|Bruins qualify select RFAs, face nearly $1 million in cap overages next season||06.30.15 at 11:39 am ET|
Bruins general manager Don Sweeney shared in Tuesday’s pre-free agency conference call with reporters that the Bruins sent qualifying offers to restricted free agents Ryan Spooner, Brett Connolly and Martin Jones. The team declined to qualify Matt Lindblad, Rob Flick and Adam Morrison.
Sweeney said that the door has not been closed on Lindblad, Flick or Morrison potentially returning to the B’s.
He also noted that the Bruins are facing nearly a million dollars in cap overages from last season.
Sweeney said that bonuses to Dougie Hamilton and a couple of other players from last season leave the Bruins facing approximately $969,000 in overages that will go against this season’s salary cap.
As such, the Bruins will have nearly $3.7 million in dead money against the cap in the coming season. The Bruins dealt with a similar issue last season, when they had nearly $5 million in cap overages, due largely to the bonus-laden contract given to Jarome Iginla a season earlier.
With Sweeney’s estimate and the newly acquired Zac Rinaldo factored into our running count of Boston’s cap space, the B’s now have $61,160,667 committed to 16 players (not counting Marc Savard). Many young players on two-way contracts could also push for spots, such as Joe Morrow, Brian Ferlin and Colin Miller. Sweeney said that the Bruins remain in talks with teams about trading Savard, whose $4.017 is put on long-term injured reserve each season but could help a team trying to get to the cap floor. The Flyers made a similar move over the weekend by trading Chris Pronger‘s contract to Arizona.
The salary cap’s upper limit for next season is $71.4 million. Free agency begins Wednesday, but even by trading Lucic and Dougie Hamilton, the Bruins will not be in a position to be a major spender unless they trade more players.
That might not be such a bad predicament, as this summer’s free agency class is extremely thin. The forward group is led by 27-year-old left wing Matt Beleskey, who had the first 20-goal season of his career last season with the Ducks and figures to command big money.
Andrej Sekera headlines the group of potentially available defensemen, though the Kings could still re-up him before free agency opens.
|Bruins trade for Zac Rinaldo, seemingly on purpose||06.29.15 at 3:51 pm ET|
The Bruins continued their bewildering offseason Monday by swinging a trade with the Flyers for forward Zac Rinaldo.
Boston sent a third-round pick in the 2017 draft to Philadelphia for Rinaldo, a 25-year-old who has more games served in suspensions (14) than he has goals scored in his NHL career (eight). The most notable part of the Ontario native’s career to date was when he was handed an eight-game ban for this hit on Penguins defenseman Kris Letang.
Rinaldo has two years remaining on his contract, which carries a cap hit of $850,000. He was originally drafted in the sixth round by the Flyers in 2008.
|10 post-draft thoughts on a chaotic weekend for Bruins||06.27.15 at 3:49 pm ET|
SUNRISE, Fla. — The Bruins brass arrived in Florida with a team that was a few tweaks away from contending again. The B’s leave it with a better chance at getting 2016 top prospect Auston Matthews than the Stanley Cup.
What’s done is done, however, and Bruins fans have no choice but to proceed hoping the front office knows what it’s doing.
Here are 10 thoughts with the draft in the books:
— The fact that the Bruins used 10 of the 11 picks that they had after Friday’s trades means they either see this team’s return to glory as a long-term project or that their plans to turn those picks into something else failed. It might be more the latter than the former. The B’s insist they were aggressive in their efforts to get into the top 10 to take Noah Hanifin, Ivan Provorov or Zach Werenski.
— If there’s an “other shoe to drop” in order for the Bruins to ice a Cup-contending roster next season, you’d have to figure it will be extremely difficult to execute now. It’s abundantly clear that the Bruins need to make moves to save the immediate future, so trade partners will be wise to up their prices just like they did when Peter Chiarelli’s job was on the line.
— Speaking of Chiarelli, the moves that the B’s made might have been avoided if Neely fired Chiarelli during the season and sold off parts then. Carl Soderberg could have fetched the B’s a first-round pick at the trade deadline, which the Bruins hypothetically could have used to get into the top 10. At the very least, it would have allowed the Bruins to seek young players for someone like Hamilton rather than just taking picks.
Of course, the performance of Boston’s front office on Friday might leave some Bruins fans regretting ever wanting the B’s to can Chiarelli.
|Bruins keep their picks, add 7 more prospects on second day of draft||06.27.15 at 10:28 am ET|
SUNRISE, Fla. — For the second straight day, the Bruins used a bevy of draft picks to … draft players.
After using three consecutive picks on Friday, Boston spent seven of the eight picks it took into the second and final day of the draft. The only pick traded was a fifth-rounder that the B’s sent to Minnesota.
The B’s kicked off the second day by drafting Tri-City (WHL) defenseman Brandon Carlo with their first pick of the second round (37th overall). They then took center Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (a Boston University commit) with the 45th pick and defenseman Jeremy Lauzon (Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL) with the 52nd.
