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

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney shared in Tuesday’€™s pre-free agency conference call with reporters that the Bruins sent qualifying offers to restricted free agents Ryan Spooner, Brett Connolly and Martin Jones.

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

To some degree, his actions reflect that he doesn’€™t think the Bruins will bottom out. For example, no team planning on rebuilding would send a third-round pick in two years away in exchange for bottom-of-the-roster player, as the B’€™s did this week by acquiring Zac Rinaldo for a 2017 third-round pick.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Sweeney’€™s stance on his team’€™s direction remained unchanged from the weekend.

“I don’€™t think it’€™s a rebuild,” Sweeney said. “We didn’€™t strip this down.”

The Bruins have made a number of moves of late, which have left fans believing the Bruins are indeed undergoing an overhaul. The trades of Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic have made the current roster considerably worse, while the re-signing of Adam McQuaid and the trade for Rinaldo have been met with confusion.

The Bruins still have a core of Zdeno Chara, Tuukka Rask and Patrice Bergeron in place, which could still allow them to contend for the playoffs. Further moves figure to better indicate the team’€™s direction.

Sweeney insisted that one piece of the team’€™s core will remain in Boston. Tuukka Rask was rumored to be discussed at some length, however small, during the draft in Florida over the weekend, but Sweeney rejected the notion that he would trade his goaltender.

“Tuukka Rask not on the market,” Sweeney said. “I’€™m not sure where that necessarily came from. I can deliver emphatically that did not happen.”

Rask has six years remaining on an eight-year deal with an annual cap hit of $7 million.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Don Sweeney

Don Sweeney

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney shared in Tuesday’€™s pre-free agency conference call with reporters that the Bruins sent qualifying offers to restricted free agents Ryan Spooner, Brett Connolly and Martin Jones. The team declined to qualify Matt Lindblad, Rob Flick and Adam Morrison.

Sweeney said that the door has not been closed on Lindblad, Flick or Morrison potentially returning to the B’€™s.

He also noted that the Bruins are facing nearly a million dollars in cap overages from last season.

Sweeney said that bonuses to Dougie Hamilton and a couple of other players from last season leave the Bruins facing approximately $969,000 in overages that will go against this season’€™s salary cap.

As such, the Bruins will have nearly $3.7 million in dead money against the cap in the coming season. The Bruins dealt with a similar issue last season, when they had nearly $5 million in cap overages, due largely to the bonus-laden contract given to Jarome Iginla a season earlier.

With Sweeney’€™s estimate and the newly acquired Zac Rinaldo factored into our running count of Boston’€™s cap space, the B’€™s now have $61,160,667 committed to 16 players (not counting Marc Savard). Many young players on two-way contracts could also push for spots, such as Joe Morrow, Brian Ferlin and Colin Miller. Sweeney said that the Bruins remain in talks with teams about trading Savard, whose $4.017 is put on long-term injured reserve each season but could help a team trying to get to the cap floor. The Flyers made a similar move over the weekend by trading Chris Pronger‘s contract to Arizona.

The salary cap’€™s upper limit for next season is $71.4 million.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The Bruins' front office made another puzzling move Monday. (Boston Bruins photo)If I were in a room with Cam Neely, I would calmly walk out of it, hit Sports Etc.



The Bruins continued their bewildering offseason Monday by swinging a trade with the Flyers for forward Zac Rinaldo.

The Bruins continued their bewildering offseason Monday by swinging a trade with the Flyers for forward Zac Rinaldo.

Boston sent a third-round pick in the 2017 draft to Philadelphia for Rinaldo, a 25-year-old who has been suspended as many games as he has scored goals in his NHL career (8).

Rinaldo has two years remaining on his contract, which carries a cap hit of $850,000.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

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.

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.”

McGuire discussed the Bruins potential reasoning for not trying to build around the 22-year-old Hamilton and dealing him for draft picks.

“I say this with respect because I’m a huge fan of the player, but Zdeno Chara‘s not getting any younger, everybody saw that last year,” McGuire said. “Dennis Seidenberg is a friend, he’s not getting any younger. So yes, the importance of [Dougie] Hamilton is really apparent. All that being said, maybe the Bruins didn’t want their salary cap, and their internal salary cap by the way, to be changed because of a potential problem in the negotiation with Dougie Hamilton. So that’s potentially why he’s no longer there. Again, I don’t know, I haven’t talked to Don [Sweeney] about it. I know one thing: Calgary’s really happy to have him and they’re really happy he didn’t end up in Edmonton.”

With Hamilton and Lucic dealt, McGuire speculated on the future of the team’s veterans.

“Hopefully they’re going to groom this new brand of Boston Bruin players. If you’re a Bruins fan, player or coach that’s your hope. And these guys are worth their weight in gold in terms of leadership and understanding what it takes to play in the league. I say this because I’m such a big fan of certain players on that team — one of them is Patrice Bergeron, one of them is Brad Marchand, another one is Zdeno Chara, another one is Chris Kelly — so you ask yourself the question: How do they feel right now? And I can’t think they feel very good about it.”

Following are more highlights from the interview. For more Bruins news, visit the team page at weei.com/bruins.

On the Martin Jones acquisition: “I wouldn’t be dumping Martin Jones right now. Martin Jones has the chance to have a tremendous career. He’s a workhorse, he’s a guy that really cares about being a pro, he’s extremely focused on what he wants to do. My experience with him personally was at the World Juniors in 2009-10. He didn’t play a lot, but when he did play he was really solid for Canada. He had a really good career with the Calgary Hitmen [WHL], did some very good things in the American Hockey League with Manchester, but more than anything else, he understands the process of being an NHL player. I think the future’s extremely bright for him.”

On the Bruins first-round draft picks: “[Jakob] Zboril is a very good player in terms of defense. He can score some points, he can shut people down, he can play with a bit of an edge, he’s a kid that’s not going to be intimidated by physical play. There’s a huge upside to Zboril. [Jake] DeBrusk’s father played in the NHL for a little over 400 games. He was a real physical guy, tough guy. Jake DeBrusk is not like that at all, he’s more of a goal-scorer than he is anything else. For [Zachary] Senyshyn, he’s got tremendous speed, he’s got good hockey sense, he can make a lot of things happen because of his speed, but again he’s further down the road. I can’t see him being in the NHL before two or three years.”

Blog Author: 
Justin Pallenik

Zdeno Chara has three years left on his contract. (Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)It’s obviously too late for the Bruins to make all the right moves this offseason. That pressure is long gone, but now comes more.