|Matt Bartkowski signs with Canucks||07.01.15 at 1:07 pm ET|
Predictably, Matt Bartkowski’s time with the Bruins is over. Predictably, the next chapter of his career will be in Vancouver.
The Canucks signed the 27-year-old defenseman to a one-year deal on Wednesday, the opening day of free agency. Bartkowski was an unrestricted free agent after spending the first five years of his career with the Bruins.
Bartkowski will be reunited with former Bruins assistant general manager Jim Benning, who took over as Canucks GM last offseason.
The B’s initially acquired Bartkowski in a 2010 trade with the Panthers that also brought Dennis Seidenberg to Boston. Bartkowski was a seventh-round pick of the Panthers in 2008, but never signed with Florida. He left Ohio State after two seasons to turn pro.
Bartkowski’s tenure with the B’s was full of stops and starts and various stints in Boston and Providence. A skilled skater, Bartkowski struggled with confidence and had trouble solidifying a spot in Boston’s lineup, with the 2013-14 campaign seeing him play a career-high 64 games thanks largely to Seidenberg‘s season-ending knee injury.
Though Bartkowski scored a big goal in Game 7 of the first round against the Maple Leafs in the 2013 playoffs, he has no goals in 131 regular-season games in the NHL.
|Exploring the idea of Matt Beleskey to the Bruins||07.01.15 at 7:00 am ET|
Poor Matt Beleskey.
He could very well cash in on Wednesday, but you can’t help but feel for the guy.
The newly 27-year-old left wing might be the most offensively potent free agent in this year’s class, yet he’s at the very top of virtually every “buyer beware” list. Instead of the being billed as the solution to teams’ problems, he’s being billed as the second coming of David Clarkson.
Why? Because he’s only done it once.
“It” being reach the 20-goal plateau, that is. In 65 games for Anaheim last season, Beleskey notched 22 goals and 10 assists for 32 points. Not only was it Beleskey’s only 20-goal season; it was just his second 10-goal season in the NHL, as his previous career high was 11 goals, which he registered in the 2009-10 season as a rookie.
What makes Beleskey’s goal total flash red is the fact that this season saw him play on a line with Ryan Kesler after playing in lesser roles in previous seasons. As our pal Nick Goss points out, his shooting percentage nearly doubled last season from his career mark entering the season
As such, arguing that a particular team should sign the player figures to be met with skepticism, but the Bruins could actually be a fit in the right circumstances. Read the rest of this entry »
|Source: Ryan Spooner agrees to 2-year extension with Bruins||06.30.15 at 10:06 pm ET|
According to a source, the Bruins and Ryan Spooner have agreed to a two-year contract extension worth a total of $1.9 million. The contract will carry an annual cap hit of $950,000.
Spooner, 23, concluded his entry level contract with the Bruins and would become a restricted free agent on Wednesday. In 34 games last season, Spooner scored eight goals and added 18 assists for 26 points.
The left-shot center is the favorite to replace the departed Carl Soderberg as the Bruins’ third-line center. Spooner served in that role late in the season following David Krejci‘s knee injury, putting together an impressive stretch on a highly productive line with Milan Lucic and David Pastrnak.
The Bruins originally drafted the Ontario native in the second round of the 2010 draft with the 45th overall pick.
With Spooner signed, the Bruins now have approximately $62,110,667 committed against the cap to 17 players for next season.
The signing of Spooner leaves right wing Brett Connolly as the only remaining restricted free agent the B’s have left to sign. Two of their restricted free agents were traded in recent days in Dougie Hamilton (Flames) and Martin Jones (Sharks), while the team did not send qualifying offers to Matt Lindblad, Rob Flick and Adam Morrison.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Offer sheet an unlikely tactic for Bruins||06.30.15 at 9:24 pm ET|
Well, some will. The Bruins probably won’t.
In order to sign a player to an offer sheet, a team must have the proper draft picks to surrender should the rights-holding team opt not to match. The picks must be that team’s natural picks and not selections acquired from other clubs.
So, while the Bruins have a pair of first-rounders next year (their own and the Sharks’) as well as the Islanders’ second-rounder, they do not have their own second-round pick. That selection was sent to Tampa in the Brett Connolly trade.
That means they would not be able to sign a player to a contract with an RFA compensation number in the following ranges:
– $1,826,3280-$3,652,659 (second round pick)
– $5,478,986-$7,305,316 (first, second and third-round picks)
– $7,305,316-$9,131,645 (two firsts, one second and one third-round pick)
Just a reminder: RFA compensation is not calculated like cap hits (total money before before 40 divided by years of contract before 40, not that the 40 thing is relevant to an RFA anyway), but rather by total money divided by years or five, whichever is smaller.
As such, the team could in theory offer a player a seven-year deal worth $6.63 million a year, which would bring that number to $9.28 million. In that case, the Bruins wouldn’t need to give up a second-rounder, but rather four first-round picks. Given the murky waters the Bruins appear set to navigate, gambling future first-round picks would not be a wise move.
In Tuesday’s pre-free-agency conference call, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney was asked about the possibility of offer-sheeting a player.
