|Peter Chiarelli: Bruins letting Tomas Kaberle, Michael Ryder test market||06.30.11 at 12:42 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli spoke with the media Thursday in anticipation of the NHL’s free agency period opening Friday. The Bruins have two players set to hit unrestricted free agency in winger Michael Ryder and defenseman Tomas Kaberle. The GM said that ties have not been severed with either player, but that the B’s likely won’t be active in the early stages of free agency.
“Certainly theres no finality to our relationship,” Chiarelli said of Kaberle. “What we’ve agreed to with Tomas and his agent is that he would look into the market and we would continue to talk with him. ‘¦ Let me be perfectly clear, there’s no end to the relationship because we haven’t signed him to this point.”
Chiarelli noted that if the Bruins are unable to retain Kaberle, he will look both in-house and elsewhere for his replacement on the Bruins’ blue line.
He also indicated that the B’s are taking the same approach with Ryder, and that if the players take deals with other teams, the Bruins are willing to accept that fate.
“I’m wary of the market and where it stands now,” Chiarelli said. “I said, ‘Look guys, go out there, see what’s going on and let’s continue to talk.’ The risk that we run is that they get a deal and then they can’t come back to us, and I understand that risk. That’s where those two guys stand.”
Depending on what the B’s do with Ryder, Kaberle, restricted free agent Brad Marchand and what happens with Marc Savard, the team could be in good standing with the league’s salary cap (set for $64.3 million next season). Despite the fact that they should have money to spend, allocating resources to multiple years could make things difficult for the Bruins, as both David Krejci and Tuukka Rask will see their current contracts expire after the coming season. Tyler Seguin‘s deal is up in two years, and one would have to assume all three players will see increases in pay.
“It certainly impacts it,” Chiarelli said of knowing they have future raises to give. “I’m a little wary of the market, first and foremost. The cap is high, and the cap is certainly going to come down in some shape or form, so generally speaking, I’m wary of the market and where I think it may be going.
“Two, and a close two, is that we do have guys that we warrant to re-sign, and they’re going to command raises. I’m really not in a position to go out and give a guy a big-term contract. I think thwart we can find that help elsewhere other than a big-term contract and still be in a good position to re-sign our guys as they come up the next year or two.”
The Bruins qualified restricted free agents Marchand, Andrew Bodnarchuk and Stefan Chaput. Chiarelli said that negotiations with Marchand have not yet begun.
The GM also said that the team will not re-sign defenseman Shane Hnidy, who served as a healthy scratch/depth player during the stretch run and postseason. Hnidy, 35, played three games in both the regular season and postseason.
“We’ve told Shane that we aren’t re-signing him,” Chiarelli said. “I think he’ll be a good addition somewhere else, and I told him that. Certainly I’d help him along the way for that.”
As for whether the list of Bruins’ targets may be shrinking, Chiarelli admitted that some players have been taken out of consideration in recent days. The rights of players set to hit free agency have been traded, which may factor into that.
“I have a big whiteboard in my office and I have our interest list and I have our secondary list,” he said. “Yes, there are names knocked off. Just because they’re on our interest list doesn’t mean we’re going to go off and sign them, but certainly we’re going to explore them. And I’ve crossed off names.”
One thing that came up time and time again was Chiarelli noting how “wary” of the market he was. He assessed the crop as being less than outstanding, which may be a reason why he would have reservations about making a big splash.
“I look at my board and I see the number of players and the quality of players,” he said. “And the numbers may be the same, [but] the quality is … there’s just not the high end players. Then of course you’ve got the floor of the cap and teams have to spend, so you’re going to get contracts I think that, maybe that, they’re generally higher in the unrestricted market, but I even think they’ll be that added premium because teams have to spend. … That’s why I’m a little cautious going into this market. There’s not the supply that there normally is, and I think the demand is greater because of the cap floor and teams have to spend.”
|Oh, joy: More about the Amstel Light||06.29.11 at 5:25 pm ET|
Everybody gets into their professions for different reasons. Regarding this field, it is true that many dream about writing things about a light beer every day.
Today’s news regarding the Bruins’ bar tab (on a lesser note, they won the Stanley Cup recently) is that the orderer of the famous Amstel Light on the $156,000+ bar tab has come forward… kind of.
Blogger Shallon Lester claims to have been at Foxwoods with the B’s and, because she didn’t fancy the $100,000 champagne that had been poured into the Cup, ordered an Amstel Light. Riveting.
So there you have it, if you believe it. Think she’ll sell the movie rights?
|What does James Wisniewski trade mean to Bruins?||06.29.11 at 3:26 pm ET|
The latest shoe to kind of drop regarding the defensive free agent landscape came Wednesday, as the Canadiens have traded the rights to James Wisniewski to the Blue Jackets for a seventh-round pick.
The move suggests two things. First off, Wisniewski likely won’t be returning to the Habs after he scored seven goals and added 23 assists for 30 points following his trade from the Islanders. Second of all, the fact that the rights to the better, younger Wisniewski were worth only a seventh-rounder might mean the Bruins will be out of luck in their attempt to trade Tomas Kaberle‘s rights.
Of course, teams could simply be confident that Wisniewski wants to wait until free agency opens to pick his team, which would explain why his rights could be had for so little.
