and Torey Krug to one-year deals worth $1.4 million on Monday, the Bruins positioned themselves to enter the season without having to shed a contract like Boychuk’s. With Boychuk likely to command big money on the open market next summer, the Bruins had the option of keeping him for this season and better their chances of winning this season.
The trade of Boychuk leaves a hole in the team’s top-4. Zdeno Chara and Dougie Hamilton figure to provide one of the best defensive pairings in the league, but Dennis Seidenberg is coming off a knee injury and two of the other team’s options for a spot on the second pairing — Matt Bartkowski and Kevan Miller — struggled when given key minutes last postseason. This could be a vote of confidence for both players, however, as the Bruins may believe that with another full season of NHL play, their young defensemen will be better suited to handle the NHL playoffs.
Adam McQuaid could also work his way onto the second pairing now, though injury concerns make it tough to count on him to last a full season.
After trading for Boychuk, the Islanders also swung a trade with the Blackhawks for defenseman Nick Leddy.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|10.04.14 at 1:29 pm ET|
The Bruins placed Jordan Caron, David Warsofsky and Craig Cunningham on waivers Saturday.
Teams will now have 24 hours to claim the players. The Bruins noted in a press release that Warsofsky was waived with the intention of being sent to Providence.
The most notable name of the bunch is Jordan Caron, the team’s first-round pick in 2009. In 123 regular-season games, Caron has 12 goals and 16 assists for 28 points. He also has played in nine postseason games, with one goal.
Warsofsky, a native of Marshfield who played college hockey at Boston University, is a decent candidate to be claimed by another team, as he is an NHL-ready defenseman whose offensive play makes him a valuable power play asset. He told WEEI.com this week that though he wants to remain in the Bruins’ organization, his goal is to be an NHL player.
“If I’m going to be in the AHL, I’d rather be in Providence than any other city,” Warsofsky said. “I’m comfortable down there with the coaching staff, the organization and the way they play. It’s a great city to be in if I am in the AHL, but obviously my goal is to play in the NHL, so the first opportunity, I want it to be here, but if it is somewhere else, it’s part of the business.”
Cunningham was vying for a job as a fourth-line center or 13th forward after playing the last three seasons in Providence.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|10.04.14 at 11:10 am ET|
Both David Pastrnak and Ryan Spooner will be in the Bruins’ lineup in Saturday’s preseason finale against the Red Wings.
Pastrnak made his preseason debut Friday night after missing the team’s first five preseason games due to a shoulder injury suffered in the second practice of training camp. The 2014 first-round pick is trying to push for a roster spot in Boston, but his lack of a training camp could make it more likely that the B’s either start him in the AHL or return him to his pro team in Sweden.
The Bruins could also either return the player to Sweden or keep him for up to nine games into the season before either returning him or keeping him in Boston. For 18 and 19-year-old players, entry level contracts to not begin until a 10th game is played. If he is sent to the AHL, his contract will slide to the next season, meaning he could play a full year at the AHL, and years wouldn’t start being burned off his three-year deal until he plays in the NHL the next season.
Spooner, meanwhile, played left wing Friday night and had two goals and an assist for the B’s. With the Bruins’ depth chart crowded down the middle and Spooner having struggled with the defensive responsibilities of center, the team is at long last giving the 2010 second-round pick a good look on the left wing.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
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