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Bruins sign Zane McIntyre to 2-year entry-level contract 06.23.15 at 3:25 pm ET
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The Bruins announced Tuesday that they have signed goaltender Zane McIntyre to a two-year entry-level contract.

Originally taken by the B’€™s in the sixth round of the 2010 draft, McIntyre has developed into one of the top goaltending prospects in hockey, finishing as a Hobey Baker finalist and winning the Mike Richter Award last season at North Dakota.

In three seasons at North Dakota, McIntyre set school records in career save percentage (.927) and goals against average (2.08). He posted a 58-24-9 career record.

Formerly Zane Gothberg, McIntyre changed his surname name to his mother’€™s maiden name following his grandmother’€™s passing in 2014. With his mother remarrying and sister getting married, McIntyre made the change to continue the family name.

The signing of McIntyre leaves the Bruins pretty loaded at goaltender, as 28-year-old Tuukka Rask is followed by 2012 first-round pick Malcolm Subban and McIntyre on the organizational depth chart. Boston still needs to sign a backup goaltender for the NHL team, however, as Niklas Svedberg departed for the KHL this offseason.

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NHL salary cap for 2015-16 set at $71.4 million 06.23.15 at 12:36 pm ET
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The NHL and NHLPA announced Tuesday that the salary cap upper limit for the 2015-16 season has been set at $71.4 million. The lower limit is $52.8 million.

The upper limit for the recently concluded season was $69 million, meaning teams will have $2.4 million more in cap space than was previously allotted.

Not counting Marc Savard, the Bruins currently have $59,841,667* against the cap committed to 15 players (nine forwards, five defensemen and one goalie) for next season, with Dougie Hamilton, Brett Connolly and Ryan Spooner all restricted free agents.

* The B’€™s have internal candidates (ex. Brian Ferlin, Joonas Kemppainen, Alexander Khokhlachev, Seth Griffith, Joe Morrow) to fill some of their roster vacancies, but only players with one-way contracts (or obvious NHLers such as David Pastrnak) were included in the aforementioned calculation.

Dougie Hamilton contract talks could pick up this week 06.22.15 at 4:04 pm ET
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Dougie Hamilton

Dougie Hamilton

Talks between the Bruins and restricted free agent Dougie Hamilton could soon pick up steam.

J.P. Barry, the agent for Hamilton, will be in Sunrise, Fla. later this week for the NHL draft. It’€™s expected that he and the B’€™s will talk shop as the sides look to find common ground on Hamilton’€™s next contract.

Hamilton, 22, is coming off his entry-level contract. Given his experience and his comparables, a long-term deal would likely command a steep cap hit, perhaps similar to that of Drew Doughty’€™s eight-year, $56 million deal signed back in 2011.

The Bruins could sign Hamilton to a shorter-term deal with a lower cap hit, but that would get Hamilton closer to unrestricted free agency, at which point he could command much more money.

If the Bruins and Hamilton do not strike a deal by July 1, Hamilton will be able to seek offer sheets from other teams. Should he sign with one of those teams, the Bruins would have seven days to either match that contract or take draft pick compensation instead.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

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A cheat sheet for those confused about the Dougie Hamilton situation (with visuals!) 06.15.15 at 12:17 pm ET
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Dougie Hamilton is going to get paid a lot of money and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. Any conversation about how he shouldn’t — and there have been several over the last few days — generally exposes a lack of understanding on the part of its participants.

We’ve written about Hamilton’s next deal multiple times now, outlining his comps and and what they made. Here’s an attempt at summarizing things for folks who may still be confused.

HIS COMPS ARE VERY GOOD

For the third time, look at this table:

Screen Shot 2015-06-11 at 12.04.13 PM

Those are not advanced stats. It’s points per game. Division is not an advanced concept for most elementary school graduates.

NONE OF THESE GUYS WERE IN THEIR PRIME WHEN THEY SIGNED THEIR DEALS

The Kings took a leap of faith with Doughty by giving him that contract, and it has paid off. Doughty has led the Kings to two Stanley Cups since, and one could only imagine what he’€™d command if he had taken a short deal and had his contract come up again a couple years late.

The reason teams should go long at a higher cap hit is to buy out years of free agency. The goal is to have a player’s prime years cheap. A bridge contract means the team would have to later pay way more for those prime years.

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Claude Julien wants to stay with Bruins as long as he’s wanted 06.10.15 at 11:29 am ET
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Claude Julien will coach a ninth season with the Bruins. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Claude Julien will coach a ninth season with the Bruins. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

WILMINGTON — Claude Julien said Wednesday that the Bruins did not give him permission to talk to other teams and that he didn’€™t necessarily want it.

