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Sunday Skate Live Chat: Midseason Finale Edition 04.19.15 at 5:29 am ET
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Should the Bruins have fired Peter Chiarelli? Are they going to fire Claude Julien? Did we really expect anything different from the NHL lottery? Does Tim Murray know the Sabres still have to… pick?

Find out the answers to all these questions and more in the midseason finale edition of the Sunday Skate live chat with Pete Blackburn, Naoko Funayama and DJ Bean. It’s the last Sunday Skate for a while, so make it count.

To listen to the show live, click here. Jump in the chat below.

Live Blog Sunday Skate Live Chat: Midseason Finale Edition
 

Bruins to select 14th overall after Oilers win lottery again 04.18.15 at 8:25 pm ET
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The Oilers won the NHL draft lottery Saturday night, doing so with the third-best odds to finish with the first overall pick. The Oilers, who will almost certainly select Erie (OHL) center Connor McDavid, have the first overall pick for the fourth time in the last six years.

The Bruins, who had a 1 percent chance of the first pick, will select 14th overall. Should they stay at No. 14, it will mark the highest they have selected in the first round since drafting Dougie Hamilton ninth overall in 2011.

Buffalo will pick second overall after missing out on the top pick. The Sabres finished with the lowest points in the NHL and had a 20 percent chance at the first pick. Barring a trade, they will select Chelmsford native Jack Eichel, who recently concluded his freshman (and likely only) season at Boston University. Eichel became the first freshman to win the Hobey Baker since Paul Kariya.

The draft will take place June 26 and 27 in Sunrise, Florida.

Why Bruins should extend Dougie Hamilton for as long as they can 04.17.15 at 1:41 pm ET
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On Friday the Stars announced a seven-year extension with an annual cap hit of $4.25 million for John Klingberg, a promising defenseman coming off his entry-level deal. This offseason the Bruins ideally would use Klingberg’€™s contract as a template for Dougie Hamilton’€™s next deal. Hamilton’€™s camp likely will have other comps in mind.

One of those comps wears No. 76 for the Canadiens. You may have heard of him.

When it comes to Hamilton’€™s worth at the end of his entry-level deal, P.K. Subban is a very realistic comparable. Just look at their numbers through each of their first contracts:

SubbanHamilton2

In terms of points per game, Hamilton also is in some pricey company:

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 1.05.23 PM

Hamilton will become a restricted free agent on July 1. The Bruins probably want to give him a long-term deal, but if he takes a shorter deal and gets to sign his third contract soon, he could potentially make a lot more money.

That’€™s what happened with Subban. The Canadiens were actually unwilling to give him the long-term deal he wanted after his entry-level deal expired, so he took a two-year deal worth just $2.875 million per. Subban shoved that in Marc Bergevin’€™s face by winning the Norris in the first year of that deal and later cashing in with an eight-year deal with an annual cap hit of $9 million.

The Bruins should avoid that scenario at all costs. Hamilton already is the Bruins’€™ second-best defenseman and easily is worth $5 million a year, and probably more.

The Bruins should give Hamilton a number that high for as long as he’€™ll take. Seven years at $5 million-plus per would buy out three years of unrestricted free agency, delaying perhaps Hamilton’€™s biggest payday until he is 29.

Because of that, Hamilton’€™s camp will demand more per year the longer the deal goes. A shorter deal will mean a smaller cap hit, as Hamilton will easily make up that money in free agency sooner if he gets there.  Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Dougie Hamilton, Drew Doughty, P.K. Subban,
Cam Neely says next general manager will decide Claude Julien’s fate 04.15.15 at 4:57 pm ET
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While Peter Chiarelli’s fate is known, Claude Julien‘s isn’t.

Cam Neely and Charlie Jacobs said in Wednesday’s press conference that a decision has still not been made on whether Julien will be kept or fired. Neely made it clear that just because Julien hasn’t been fired yet, it doesn’t mean he won’t be.

“It hasn’€™t fully been made,’€ Neely said of the decision. “We met with Claude this morning, Charlie and I. We told him that we really believe that once we go through the exhaustive search to find the next general manager, we will leave it up to that GM to decide what he wants to do on our coaching staff. Claude certainly understood that, but that’€™s where we left it.”

If the Bruins wait to fire Julien, the coach could miss out on other jobs. Julien signed a multi-year extension with the Bruins prior to this season and, if fired, would be paid it until he got a new job.

