Matt Beleskey scored 22 goals for the Ducks last season. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Free agent left wing Matt Beleskey scored 22 goals for the Ducks last season. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Poor Matt Beleskey.

He could very well cash in on Wednesday, but you can’€™t help but feel for the guy.

He’€™s getting ruined in the press, you see.

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 Getzlaf and Corey Perry, two of the best hockey players in the whole wide world. 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.

Now, we learned at the draft that the B’€™s had expressed interest in the player once the window for teams to talk to players and agents opened last week. That was met with a shrug based on the assumption that Beleskey would wisely look to cash in and take the richest deal possible. If such were the case, Boston would be out of the question.

Thinking a bit outside the box, what if he’€™s actually looking for a good situation where he can try to build on his 20-goal season and try to win without the pressure of living up to an absurd contract?

That’€™s a big, big “if,” considering how many teams are vying for his services (a lot), but if Beleskey wants to play on a good line on a potential playoff team, Boston could make sense, provided they are actually trying to be a playoff team themselves.

With Milan Lucic traded, the Bruins need a left wing for David Krejci. That could potentially be Loui Eriksson if the Bruins move him to left wing, but the Bruins would then need a wing to replace Eriksson’€™s minutes elsewhere.

Interestingly enough, Lucic and Beleskey are the same age to the day (June 7, 1988, also the birthday of a very handsome sportswriter). The Bruins paid Lucic $6 million against the cap last season to score 18 goals. If Beleskey could be had for somewhere in the $4-4.5 million range annually, the B’€™s could expect similar production from him playing on a line with Krejci. With Ryan Spooner ready to take over as the team’s third-line center, the Bruins didn’t have a reason to give Carl Soderberg the five-year, $23.75 million deal he got with the Avalanche, but if Beleskey is willing to take a slightly smaller deal than that, he could be a fit on a team that could use a good left wing.

That would be a tough financial pill to swallow next season given that the Bruins are paying Lucic $2.75 million in retained salary to play elsewhere, but with Spooner continuing to progress, signing Beleskey could give the B’€™s an option for either their second or third line in the coming years as Brad Marchand (two years remaining on his contract) continues to skate with Patrice Bergeron.

Of course, if he struggles to produce like he did prior to his next contract, the Bruins would find themselves in a similar situation they’ve been in recently with Chris Kelly ($3 million) and the Blackhawks have been in with Bryan Bickell ($4 million).

The Bruins also don’t have a lot of cap space, so if they were to sign Beleskey, that might be the highest-priced player they’d take on this offseason, including possible trade targets. With approximately $61,160,667 committed to 16 players not counting Ryan Spooner’s two-year extension, the Bruins do not have a ton of spending money underneath the $71.4 million upper limit. Team’s can be 10 percent over the cap during the offseason, but they might need to trade someone (perhaps Kelly) at some point if they want to give Beleskey a decent contract.

Don Sweeney says the Bruins aren’t rebuilding. After losing Lucic, the team could do worse than to bring in a tough left wing whose career could still be progressing. Beleskey’s only a major risk if he’s given major dollars, so the Bruins should see what he’d be willing to take in Boston before he makes his decision.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

According to a source, the Bruins and Ryan Spooner will make a two-year contract extension official in the coming days.

According to a source, the Bruins and Ryan Spooner will make a two-year contract extension official in the coming days.

Spooner, 23, concluded his entry level contract with the Bruins and is set to 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

The Bruins originally drafted in the second round of the 2010 draft with the 45th overall pick.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

RFA COMPENSATIONWhen noon hits on Wednesday, teams will officially be able to sign restricted free agents to offer sheets.

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.

‘€œWell, I think every club has that club in their bag, so to speak,’€ Sweeney said. ‘€œIf 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.

 

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Don Sweeney has taken heat for the Dougie Hamilton trade. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)It takes a big man to admit his mistake, and I am that big man.” - Michael Scott



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 ‘€œcomfortable’€ in Boston.

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.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

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 Red Hawks’€™ 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 ‘€œsteal’€ for Boston and that he is an NHL-ready player. The B’€™s will have to wait, it seems.

<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>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!</p>&mdash; Doug Maclean (@DougMaclean) <a href=”https://twitter.com/DougMaclean/status/615933718625173504″>June 30, 2015</a></blockquote>
<script async src=”//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js” charset=”utf-8″></script>

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.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

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.

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.

It’s unclear what the Bruins got for Jones, a restricted free agent who figured to be more of a starting goaltender than a backup.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Don Sweeney is adamant that the Bruins are not going through a rebuild.