Dale Arnold gave his plan for how he would return the Bruins to the playoffs on Tuesday’s “Dale & Holley.”
Arnold said an offseason priority should be to make Patrice Bergeron captain, regardless of whether Zdeno Chara — whom Arnold said should be traded — was back with the team.
“I think it’s time to change the captain,” Arnold said. “Assuming he’s on this team next year, Patrice Bergeron has to have the ’C’ on his sweater and not Zeno Chara. I’d start there because they had a huge leadership void on this team all season long.”
Arnold said he would buy out Jimmy Hayes, who was a disappointment in the first year of a three-year contract with the B’s. Hayes, whose cap hit is $2.3 million, scored 13 goals in his first year with his hometown team.
“I’d buy out Jimmy Hayes,” Arnold said. “Two point three million dollars for each of the next two seasons, bad signing by Don Sweeney. I would buy out Jimmy Hayes, take the financial hit, move on while you can.”
The Bruins have a number of restricted and unrestricted free agents. Of the Bruins’ free agents, Arnold said Colin Miller (RFA) is the only player he’d definitely retain. Arnold listed Brett Connolly, Max Talbot, Tyler Randell, Landon Ferraro, Joe Morrow, Zach Trotman, Kevan Miller, Loui Eriksson and Jonas Gustavsson as players he’d let walk.
“Wouldn’t re-sign any of them,” he said. “Let them all go. In some cases, because it’s going to cost you too much, in other cases because you can replace what they bring to the table.”
Arnold said he would consider re-signing trade deadline acquisitions John-Michael Liles and Lee Stempniak, but said he was “up in the air” on the players. He also said that he would only re-sign restricted free agent Torey Krug at the right price.
“If he is reasonable in his contract demands, if he is looking for four — I’ll say four [point] five — bring him back,” Arnold said of Krug. “If he’s looking to get north of five, like I think he is, he’s got to go, too.”
As for trades, Arnold said he would ship out Chara, David Krejci and Dennis Seidenberg.
“I would try to trade those three guys,” he said. “Whether you could do it or not, I don’t know.”
Lastly, Arnold said he would keep Claude Julien as the head coach.
Said Arnold: “I’d like to see Don Sweeney and Cam Neely hold a press conference and say ’This is not on Claude. Our team wasn’t good enough. We didn’t give him good enough players. We’re going to be better. We’re going to have a better roster. Claude’s the coach of the team next year.’”