Wisniewski is a gritty blueliner who’s solid on the power play. He could conceivably be a target of the Bruins, but given that he’s coming off a career year (51 points), he may command too much for their liking.
If both Wisniewski and Christian Ehrhoff, whom the Islanders acquired the rights to on Tuesday, are signed before Friday, Kaberle could be considered the top defenseman on the open market. Woof.
Wisniewski played five-regular season games against the B’s last year, scoring a goal and adding three assists for four points and posting a minus-6 rating. He had two assists and was a minus-3 in the first round of the playoffs against Boston.
|Dougie Hamilton, others to attend Bruins’ development camp||06.29.11 at 11:21 am ET|
The Bruins announced the roster for next week/month’s (July 7-11) development camp on Wednesday. Development camp, held at Ristuccia Arena, is where the big-name draft picks can be seen on the ice for the first time in a Bruins’ sweater, and the arrival of Tyler Seguin made it an absolute zoo last year. This time around, fans will get to see the likes of defenseman Dougie Hamilton (taken ninth overall last week) and forward Alexander Khokhlachev (40th overall).
Here is the list of players attending:
Forwards: Anthony Camara, Craig Cunningham, Alexander Fallstrom, Brian Ferlin, Justin Florek, Josh Jooris, Jared Knight, Alexander Khokhlachev, Brett Olson, Tyler Randell, Eric Robinson, Ben Sexton, Ryan Spooner
Defensemen: Ryan Button, Marc Cantin, Tommy Cross, Dougie Hamilton, Robby O’Gara, Steven Spinell, Zach Trotman, David Warsofsky
Goaltenders: Zane Gothberg, Mike Hutchinson, Lars Volden
Courtesy of the Bruins, here’s the schedule of the events, which will be run by Providence coach Bruce Cassidy:
Thursday, July 7 (Wilmington, MA)
-Fitness testing at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, 9:30 a.m. ET (closed to public)
-On-ice practice, Ristuccia Arena, 1:15 p.m. ET
Friday, July 8 (Wilmington, MA)
-On-ice workouts (closed to public)
Saturday, July 9 (Wilmington, MA)
-On-ice practice, Ristuccia Arena, 10:30 a.m. ET
-On-ice workout, Ristuccia Arena, 11:45 a.m. ET
Sunday, July 10 (Wilmington, MA)
-On-ice practice, Ristuccia Arena, 10:00 a.m. ET
-On-ice scrimmage, Ristuccia Arena, 11:15 a.m. ET
Monday, July 11 (Wilmington, MA)
-On-ice workout, Ristuccia Arena, 10:00 a.m. ET
-On-ice scrimmage, Ristuccia Arena, 11:00 a.m. ET
|Report: Bruins looking to trade Tomas Kaberle’s rights||06.28.11 at 10:38 pm ET|
According to a tweet from TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Bruins sent out an email Tuesday offering Tomas Kaberle‘s negotiating rights to other teams. Any team that acquired Kaberle would, as the Bruins do now, be able to negotiate with the defenseman exclusively leading up to the opening of free agency on Friday.
Kaberle, 33, is one of only two unrestricted free agents from the Bruins’ Stanley Cup champion lineup. Acquired on Feb. 18 in exchange for center Joe Colborne, a 2011 first-round pick and a 2012 second-rounder, he had one goal and eight assists for nine points in 24 regular-season games with the B’s. He and Dennis Seidenberg tied for lead among Bruins’ defenseman in postseason points with 11.
Rights to free-agents-to-be can be moved by the teams with which they last played, as the Flyers traded for the rights to goalie Ilya Bryzgalov before locking him up last week. The Canucks traded the rights to defenseman Christian Ehrhoff to the Islanders on Tuesday.
|Max Pacioretty says it again: Don’t prosecute Zdeno Chara||06.28.11 at 5:41 pm ET|
Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty has been very clear about his unhappiness with the league’s decision not to suspend Zdeno Chara for the March 8 hit that ended the rookie’s season, but he’s also been emphatic about it not going any farther.
In wake of Tuesday’s news that Montreal police still intend to question Chara for a criminal investigation, Pacioretty — who has gotten in trouble on twitter before — took to the social networking service to make it clear that he does not want Chara to be face any sort of criminal charges.
Here are two tweets from the Connecticut native on Tuesday:
|Another defenseman drops off market as Joni Pitkanen returns to Hurricanes||06.28.11 at 5:33 pm ET|
The list of solid free agent defensemen gets smaller with each passing day, as the Hurricanes have retained Joni Pitkanen on a three-year deal, according to multiple reports. ESPN.com has the deal carrying a $4.5 million annual cap hit.
That makes two good blueliners to pass on the open market in the last two days, as Kevin Bieksa re-upped with the Canucks for five years and $23 million on Monday. These signings will continue to push Tomas Kaberle higher on the list of coveted free-agent defensemen, as Christian Ehrhoff, James Wisniewski and Kaberle now make up the big three amongst remaining blueliners.
Free agency begins Friday, and Peter Chiarelli has maintained that he’s been in contact with Kaberle’s agent, Rick Curran. The 33-year-old had a $4.25 million cap hit last season and should see a pay decrease. It appeared he might have made significantly less based on his performance for most of his time with the Bruins, but if supply and demand works in his favor, a team could overpay to land him.
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