Carlo is a big kid at 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds. He was rated as the No. 25 North American skater by NHL Central Scouting, which is well ahead of Zachary Senyshyn, whom Boston chose 15th overall Friday night. Central Scouting had Senyshyn as the 38th North American skater.
While Carlo has similar size to the recently traded Dougie Hamilton, they are not similar players. Carlo described himself as more of a defensive defenseman, with Kirk Luedeke of the Red Line Report and New England Hockey Journal projecting him to be a shutdown player.
The pick was originally the Flyers’, but it was sent to the Islanders in the Andrew MacDonald trade before being flipped to Boston in the Johnny Boychuk trade.
|Breaking down Bruins’ moves from Friday||06.27.15 at 8:36 am ET|
SUNRISE, Fla. — The Bruins did a lot on Friday. It’s obvious that the moves as a whole represent a horrid day for new general manager Don Sweeney, but at least one of them made sense in a vacuum.
As such, here’s an attempt to break down each of the individual moves made by the Bruins:
Bruins trade Dougie Hamilton to Flames for picks No. 15, 45 and 52
One-word summary: Unforgivable.
The Hamilton fiasco represents really two lapses on the part of Don Sweeney.
First is the struggle to sign the team’s most important young player to a second deal. He asked for a lot of money because the best young defensemen in the league make a lot of money on their second deals. The Bruins’ unwillingness to pay it does not bode well for the future.
Consider this: David Pastrnak has two more years left on his entry-level deal. Guess who represents him? The same guy they just swung and missed with in J.P. Barry. This group can only hope it has better a better feel for re-signing youngsters by then.
The second part of it is the trade itself. Hamilton was one of the very best chips Sweeney had, and one that should have been kept at nearly all costs. Instead, he was flipped for the 15th overall pick and two second-rounders.
At the very, very least, the Bruins should have been able to get at least another first-round pick or a top prospect from a team in exchange for the already established Hamilton. This was the kind of move that can set a franchise back.
|After losing Dougie Hamilton, Claude Julien says young players ask for too much too soon||06.26.15 at 11:48 pm ET|
SUNRISE, Fla. — Claude Julien lamented the fact that Dougie Hamilton wanted top dollar hours after the Bruins traded the 22-year-old star defenseman in a stunning deal with the Flames.
With statistics and big-name comps on Hamilton’s side, the defenseman’s camp sought a deal commensurate with those of other top young defensemen such as Drew Doughty and Alex Pietrangelo. The Bruins were unwilling to pay that, with a source telling WEEI.com Friday that none of Boston’s offers exceeded $6 million a year.
Julien said he understood why Hamilton wants to be paid like his peers, but he doesn’t like how soon players cash in these days.
“The players and the organization, I guess everybody’s in their right with the way CBA is,” Julien said after the first round of the draft on Friday. “As a coach, to be honest with you, I find it very unfortunate that players that have played maybe three years in the league, all of a sudden they’re looking to be up there with the top-paid players.
“I prefer it the other way, where they work their way up: years of service and everything else.
“That’s not to say he wasn’t in his right. He’s in his right. He’s entitled to do what he did. I’m not standing here blaming him at all. Would we like to have kept him? I think we would have liked to have kept Dougie Hamilton. He’s a good promising young player, but you move on.”
|Bruins take Jakub Zboril, Jake DeBrusk, Zachary Senyshyn in first round||06.26.15 at 8:43 pm ET|
SUNRISE, Fla. — With the first of three consecutive picks, the Bruins selected Saint John (QMJHL) defenseman Jakub Zboril 13th overall. The B’s then went with Swift Current (WHL) left wing Jake DeBrusk with the 14th pick and right wing Zachary Senyshyn of Sault Ste. Marie (OHL) 15th overall.
The selections add a prospect to a blue line that was weakened by the trade hours earlier and gives the Bruins a chance to groom a legitimate top-six winger for the first time since 2006 third-round pick Brad Marchand. They do not make the Bruins better in the short term, as none are expected to be NHL players next season.
Zboril is a well-rounded left-shot defenseman who stands at 6-foot-0 3/4 and 184 pounds. The Czech blueliner was considered the fourth-best defenseman in this year’s draft class behind Noah Hanifin (Hurricanes), Ivan Provorov (Flyers) and Zach Werenski (Blue Jackets), all of whom were selected in the first eight picks.
Don Sweeney said after the first round that he pushed hard to trade up to get one of the top three defensemen, but that the asking prices for higher picks were so high that they opted to wait for the 13th pick and take Zboril.
Zboril eventually will be part of a rapidly changing Bruins blue line. The Bruins lost both Johnny Boychuk and Dougie Hamilton to trades over the last calendar year and expect bigger contributions from the likes of Zach Trotman and Joe Morrow in the coming seasons.
The 5-foot-11 3/4, 174-pound DeBrusk was the 19th-ranked North American skater by NHL Central Scouting. The Edmonton native scored 42 goals last season for the Broncos, adding 39 assists for 81 points in 72 games. He is the son of former NHL player Louie DeBrusk.