That’€™s a lot of faith to have in the Bruins keeping him, but Julien said his impression throughout his two-month stay in coaching purgatory was that he would be back with the Bruins.

“The impression I got from the get-go was that they were hoping to keep me and it was going to depend on the new GM,” Julien said. “And I agree: As much as you want the new GM to be comfortable with his guy, it’s the same thing. If the new GM doesn’t like me as a coach, I don’t want to be here either.

“I understood that right from the get-go when Peter was let go. Basically, I was waiting to see if that was going to be a good match and it turned out to be.”

The fact that new general manager Don Sweeney took as long as he did to make a decision on Julien suggests he could be on a short leash. Julien said he feels good about his job security based on philosophical similarities with Sweeney.

“I know a lot of speculations have been made on whether this is temporary or whatever it is,” Julien said. “But we’re really committed and determined to take this team and move forward in the right directions. Don and I have had talks and have a very, very similar outlook on what’s needed and what we want to do. There was never an issue there at all. That’s why it’s worked out. We seemed to be seeing the same things.”

Jukuen said he intends to make adjustments to his coaching style, but that he intended to do that anyway, noting that he and his assistants met two days after the season to outline their intended changes.

When pressed on what those changes were, Julien said pretty much the same thing that Peter Chiarelli said before being fired and Sweeney said after being hired: transition the puck better.

“There are things we feel we can do with the way the game has changed a little bit to help out transition game a little better,’€ Julien said. ‘€œThere was a time when our transition game was good with the way teams were forechecking.

“Teams’€™ forechecking has changed a lot so there are thing we feel we can do with our transition game that we feel we can do a lot better with creating some speed. We had already kind of addressed that and we’re going to introduce that into camp like we do every year. To me, those aren’t changes. Those are adjustments like we do every year.”

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Claude Julien says he feels safe working for Cam Neely 06.10.15 at 10:39 am ET
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WILMINGTON — Claude Julien is back for a ninth season as Bruins coach, and he said Wednesday at Ristuccia Arena that he doesn’t feel his status is temporary.

Furthermore, he said he feels safe working for B’s president Cam Neely, who has reportedly wanted to fire him in the past. The Boston Globe reported after the season that Neely wanted to relieve the coach in January.

“That’€™s what’€™s been out there. Is it the truth? That’€™s the biggest question,” Julien said of Neely wanting him gone.

Neely infamously said years ago that the Bruins can’t win games by a 0-0 score, something that was perceived as a shot at Julien. Both he and Julien say they’ve moved past that comment — Julien even noted they go out for drinks — but that isn’t what’s in question. What’s in question is whether Neely is going to want Julien gone again at some point.

“I think it’€™s foolish to think that a president is just hovering over a coach’€™s head, waiting [to] fire him,” Julien said. “He’€™s had the power, I guess, to do that, and he didn’€™t. I think right there and then, it’€™s got to tell you something. It’€™s not an issue for me.”

More to come from Julien.

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How Victor Hedman plays into Dougie Hamilton conversation 06.09.15 at 1:06 pm ET
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Victor Hedman has become elite. (Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

Will Dougie Hamilton continue to follow Victor Hedman’s career path?           (Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

Victor Hedman has most definitely arrived. His sixth season in the NHL, despite an injury detour early in the season, has cemented his status as one of the top defensemen in the league. The Bruins could use someone like that, and they can only hope Dougie Hamilton becomes such an impact player.

They can do more than hope, actually. They can look at the players’ career paths and project accordingly.

Like Hamilton, Hedman is a big, skilled, offensively creative defenseman whose detractors note a lack of physicality. He was also a top prospect in his draft (second overall in 2009).

Hedman’s bigger than Hamilton; he’s 6-foot-6 and, after coming into the league at 220 pounds, is now listed at 230 pounds. Hamilton is 6-foot-5 and 212 pounds. He could stand to continue to bulk up.

Yet where Hamilton has Hedman — and pretty much everyone — is how his career has begun. If Hamilton has reached his ceiling, he’ll be a solid player who has a solid career. There’s little reason to think that, however, as he has outperformed plenty of great defensemen who ascended to stardom after their first three seasons.

Back in April, we compared Hamilton to P.K. Subban, Drew Doughty, Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Alex Pietrangelo, looking at the how they performed in their entry-level contracts and noting the contracts those players got. Given that Hedman has become one of the top young blueliners in the game, it’s worth revisiting with his numbers as well.

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Read More: Dougie Hamilton, Drew Doughty, P.K. Subban, Victor Hedman
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