‘Well, I think every club has that club in their bag, so to speak,’ Sweeney said. ‘If you’ve got the space to be able to do it, and certainly teams that are pushed up against it, you feel that pressure. So yeah, there’s not a general manager, I don’t think, that wouldn’t look at every opportunity to improve their club. An offer sheet is definitely a possibility from every angle, for every team.’
Unless the Bruins are planning on spending a whole lot (or very little), don’t expect them to use the tactic unless they can first re-acquire that pick from Tampa. Furthermore, it isn’t like the Bruins have a whole lot of money to spend. Including the estimated $969,000 in overages from last season and the $2.75 million retained in the Milan Lucic trade, the Bruins have $61,160,667 committed to 16 players for the 2015-16 season, not counting Marc Savard. The salary cap’s upper limit is $71.4 million.
The trade market remains Sweeney’s best shot at improving the team.
|Dougie Hamilton signs team-friendly contract with Flames||06.30.15 at 2:44 pm ET|
Perhaps Don Sweeney was on to something.
The Flames poured salt on Boston’s wound Tuesday, signing Dougie Hamilton to a very team-friendly six-year deal worth $34.5 million total with an annual cap hit of $5.75 million. The signing was first reported by TSN’s Darren Dreger.
The Hamilton extension comes four days after the Bruins traded the 2011 ninth overall pick to Calgary because they felt they could not sign the player.
The numbers on the contract make the whole situation all the more interesting. Hamilton was seeking a deal similar to Drew Doughty’s eight-year contract worth $7 million annually. The Bruins’ highest offer to Hamilton was reportedly for six years and $5.5 million annually, which is very similar to what Hamilton took with the Flames.
That gives credence to Sweeney’s line Friday about how the Bruins didn’t feel Hamilton would be “comfortable” in Boston.
Hamilton declined to comment on his time in Boston during a conference call Tuesday, even when asked if he could deny that he wanted out.
Even if Hamilton’s preference was to play elsewhere, the Bruins can still expect criticism for receiving only picks for a player considered to be a major asset.
Boston received a first-round pick (15th overall) and two second-rounders (Nos. 45 and 52) in last week’s draft for Hamilton. While that’s a mediocre haul for a 22-year-old top defenseman who has yet to enter his prime, it is more than the B’s would have received had Hamilton signed an offer sheet for the money he got from Calgary.
Had Hamilton signed a six-year, $34.5 million deal in restricted free agency, its annual number would have been calculated by dividing the total money by five, making the number $6.9 million. That would qualify the Bruins to receive a first, second and third-round pick if they chose not to match.
Of course, teams would have had to offer more had the Bruins kept Hamilton and gone into restricted free agency. The deal Hamilton took with Calgary would have been a no-brainer to match.
|Newly acquired Bruins prospect Sean Kuraly will stay in school||06.30.15 at 2:21 pm ET|
Touching base with WEEI.com Tuesday afternoon, Miami of Ohio coach Enrico Blasi said that center Sean Kuraly, whose rights the Bruins acquired earlier in the day, will stay in school for his senior season next year.
Blasi sang the praises of Kuraly, whom he called a “horse,” and noted that the 22-year-old will be the RedHawks’ captain this season. The Bruins are aware of Kuraly’s intention to stay in school.
After the Bruins got Kuraly and San Jose’s 2016 first-round pick for goaltender Martin Jones, former Blue Jackets general manager Doug MacLean tweeted that Kuraly was a “steal” for Boston and that he is an NHL-ready player. The B’s will have to wait, it seems.
What a deal for boston. 1st for Jones and Sean Kuraly. Kuraly will play in NHL now if he decides to leave school. Steal in deal!
— Doug Maclean (@DougMaclean) June 30, 2015
Kuraly was a fifth-round pick of the Sharks in the 2011 draft. The Bruins will still have his rights when he finishes his senior season. He scored 19 goals and added 10 assists for 29 points in 40 games last season for the Red Hawks.
|Bruins trade Martin Jones to Sharks for first-round pick, prospect||06.30.15 at 12:54 pm ET|
The Martin Jones era is over.
(Martin Jones was on the Bruins.)
Shortly after acquiring him from the Kings in the Milan Lucic trade, the Bruins have flipped the goaltender to the Sharks, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.
Sharks give up a 2016 first-round draft pick plus unsigned prospect Sean Kuraly for Martin Jones
‘ Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 30, 2015
The package of San Jose’s first-round pick and the rights to Sean Kuraly presents a strong return for Martin, a restricted free agent goaltender looking for an opportunity to start somewhere.
With the trade of Martin, the Bruins have now turned Milan Lucic (and $2.75 million in retained salary) into Los Angeles’ first-round pick Friday, San Jose’s first-round pick next year, and a pair of prospects in Kuraly and defenseman Colin Miller.
Kuraly spent the last three seasons playing college hockey at Miami University in Ohio. He was a teammate of Bruins prospect Austin Czarnik, whom Boston signed as a free agent late last season.
The 22-year-old Kuraly is a left shot who stands at 6-foot-2 and 201 pounds. Last season, he scored 19 goals and added 10 assists for 29 points in 40 games.