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Bruins will likely reach out to Steven Stamkos

06.25.16 at 2:00 pm ET
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Teams are now allowed to talk to free agents such as Steve Stamkos. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Teams are now allowed to talk to free agents such as Steve Stamkos. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

BUFFALO — Canucks general manager Jim Benning was fined by the league for talking about Steven Stamkos too early. Even with the legal interview period now open, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney still chose his words carefully when asked about this summer’s top free agent. In fact, he never even said Stamkos’ name when asked about him.

But he did indicate he’d reach out to the three-time 40-goal-scorer.

“We will take the temperature of whoever will help our hockey club,” Sweeney said with a grin. “If it lines up, that’s what we’d like to do. We obviously have flexibility for any particular player that we would like to go after. There’s a lot of coveted ones in the market, so we’ll make all the calls. Absolutely all the calls.”

Among the other top free agents who could be of interest to the Bruins is former Islanders right wing Kyle Okposo.

Sweeney wouldn’t rule out potentially touching base with former Bruins left wing Milan Lucic, but that ship has sailed. Lucic is set to hit the open market on July 1, with the Oilers among the favorites to sign the 28-year-old.

Read More: Steven Stamkos,

Bruins’ Day 2 picks led by Ryan Lindgren, brother of Canadiens’ Charlie Lindgren

06.25.16 at 10:40 am ET
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The Bruins drafted Ryan Lindgren 49th overall. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Bruins drafted Ryan Lindgren 49th overall. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

BUFFALO — The Bruins concluded the 2016 selection with six selections, one trade and zero Canadians.

After selecting New York Native Charlie McAvoy and St. Louis native Trent Frederic in the first round Friday, the B’s opened their Day 2 picks by selecting American defenseman Ryan Lindgren 49th overall.

A left-shot D, Lindgren was the captain of the U.S. National Under 18 team. The 6-foot-0, 198-pounder had six goals and 19 assists for 25 points with 60 penalty minutes on 61 games last season. NHL Central Scouting ranked Lindgren as the 49th-best North American skater in the draft.

Lindgren, who hails from Minneapolis and is committed to the University of Minnesota, is the younger brother of Canadiens goaltending prospect Charlie Lindgren.

“We were talking about that before when I got picked by Boston,” Lindgren said. “There’s a little rivalry there, so that will be pretty cool.”

Known as a physical defender who blocks shots, Lindgren drew praise by Don Sweeney for his personality.

“Lindgren’s character spoke volumes to us,” Sweeney said. “The complete level that he has, we’re really excited about the depth of where we’re at.”

The Bruins did not have a pick in the third or fourth round, though they had back-to-back picks in the fifth round. Boston spent the selections on Finnish left wing Joona Koppanen and American defenseman Cameron Clarke.

Koppanen is a winger with ample size (6-foot-4, 192 pounds) who put up 26 points (nine goals, 17 assists) in 40 games for the Ilves Under-20 team in Finland.

Clarke stands at 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds. The right-shot defenseman had 50 points (nine goals, 41 assists) in 59 games last season for Lone Star of the North American Hockey League. He is committed to play at Ferris State next season.

In the sixth round, the Bruins went with Swedish forward Oskar Steen. The 5-foot-9, 188-pounder had eight goals and 24 assists for 32 points playing junior hockey in Sweden.

The B’s then flipped their seventh-round pick to the Panthers for a 2017 sixth-rounder.

Read More: Cameron Clarke, Joona Koppanen, Oskar Steen, Ryan Lindgren

Free agent interview period open; Bruins set to explore options beyond Loui Eriksson

06.25.16 at 9:46 am ET
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BUFFALO — With Loui Eriksson likely headed to free agency and the period for teams to interview free agents having opened at midnight, the Bruins are set to lay the groundwork for whatever their July 1 plans may be.

Those plans still may include retaining Eriksson, but he figures to get plenty of attention from other clubs willing to go longer than the four-year term from which the Bruins have not budged.

“I had a good conversation with Loui’s group, J.P., [Friday],” general manager Don Sweeney said late Friday night. “We’ll continue to see. Obviously the period to talk to other teams is opening and I’m sure they’ll be exploring that. We’re in a position where we’re going to sign a couple of players and we’ve [been interested] all along. We just don’t know whether or not we’ve found common ground. We clearly didn’t because we didn’t sign, but the discussions were good. They were positive, but it’s a balancing act and we’ll be now in discussions with other players as well.”

Read More: Loui Eriksson,

Teams wanted both first-round picks, David Pastrnak from Bruins for defensemen

06.24.16 at 11:50 pm ET
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Don Sweeney

Don Sweeney

BUFFALO — Don Sweeney established a year ago that he feels a good young defenseman is worth a mid-first-round pick and a couple of seconds. A year later, teams told him his read on the market was wrong.

With a number of defensemen potentially on the trade market (Kevin Shattenkirk and Cam Fowler among them), Sweeney said that teams demanded the Bruins give up all of their draft capital in Friday’s first round and then some.

“In all honesty, it would have taken both first rounders and then some in order to move [for a defenseman],” he said. “The acquisition cost was high. I’ve said all along that we want to continue to improve our hockey club in whatever we have to do, but those [situations] are not unlike last year, where it would have taken all three first-rounders. There’s a balancing act there.”

When asked about the ask of the 14th and 29th picks, Sweeney added that teams’ demands “didn’t stop there.”

“I wasn’t trading David Pastnrak,” Sweeney said. “We’ve been criticized, and rightfully so at times, for being impatient with some of our younger and skilled players. This represents a good opportunity for us to establish that we don’t want to do that.”

