|Source: Bruins final offer to Loui Eriksson was 5 years, low $5 million range||07.01.16 at 5:11 pm ET|
As of Thursday, the Bruins seemed all but out of the running for Loui Eriksson, with their final offer not suiting what the 30-year-old wing was confident he would get on the open market.
As it turned out, Eriksson was right.
During negotiations, Eriksson’s camp made it clear that they felt worthy of a six-year, $36-million deal. According to a source familiar with the negotiations, the Bruins’ final offer to Eriksson was for five years with a cap hit in the low $5-million range. Eriksson ended up getting six and $6 million annually from the Canucks, with the Bruins finalizing a five-year deal with the same average annual value for 32-year-old David Backes shortly after. Eriksson got nearly $30 million of his deal in signing bonus money.
Eriksson’s deal with the Canucks carries a full no-move clause in its first two years, a full no-trade clause in the next two years and a limited no-trade in the final two years. Negotiations with the Bruins never reached the point of no-trade rights because of the gap in term and dollars.
|Loui Eriksson vs. David Backes: Looking at where the Bruins did (and didn’t) spend their money||at 1:24 pm ET|
The Bruins opted against signing a soon-to-be 31-year-old Loui Eriksson to the six-year, $36 million contract he got with Vancouver and instead gave the same average annual value to 32-year-old David Backes.
So essentially, the Bruins decided they would rather $6 million a year to Backes at age 37 than Eriksson at 37. At face value given their styles of play, Eriksson would seem the better bet to be more productive at that age, though the Bruins shouldn’t be besmirched for opting against Eriksson’s deal. With the caveat that they’re likely not done making moves, the initial reaction here is that, if anything, they perhaps shouldn’t have done either contract.
There is no question that Eriksson is a better possession player and more of a scorer than Backes, but the Bruins, to a fault, value grit. Here’s a comparison of Backes and Eriksson, per Own the Puck:
|Loui Eriksson could be done with Bruins; Canadiens among 8 teams interested||06.30.16 at 1:25 pm ET|
Dennis Seidenberg is done as a Bruin. It appears the same may soon be said for Loui Eriksson.
Though Eriksson’s camp won’t officially rule out the Bruins, the the team has not budged in negotiations regarding the versatile winger’s next contract this week. As such, Eriksson’s camp feels that a deal will not be struck unless things change drastically between Thursday afternoon and the open of free agency Friday. Furthermore, they do not feel that the Bruins’ buyout of Dennis Seidenberg had anything to do with a deal for Eriksson.
In the meantime, eight teams (including the Canadiens) have expressed interest in the player.
“I spoke with Don [Sweeney] today and they are holding firm on their previous offers,” agent J.P. Barry told WEEI.com Thursday. “We will continue to speak with the teams that have show interest.”
Eriksson, who will turn 31 in July, is coming off a 30-goal, 36-assist season in his third campaign in Boston. Assuming Milan Lucic signs in Edmonton, Eriksson will be the most in-demand left-shot wing on the open market.
|Loui Eriksson in talks with six teams, Bruins willing to go past 4 years||06.26.16 at 10:28 pm ET|
As expected, teams have used the NHL’s free agency interview window to approach winger Loui Eriksson, who spent the last three seasons with the Bruins. As of Sunday evening, six teams had contacted Eriksson’s agent about the player.
The Bruins are interested in retaining Eriksson, but have been reluctant to sign Eriksson for anything longer than four years. That said, a source indicated to WEEI.com Sunday night that the Bruins are indeed willing to go beyond four years on a contract carrying a lesser average annual value. Eriksson’s camp believes the soon-to-be 31-year-old will receive at least five years on the open market.
Though the Bruins could still sign Eriksson prior to free agency, he’ll be free to sign wherever when he reaches unrestricted status on Friday.
“I’m sure they’ll be exploring [the interview period],” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said over the weekend. “We’re in a position where we’re going to sign a couple of players and we’ve [been interested] all along. We just don’t know whether or not we’ve found common ground. We clearly didn’t because we didn’t sign, but the discussions were good. They were positive, but it’s a balancing act and we’ll be now in discussions with other players as well.”
A left-shot wing who plays both sides, Eriksson scored 30 goals and added 33 assists for 63 points last season for the Bruins.
|Free agent interview period open; Bruins set to explore options beyond Loui Eriksson||06.25.16 at 9:46 am ET|
BUFFALO — With Loui Eriksson likely headed to free agency and the period for teams to interview free agents having opened at midnight, the Bruins are set to lay the groundwork for whatever their July 1 plans may be.
Those plans still may include retaining Eriksson, but he figures to get plenty of attention from other clubs willing to go longer than the four-year term from which the Bruins have not budged.
“I had a good conversation with Loui’s group, J.P., [Friday],” general manager Don Sweeney said late Friday night. “We’ll continue to see. Obviously the period to talk to other teams is opening and I’m sure they’ll be exploring that. We’re in a position where we’re going to sign a couple of players and we’ve [been interested] all along. We just don’t know whether or not we’ve found common ground. We clearly didn’t because we didn’t sign, but the discussions were good. They were positive, but it’s a balancing act and we’ll be now in discussions with other players as well.”
|Free agency looks likely for Loui Eriksson; Bruins to take ‘one more stab at it’||06.23.16 at 7:52 pm ET|
BUFFALO — Don Sweeney has long been hopeful that he and super agent J.P. Barry would be able to bridge the gap and get a new contract done for veteran right wing Loui Eriksson.
With two days left until Eriksson will be free to interview with other teams and over a week until he’ll become an unrestricted free agent, Sweeney didn’t appear to be in a very hopeful state.
“It may not happen,” Sweeney said of an extension.
“I’m going to have a conversation again with J.P. and see if things have changed and take one more stab at it to see if he thinks the internal landscape is as green as we think it is as opposed to what the outside may look like,” Sweeney said. “Obviously he’s on the cusp of maybe exploring things.”
Term has long been a stumbling block between the two sides. The Bruins have been unwilling to go beyond four years on a contract for Eriksson, who will turn 31 next month.
In other free agency news, the Bruins will not bring back Jonas Gustavsson. Zach Trotman will go to market, while the team has had contact with Lee Stempniak and John-Michael Liles.
|Bruins not yet discussing Loui Eriksson’s rights with teams||06.22.16 at 6:58 pm ET|
The Bruins and agent J.P. Barry still plan to negotiate further as they try to bridge the gap on Loui Eriksson’s next contract. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Sweeney and Barry will meet Wednesday night.
With the sides still not close on a deal, however, the clock is ticking on the team to decide whether they’re going to keep the player unsigned through the draft or flip his rights to another team for draft pick compensation. Given that such trades involve mid-round picks (as has been the case for free-agents-to-be Alex Goligoski, Keith Yandle and Jimmy Vesey), the Bruins would realistically have until Saturday (the second day of the draft) to make such a move if they were to seek 2016 compensation. According to a league source, the Bruins are not currently discussing Eriksson’s rights with other teams.
Considering that the team shopped Eriksson leading up to the trade deadline, it figures that the team has some sort of indication as to which teams might be interested should it come to that. Last summer, the Bruins traded the rights of UFA Carl Soderberg to the Avalanche the night before the draft in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2016 draft.