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

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. 

SUNRISE, Fla. — The Bruins’€™ brass arrived in Florida with a team that was a few tweaks away from contending again. They leave it with a better chance at getting 2016 top prospect Auston Matthews than the Stanley Cup.

What’€™s done is done, however, and Bruins fans have no choice but to proceed hoping the front office knows what its doing.

(For reaction to Friday’s moves, click here, here and here.)

Here are 10 thoughts with the draft in the books:

– The fact that the Bruins used 10 of the 11 picks that they had after Friday’€™s trades means they either see this team’€™s return to glory as a long term project or that their plans to turn those picks into something else failed. It might be more the latter than the former. The B’s insist they were aggressive in their efforts to get into the top 10 to take Noah Hanifin, Ivan Provorov or Zach Werenski.

– If there’€™s an “other shoe to drop” in order for the Bruins to ice a Cup-contending roster next season, you’€™d have to figure it will be extremely difficult to execute now. It’€™s abundantly clear that the Bruins need to make moves save the immediate future, so trade partners will be wise to up their prices just like they did when Peter Chiarelli’€™s job was on the line.

– Speaking of Chiarelli, the moves that the B’€™s made might have been avoided if Neely fired Chiarelli during the season and sold off parts then. Carl Soderberg could have fetched the B’€™s a first-round pick at the trade deadline, which the Bruins hypothetically could have used to get into the top 10. At the very least, it would have allowed the Bruins to seek young players for someone like Hamilton than just taking picks.

Of course, the performance of Boston’€™s front office on Friday might leave some Bruins fans regretting ever wanting the B’€™s to can Chiarelli.

– The Bruins have expressed mild interest in Ducks winger Matt Beleskey, who will become an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday. Beleskey is 27 and had the first solid year of his career by hitting the 20-goal mark for the first time. He will be paid well given how weak this free agent class is. The guess here is he isn’€™t a fit with the B’€™s.

– With Sweeney now serving as general manager, Jay Pandolfo will run the Bruins’€™ development camp. Sweeney first organized the now annual prospects camp in July of 2007. The B’€™s hired Pandolfo as a development coach last August.

– With Milan Lucic gone, Brad Marchand is the only impact player at left wing guaranteed to be in Boston going forward. He’€™ll be joined by Loui Eriksson if Boston keeps the veteran left-shot right wing and flips him to the other side, but Eriksson is an obvious choice to be dealt now. The 29-year-old will be a free agent after the coming season and the Bruins are not a contender as currently constituted. The Bruins are officially at the ‘€œtrade the good players’€ stage, and they should be willing to listen on anybody.

(Say this for the Bruins: At least they’€™ve got some prospects at wing now, and they need it. The NHL roster remains overflowing with right wings, but the Jake DeBrusk pick could give the Bruins the first left wing they’€™ve developed since 2006 draftees Lucic and Marchand. As for perceived first-round reach Zachary Senyshyn, assistant general manager Scott Bradley said the skilled right wing was ranked low by evaluators because he played on the fourth line of a loaded OHL team in Sault Ste. Marie.)

– With the Bruins now hard-pressed for NHL defensemen, they should actually keep Dennis Seidenberg and take him into the season. He will almost certainly better than he was last year coming off knee surgery, so the veteran blueliner could re-establish his trade value and be a sellable piece at the trade deadline. Seidenberg turns 34 on July 18 and is entering the second year of a four-year deal worth $4 million annually. 

– On the subject of defense, you’€™ve got to wonder what this all means for Kevan Miller. The 27-year-old carries a light cap hit of $800,000, but he is now part of a large group of players fighting for a spot on the bottom of Boston’€™s roster. The right-shot Miller figured to be an obvious replacement for Adam McQuaid before the B’€™s re-upped the veteran bottom-pairing defenseman for four years in a head-scratching move.

– Perhaps the most interesting addition to the Bruins over the weekend is goaltender Martin Jones, whom the Bruins received in the Lucic trade. Jones is a 25-year-old goaltender who might feel his days as a backup should be over after two years of playing behind Jonathan Quick in Los Angeles. Former NHL goaltender Patrick Lalime says he’€™s legit.

The 6-foot-4, 187-pound goalie is unsigned and will become a restricted free agent on Wednesday. He joins a very deep group of goalies in Boston’€™s organization with Tuukka Rask, Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre.

If he’€™s willing, Jones would make a splendid backup with the Bruins, who lost faith in a budget option in Niklas Svedberg last season. Time will tell if he’€™s willing to do that.

– After the trades of Hamilton and Lucic (including $2.75 million retained on Lucic) and the signing of McQuaid, the Bruins leave the draft with $55,791,667 committed to 16 players (not counting Marc Savard) with Brett Connolly and Ryan Spooner unsigned and plenty of cheap young players (Joe Morrow among them) also figuring to make the NHL roster. The salary cap’€™s upper limit it $71.4 million.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The Don Sweeney era is off to a rough start. (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)For the most part, Peter Chiarelli was a pretty good general manager.

SUNRISE, Fla. — The Bruins drafted Tri-City (WHL) defenseman Brandon Carlo with their first pick of the second round (37th overall). They then took center Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson (a Boston University commit) with the 45th pick and defenseman Jeremy Lauzon (Rouyn-Noranda, QMJHL) with the 52nd.