Instead of trading the picks, Sweeney selected Boston University defenseman Charlie McAvoy at 14 and reached for Wisconsin center Trent Frederic at 29.

Read More: David Pastrnak, Don Sweeney,

Bruins draft pick Charlie McAvoy hopes to be the next Drew Doughty

06.24.16 at 9:55 pm ET
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Charlie McAvoy has lofty NHL goals. ( Photo)

BUFFALO — The Bruins swung for the fences with the 14th overall pick. Leaving bigger names on the board, Don Sweeney went for an explosive defenseman in Charlie McAvoy who hopes to round out the rest his game to be a great player.

How great? Norris great, by his expectations.

“Drew Doughty is my favorite defenseman. He’s someone who I feel has got a lot of traits that I feel that I have and I want to continue to [develop],” McAvoy said after being selected by the B’s. “At my peak, if I can be like Drew Doughty, I’m not complaining.”

The Bruins wouldn’t complain either.

Doughty posted 51 points (14 goals, 37 assists) this season en route to winning his first Norris Trophy, even if his winning it was controversial given a superior season from Erik Karlsson.

Read More: Charlie McAvoy, Drew Doughty,

Charlie McAvoy used to hate Bruins, seemingly doesn’t anymore, still doesn’t like Patriots

06.24.16 at 9:39 pm ET
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BUFFALO — If Charlie McAvoy’s game is as good as his Twitter, the Bruins have a Hall of Famer on their hands.

The Boston University defenseman was giddy as he discussed being drafted 14th overall by the Bruins Friday night. A native of New York, he admitted that he grew up a Rangers fan but that he’d fallen in love with the city of Boston in his freshman year at college.

“I’m sure my friends back home are kind of happy, but I’m kind of cutting the ties with New York sports,” McAvoy said. “Boston’s an unbelievable city and it’s a great place with great people. I’m happy to be staying there.”

Then, as people on the internet do, someone found this old tweet from May of 2013, which happened to be a month in which the Bruins eliminated the Rangers in the second round of the playoffs:

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 9.33.17 PM

Asked about growing up in New York, McAvoy admitted he was conditioned to hate Boston sports teams, but that he’s come around.

“You grow up and I guess you’re taught not to like them because of the rivalry and everything,” McAvoy said with a smile. “But I’ve got a Red Sox hat now, so that’s the first step and I’ve this Bruins jersey, so that’s pretty cool.

“I don’t know if I can be a Pats fan, though. We’ll see.”

Read More: Charlie McAvoy,

Bruins select BU defenseman Charlie McAvoy 14th overall, Trent Frederic 29th

06.24.16 at 8:57 pm ET
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Charlie McAvoy is coming off his freshman year at Boston University. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Charlie McAvoy is coming off his freshman year at Boston University. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

BUFFALO — The Bruins used the 14th overall pick to get a defenseman from Boston University; it just wasn’t Kevin Shattenkirk.

Instead, the Bruins selected high-ceiling blueliner Charlie McAvoy with the pick, adding the New York native to a stable of prospects from the BU pipeline.

“It’s crazy. I was joking with [Don] Sweeney, I said ‘[Matt Grzelcyk] and [Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson], they can’t get rid of me now. They’re stuck with me,’” McAvoy said after donning his new Bruins jersey. “They’re unbelievable players. They’re great people and it’s going to be exciting to go through all this stuff with them.”

McAvoy is a right-shot defenseman who stands at 5-foot-11 and 195 pounds. He had three goals and 22 assists for 25 points in 37 games last season as a freshman at BU.

“He is an impactful offensive, push-the-pace, hair-on-fire, 100 miles an hour defenseman,” Red Line Report analyst Kirk Luedeke said of McAvoy this week. “Who doesn’t want someone like that? I would have to think he would be in the discussion around No. 14.”

In selecting McAvoy, the Bruins passed on the likes of OHL defenseman Jakob Chychrun and Penticton blueliner Dante Fabbro. The Coyotes traded up to select Chychrun 16th overall, while Fabbro went 17th to the Predators.

McAvoy’s ceiling may have played a factor in the Bruins choosing the BU product rather than the defensemen on whom they passed. In going for an explosive defensemen like McAvoy, the B’s added a player who already has the highest potential of any of their right-D prospects. McAvoy compares his game to that of Norris winner Drew Doughty.

“[He’s a] multi-tool player. We feel like he has offensive upside that will continue to get better,” general manager Don Sweeney said. “He steps into a college game, and you track where he was in the first half of the season, the second half, and understand that he got acclimated. People had spoken that he tried to do maybe a little too much at times, and he’s playing against guys who are four or five years older in some cases and really handled himself well.

“Very physical player at times,” Sweeney said. “We actually need to back him off, which is another good quality that he has. He can puck separate, finds the middle of the ice. As a matter of fact, JFK spoke highly of that in terms of a centerman wants the puck. He wants it in motion. He’s going up ice, and I think today it’s paramount for defensemen to be able to establish more than one option and recognize it and be able to execute it. I think Charlie does it well.”

With the 29th pick, the B’s took St. Louis native Trent Frederic, a perceived reach for where he was selected.

Frederic, a physical 6-foot-2, 203-pound left shot, scored four goals and added 10 assists for 14 points in 23 games for the U.S. National Under-18 Team. The 18-year-old is committed to play at the University of Wisconsin next year and admitted that he is better defensively than offensively.

“I guess overall, I’d say the offensive side of my game, I need to round that out,” Frederic said. “Once I get that, we’ll see what happens from there.”

The Bruins had the pick from the Sharks, as they acquired it last offseason in a trade that sent the rights to goaltender Martin Jones to San Jose.

Read More: Charlie McAvoy, Trent Frederic,

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