As such, there would be no incentive for Julien to quit while in limbo.

“We told him the situation and we asked him, and he said, ‘€˜I signed a contract to coach here and I want to coach here,’€™ so he made that clear when he left,” Neely said. “We had planned to meet with him in the next couple days to sit down about the season and talk to him about this past season. That’€™s next on our agenda with Claude.”

Asked whether the Bruins would consider “trading” Julien for draft picks, Neely said the team had yet to consider it.

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

Read More: Cam Neely, Claude Julien,
Bruins don’t convey preference for internal vs. external hire for GM 04.15.15 at 3:48 pm ET
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The Bruins do not have a preference on whether to fill their vacant general manager spot with an internal or external candidate. Cam Neely and Charlie Jacobs said in a press conference Wednesday that hockey operations will report to Neely in the meantime.

“We’€™re going to take our time and go through the process and make sure we make a decision is best for the organization,” Neely said.

Assistant general manager Don Sweeney would figure to be the top internal candidate for the job. Asked whether promoting from within would bring about enough change after firing Peter Chiarelli, both were noncommittal.

“It’€™s really about what we feel is going to be best for organization,” Neely said.

Added Jacobs: “Find the best candidate. Period.”

Bruins fire general manager Peter Chiarelli, three scouts 04.15.15 at 10:56 am ET
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The Bruins announced Wednesday morning that they have fired general manager Peter Chiarelli.

The firing comes after the team missed the playoffs for the first time in eight years. The only other season under Chiarelli that the B’s failed to qualify for the postseason was 2006-07, his first with the club.

“We are grateful for Peter’s service to the Bruins organization over the last nine seasons,” Bruins president Cam Neely said in a press release. “His efforts undoubtedly helped the team achieve great success during his tenure and he helped restore the proud tradition of Boston Bruins hockey. We ultimately feel that this change is necessary in order to ensure sustainable success for the club both in the short term and the long term. Our search for a new General Manager will begin immediately.”

The B’s also fired amateur scouts Mike Chiarelli (Peter Chiarelli’s brother), Denis Leblanc and European head scout Jukka Holtari.

No interim general manager has been named, though assistant general manager Don Sweeney is the most obvious internal candidate.

“Peter Chiarelli has done a tremendous job for the Boston Bruins over the last nine seasons,” Jeremy Jacobs said in a statement released later in the day. “During that time I have come to know, and like him, both professionally and personally. This decision was not an easy one for Cam and Charlie but, ultimately, the right one for this organization. They have my full support in this decision. I know Peter will move on and continue to do great things in the league and I would give him my highest recommendation.”

The highlight of Chiarelli’s tenure came in June of 2011, when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in his fifth season with the team. The B’s were back in the Cup Final two years later, falling to the Blackhawks in six games.

While drafting was Chiarelli’s most notable shortcoming, his dealings with veteran players were a reason the Bruins became an Eastern Conference powerhouse. Chiarelli’s move from Ottawa to Boston inspired top free agent Zdeno Chara to do the same, while the re-signings of Chara and Patrice Bergeron prior to the 2010-11 season locked up the team’s two best players right before they led the team to the Cup.

Chiarelli was also bold with his roster management. His trade of Tyler Seguin to the Stars in the summer of 2013 did not yield a proper return for the caliber of scorer the Bruins dealt, while the Bruins’ signing of Jarome Iginla left them with millions of dead money against the salary cap this season. The cap crunch forced Boston to shed salary going into this season, with Chiarelli opting to move Johnny Boychuk because the free-agent-to-be would yield the best return of players not expected to stay in Boston long-term.

Chiarelli still has multiple years remaining on his contract. He will continue to be paid by the Bruins until he takes a job with another club.

Read More: Peter Chiarelli,
Torey Krug named to US Men’s National Team for World Championship 04.14.15 at 3:34 pm ET
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Bruins defenseman Torey Krug was one of 15 players named to the US Men’€™s national team as part of the squad’€™s initial roster announcement. Team USA will compete in the 2015 International Ice Hockey Federation Men’€™s World Championship May 1-17 in the Czech Republic.

Other NHL players named to the team include Marc Arcobello, Justin Faulk, Jake Gardiner, Matt Hendricks, Trevor Lewis, John Moore, Jeremy Morin, Connor Murphy, Dan Sexton and Ben Smith.

Leominster native and former University of New Hampshire forward Steve Moses was also named to the team. Moses most recently played in the KHL.

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