|07.01.10 at 2:28 pm ET|
It isn’t a big-name player, but the Bruins have picked up a valuable commodity on the first day of NHL free agency.
As part of the Derek Morris trade with Phoenix, the Bruins were to receive the Coyotes’ fourth round pick, which would be upgraded to a third-rounder if the defenseman returned to Phoenix. With TSN’s report that Morris has signed a four-year, $11 million deal, the Bruins will now recieve the earlier draft choice. The team now has two first-rounders (their own and the Maple Leafs’ –start YouTubing Adam Larsson), two second-rounders (their own and Minnesota’s from the Chuck Kobasew deal) and a the Coyotes’ third (they sent their own to Florida in the Nathan Horton deal).
|07.01.10 at 1:56 pm ET|
The offseason has been full of trade rumors for the Bruins, with center Marc Savard and his $4 million cap hit getting plenty of attention. Though the team has made offensive improvements by acquiring Nathan Horton and Tyler Seguin, would moving Savard be in the team’s best interest? Vote here.
|07.01.10 at 12:43 pm ET|
Like many of the Savard rumors to come up in recent days, the deal wouldn’t seem to accomplish the perceived Bruins’ goal to cut costs while also improving the team. Regehr makes slightly more than Savard per year (both make just over $4 million per year). Additionally, both players have provisions in their contracts that would allow them to squash the deal.
It’s worth noting that Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli did say the team could be in the market for another defenseman, but keep in mind a deal for Mark Stuart has yet to be wrapped up.
|07.01.10 at 12:20 pm ET|
Acquired in October from the Sabers in exchange for a third-round pick, Paille had 19 points with the Bruins this past season. GM Peter Chiarelli did not tender him a qualifying offer when he was a restricted free agent in an effort to strike a deal that was more reasonable for the club.
|06.30.10 at 5:30 pm ET|
One of the main knocks on Russian players in the NHL draft is the fear of the KHL. The Bruins have just realized that fear — kind of– as their first seventh round pick, Maxim Chudinov, has re-signed with Severstal Cherepovets, his KHL team. The defenseman wasn’t expected to be in the short-term mix anyway, so his two-year deal ultimately shouldn’t impact the Bruins either way.
“When we knew that the Bruins drafted him, I phoned him and congratulated [him],” his agent said according to this report. “He was really glad that a NHL team showed interest in him. I hope he’ll get a spot with the Bruins in the next few years.”
Chudinov was the 195th overall pick. He had 13 points last season.
|06.30.10 at 4:50 pm ET|
Though we’ve been hearing all along that the Tim Thomas-to-Philadelphia rumors have been overblown, maybe today’s news that the Flyers have re-signed Michael Leighton will make such chatter a little less believable — for now, at least.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported the Flyers gave Leighton a two-year deal for $3.1 million total, and while that isn’t a lot, McKenzie tweeted that, “Whatever happens with [Flyers] goaltending, the next guy in won’t be making more than $2M per year.” Evgeni Nabokov whom the Flyers recently traded for the rights of, is likely their No. 1 option, but all indications are he will test free agency on Thursday.
Brian Boucher is also under contract for next season and carries a cap hit of less than $1 million. Thomas is owed $5 million for each of the next three seasons.
|06.30.10 at 3:33 pm ET|
The Bruins have been incredibly busy this offseason, hogging the transactions log with their re-signings (Shawn Thornton, Dennis Seidenberg, Johnny Boychuk, Mark Recchi), a major trade for Nathan Horton, and making the second overall pick in last week’s NHL draft.
In the process, they’ve tacked on more money to an already tight salary cap situation. The inflator clause to raise the cap to $59.4 million helped some, but when considering the raises to Seidenberg ($1 million) and Boychuk ($1.375 million), potential arbitration cases for Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart, and a deal to be done for Tyler Seguin, it’s no wonder general manager Peter Chiarelli has been speaking like someone who doesn’t seem set on being a player when free agency opens on Thursday.
“We’re going to work the trade market,” Chiarelli said Tuesday. “We’re not going out and signing anyone unless 1. We have someone we really want and/or we have the cap space. Right now we don’t really have the cap space to go out and sign a big deal, but that could happen.
“We could make a trade and there could be cap space, but that doesn’t mean we have someone in mind. We’ve got a list. The list is small and in the event we do enter it, unlikely.”
Everyone has heard the rumors involving Marc Savard and Tim Thomas, but as is the team has just $5.40 million in cap space, with the aforementioned players (Wheeler, Stuart, Seguin), Daniel Paille, and Gregory Campbell still to be accounted for. It would appear that they would be pressed for cash even when trying to hold onto their own guys, let alone bring in outside help. They already moved Vladimir Sobotka rather than paying the restricted free agent, but could Wheeler be next?
Many speculated that Wheeler could have been moved to the Oilers in a deal that could have secured the Bruins Taylor Hall, but those rumors were debunked when the fact that the Oilers’ plan was to get both Hall and Seguin came to light last Friday.
If the Bruins try to shed one of their current players’ deals, they might not be able to do so without getting very little talent in return, which could be counterproductive to their chase for a Cup. With the exception of perhaps Savard, none of their bigger contracts are completely desirable for other teams to take on. If they move Thomas’ $5 million, they run a big risk with whichever player they try to sign with the freed money, as history suggests Tuukka Rask hasn’t been a No. 1 goalie long enough for the team to feel completely comfortable without another big-time netminder.
As for moving Savard, you’d have to think the Bruins have seen enough of a shakeup in their offense without potentially offsetting whatever upgrade it got with the addition of Horton. The “he’s not a Neely type of player” talk might quiet down once the two play together.
Chiarelli said Wednesday that the team could look for another defenseman and a third goaltender, both of which would likely be low-cost options (especially the latter). He hinted on Thursday when appearing on Dennis & Callahan that “you might see a couple trades,” but once again downplayed them doing much else.
The Bruins are by no means done when it comes to building the ’10-’11 team. They may even steal a some more headlines in the next few days. Just don’t expect them to be with free agent signings.