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Don Cherry on MFB: Milan Lucic is ‘[going to] come back with a force’ this season 07.02.15 at 12:52 pm ET
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Don Cherry

Don Cherry

Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry joined Middays with MFB on Thursday to discuss the Bruins’ recent moves. To hear the interview, go to the Middays with MFB audio on demand page.

Prior to the NHL draft Milan Lucic and 22-year-old defenseman Dougie Hamilton were traded to the Kings and Flames, respectively. The trades caught many by surprise, though the return for both of them gave the Bruins pieces to work with, namely those acquired in the Lucic trade.

The winger was traded to Los Angeles for goaltender Martin Jones, defenseman Colin Miller and the No. 15 overall pick in last Friday’s draft. The B’s were able to flip Jones to the Sharks afterwards for a first-round pick in 2016 and the rights to Miami Redhawks rising senior Sean Kuraly.

“I think what happened is [Lucic] sort of fell out of favor with that [18] goals [last season],” Cherry said. “You expected more goals from him. I have to admit, he wasn’t Lucic of old last year, but somehow or other, I always think of the Bruins, I think of them as tough and everybody thinks of them as tough.”

“Lucic, I know he had an off-year last year, but he’s [going to] come back with a force,” he added. “When you think of the Bruins, when everybody thinks of the Bruins, they think of Lucic, and then a 22-year-old guy. … You don’t get a 22-year-old stud like that guy and Calgary now has the best defense in the league, there’s no doubt about it.”

Following Hamilton being traded there were reports saying Hamilton was a “loner” and an “uppity kid.” Cherry said that wouldn’t matter to him if he were coaching the Bruins.

“If I had Hamilton, somehow I’d work him in, and that’s the job of the organization,” he said. “When I hear he doesn’t work and he’s a loner, who cares? Look at the way he plays, it’s on the ice. I don’t care if he’s a loner or not. I don’t believe in that stuff.”

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Read More: Claude Julien, Don Cherry, Dougie Hamilton, Matt Beleskey
Dougie Hamilton signs team-friendly contract with Flames 06.30.15 at 2:44 pm ET
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Dougie Hamilton

Dougie Hamilton

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.

Read More: Dougie Hamilton,
Pierre McGuire on MFB: ‘I do think [the Bruins] have a plan’ 06.29.15 at 12:26 pm ET
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Pierre McGuire

Pierre McGuire

NBC Sports analyst Pierre McGuire joined Middays with MFB on Monday to discuss the Bruins’ rebuilding strategy and the direction they will go after surprise moves prior to the NHL draft last week. To hear the full interview, visit the Middays with MFB audio on demand page.

Amidst highly controversial moves, McGuire does not expect the Bruins to hold a fire sale and rid themselves of other veterans like Zdeno Chara and Tuukka Rask.

“I can’t see that happening,” McGuire said. “They’re a proud franchise. I can’t see that alienation of their fan base. They’ve been down this road before back in the [mid-1990s]. It was painful. … They’ve still got a very solid infrastructure of players. But again, they’re going to have to pass the torch here because some of their better guys are getting older.

“I can’t see them trading Patrice Bergeron. You put his name out there and every team in the league’s going to want him. … This is my one word of caution on this: I would be really careful pre-judging this thing if I were a Bruins fan, because I do think they have a plan. Doesn’t mean they have to share it with everybody only because you don’t want to show your cards too often in this league. In this league, they throw you anchors, not life jackets.”

According to McGuire, the recent moves made by the Bruins are part of a trend that began last offseason with the departure of Shawn Thornton and Jarome Iginla, among others.

“[My reaction was] that Don Sweeney wanted to put his stamp on the team early on along with Cam Neely that this was clearly something that was approved by ownership, that they felt that maybe something had gone a little bit astray in their building plan and they wanted to try to get it straightened out as soon as possible,” McGuire said. “I remember being in Boston last year when Johnny Boychuk got traded away … and I remember the reaction of the players and it was really negative. They were not happy at all.

Shawn Thornton moves on to Florida, Jarome Iginla moves on to Colorado, Johnny Boychuk moves on to the New York Islanders and then you see what happens this year — Chiarelli gets fired, Gregory Campbell‘s not coming back, Danny Paille’s not coming back, Milan Lucic isn’t coming back and obviously Dougie Hamilton’s not coming back. Start doing the math. That’s a huge part of your infrastructure, so clearly they knew that they wanted to go in a younger, different direction and they’ve started that process.”

