Claude Julien has coached the Bruins for eight seasons. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)On Monday, the Sharks announced that they had “mutually agreed to part ways” with Todd McLellan, increasing the list of teams potentially in need of a new head coach to eight. 



The awesomely knowledgeable Fluto Shinzawa calls DJ, Naoko and Pete to talk about his thoughts on the future of the B's. He discusses his column from earlier this week on Cam Neely wanting to give Claude the ax earlier in the season but not getting the ok. Fluto shares his thoughts on Chiarelli's firing, the future for Claude and where the Bruins should go from here. He also gives his opinion on potential moves the team can make, who would fit in here, his thoughts on the NHL playoffs so far and more.
In the final hour of the "midseason finale" as DJ likes to call it, the crew discuss more about the future of the Bruins franchise, the possible power struggle in the front office and who should be the head coach going forward. They talk to intelligent and talented Fluto Shinzawa about all of these thing and more in an excellent interview, and finally, DJ says THANK YOU!
DJ, Naoko and Pete get into the huge week for the Bruins that saw the franchise move on from GM Peter Chiarelli. They discuss why that was done and if they agree. What does this mean for Claude? They talk about Claude and if he can exist here. If not, who would work in Boston? They also get into the NHL Draft Lottery last night and talk to ESPN Boston's Joey "National" McDonald live from Tampa, Florida.

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
 

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

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 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 one-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, Fla.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Bruins prospect Matt Grzelcyk announced that he will return to Boston University for his senior season at the team’s awards banquet Friday night. He had been mulling the possibility of signing with the Bruins and forgoing his senior year.

Grzelcyk, a 5-foot-10 defenseman from Charlestown, served as team captain this past season and will reprise the role next year. He finished fourth nationally among defensemen with 38 points (10 goals, 28 asssists) in 41 games and was named a First Team All-American.

As the leader of a defense corps that featured four freshmen, Grzelcyk helped guide BU to a Hockey East regular-season title, a Hockey East tournament title and a Frozen Four appearance. The Terriers’ season ended with a 4-3 loss to Providence in last Saturday’s national championship game.

Another interesting development at BU’s awards banquet was that Hobey Baker Award winner and future No. 2 overall pick Jack Eichel was named an alternate captain for next season.

Eichel is probably still more likely to sign with the team that drafts him than return to BU for his sophomore year, but him getting an ‘A’ is still notable. Eichel has said that he hasn’t decided anything as far as going pro vs. returning to BU, and people close to BU have suggested that there is more of a chance of him returning than people might assume.

Blog Author: 
Scott McLaughlin

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 would ideally use Klingberg’€™s contract as a template for Dougie Hamilton’€™s next deal. Hamilton’€™s camp will likely 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 is also 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 is already the Bruins’€™ second-best defenseman and is easily 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 pay day 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. 

These days, teams aren’€™t afraid to go long with their young blueliners. The longest contract a player can sign for if re-signing with his own team is eight years.

Drew Doughty got eight years after his entry-level contract expired. Klingberg, Roman Josi and Travis Hamonic all got seven, while Jonas Brodin and Justin Faulk both got six. Going off this season alone (and remember, some of these players are already multiple years into their second deals) Hamilton plays harder minutes than most of them.

longterm D usage

(Usage chart courtesy of war-on-ice.com)

Teams can sign restricted free agents away from other clubs, but the possibility of Hamilton defecting for draft picks is highly unrealistic. Why? Because a team would need to plan its offseason around getting Hamilton only to miss out on him anyway.

Offer sheets do not typically come for a while after players reach restricted free agency; think later July, early August. Teams trying to sign players away strategically wait for rosters to begin filling out in an effort to decrease the rights-holding team’€™s chances of being able to match the contract. Even if Hamilton isn’€™t signed a couple weeks into July, the Bruins will leave themselves with money to match. That’€™s why most teams might not even try on Hamilton, as they usually don’t with restricted free agents.

There is not incentive to sign players to offer sheets that could realistically be matched. If a team does so and the original team matches, the interested team has only created inflation, something that will hurt their own cap situation down the road when they go to sign other players.

The Flyers, for example, thought there was no way the Predators would be able to match their $110 million contract for Shea Weber. They made a major play for what would have been the most impactful free agent signing since Zdeno Chara, but it didn’€™t work. The Weber deal increased the going rate for defensemen, which the Flyers can now use an excuse as to why they overpay their blueliners.

Hamilton will be a Bruin for a long time. Just don’€™t be surprised when you see what he’€™s worth.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs has reached a critical point in the team's history.</p>
<div class=