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Read More: Don Sweeney, Dougie Hamilton, Martin Jones, Milan Lucic
Breaking down Bruins’ moves from Friday 06.27.15 at 8:36 am ET
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Don Sweeney

Don Sweeney

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.

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Read More: Dougie Hamilton, Milan Lucic,
After losing Dougie Hamilton, Claude Julien says young players ask for too much too soon 06.26.15 at 11:48 pm ET
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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.”

Read More: Claude Julien, Dougie Hamilton,
Source: Bruins didn’t offer Hamilton more than $6 million a year at 7:04 pm ET
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Dougie Hamilton

Dougie Hamilton

SUNRISE, Fla. — Bruins general manager Don Sweeney met with the media at BB&T Center on Friday following his trades of Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic. Much of the session focused on Hamilton, who was sent to the Flames on Friday afternoon for the 15th, 45th and 52nd picks of this weekend’s draft.

Sweeney said that Hamilton turned down significant money from Boston as the team tried to sign the restricted free agent-to-be, but that the player rejected it. A source told WEEI.com shortly after that none of the offers extended by the Bruins exceeded $6 million in average annual value.

As such, it isn’t a big surprise that the sides weren’t able to come to terms. Hamilton’s experience and numbers gave him some pricey comparable players, and as such he figured to command anywhere from $6 million to $7 million on a long-term deal.

The general manager noted that the fear of losing Hamilton to an offer sheet factored into the decision to trade him, but that the issues signing him were the ultimate reason he was moved.

“We were in a position to be able to react accordingly if we felt that was necessary,” Sweeney said of offer sheets.

“I think the more important part was that I didn’t believe that Dougie would have been comfortable in Boston going forward.”

Sweeney said he talked to numerous teams and fielded multiple offers before executing the trade with the Flames. The lack of return led to immediate criticism of the trade on the Bruins’ end, as the B’s could have received more picks had they simply let Hamilton sign a rich offer sheet with another team.

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Sides meet, but Bruins and Dougie Hamilton still not close on contract extension 06.25.15 at 2:22 pm ET
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Dougie Hamilton

Dougie Hamilton

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. –€” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney and agent J.P. Barry met Wednesday night in Florida as the sides continue to discuss Dougie Hamilton’€™s next contract.

The sides are not close to a deal, as the meeting focused on where Hamilton stands at this point in his career and the term of a potential contract. Sweeney declined to reveal his preference for term when asked at Thursday’€™s pre-draft availability.

Sweeney described the status of negotiations as “further discussions” and said the sides are keeping “€œreal, real good communication”€ in an effort to strike a deal.

Asked whether signing Hamilton before July 1 (the start of restricted free agency for Hamilton) is his priority, Sweeney replied, “In a perfect world, it would be.”

“You’€™ve got to have two sides to make a deal,”€ Sweeney added. “€œWe’€™re just going to continue to explore that and communicate as best we can to continue to find the right deal.”

Sweeney said that if a team is to present Hamilton with an offer sheet in July, the B’€™s would “have to be aware and prepared for it.”€ It is expected that the Bruins would match any deal, though they would like to sign Hamilton on their own terms.

“We’re going to do whatever we have to do in order to protect the player,” Sweeney said when asked about potential financial maneuvers to ensure that the Bruins don’t lose Hamilton.

Given the salary cap in the NHL, the ideal scenario for the Bruins would be to sign Hamilton, a rising star, to a lengthy contract to buy out years of unrestricted free agency. That way, the Bruins would get more of Hamilton’s prime years for less money. Hamilton is four seasons away from having the service time accrued to be an unrestricted free agent. The max length for a team signing their own player to a contract is eight years.

Where that gets tough for the Bruins is that they don’€™t have the cap space to sign a player for a high average annual value, which is what such a contract would require. A shorter contract would command less per year, but the Bruins would either have to pay more at the end of it or risk losing their player on the open market down the road.

Both Ryan Spooner and Brett Connolly are also days away from restricted free agency. The Bruins have already begun talks with the representatives for both players. Sweeney reiterated that he hopes to re-sign Adam McQuaid.

Sweeney and Barry are expected to meet again before the end of draft weekend.

Read More: Don Sweeney, Dougie Hamilton,
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