Peter Chiarelli likes to sign his big-name players before their contract years begin. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Peter Chiarelli likes to sign his big-name players before their contract years begin. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Peter Chiarelli likes to sign his pending unrestricted free agents before they go into their walk years. It’€™s a tactic that saved the Bruins a lot of money when he re-upped both Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron before they went out and won the Bruins the Stanley Cup in 2010-11.

Yet with the news of David Krejci‘€™s partially torn MCL that will keep him out for 4-6 weeks, the Bruins are learning for the second straight year that waiting a bit to sign a player has its benefits too.

The Bruins gave Dennis Seidenberg, who was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after last season, a four-year, $16 million at the start of the 2013-14 season. At the time, the fourth year looked like it could potentially be a problem down the road, but given the reasonable $4 million cap hit for the trusty No. 2 defenseman, no one batted an eye.

Seidenberg tore his ACL in December of that season. He most likely would have still gotten even more than he signed for had he hit free agency (here’€™s your daily reminder that Brooks Orpik, who is older than Seidenberg, got five years and $27.5 million, and he’€™s Brooks Orpik), but the fact that Seidenberg signed before the season showed his preference to stay with Boston. Had the Bruins waited to sign him, perhaps they would have gotten him on a better deal, or perhaps the Bruins would have chosen to try to sign Johnny Boychuk and let Seidenberg walk.

Now, Seidenberg’€™s deal is viewed as one of the worst contracts the Bruins have. His play has dropped significantly and he looks like he would be more at home on a third pairing. The Bruins could probably move him if they wanted to, but his contract ‘€” the very one that looked good at the time of its signing ‘€” could hurt his trade value.

It’€™s hard to imagine the Bruins experiencing the same thing with Krejci, but it’€™s fair to say his price tag would have been lower after the most injury-plagued season of his career. Krejci, who signed a pretty team-friendly six-year, $43.5 million contract before the start of the season, had already missed 20 games due to lower-body injuries this season prior to getting hurt again in Friday’€™s loss to the Blues.

No matter what happened with Krejci this season, he would have been the best free-agent center if he made it to free agency this summer. His only competition already signed in Jason Spezza, so even with the injuries, Krejci would have easily gotten six years and $43.5 million this summer. In fact, he probably still would have gotten a lot more than that.

Next season, Milan Lucic will be the Bruins’€™ biggest-name free-agent-to-be. The Bruins need to think long and hard before determining whether he’€™d be worth whatever money he would command, but it is a no-brainer to opt against signing him before the season. Lucic has not lived up to his $6 million cap hit this season and the team shouldn’€™t carelessly throw him into the group of players they perceive to be their core.

If they go into the season with Lucic playing for a contract, they can use the opening months of the season to further evaluate the player while potentially getting the elevated performance that often comes when players are looking for a pay day. At the very least, they would avoid signing a player just before they get hurt.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

David Krejci's injury could give the B's more money to spend. (Francois/Getty Images)David Krejci being out until April does not end the Bruins’ season.



David Krejci will miss 4-6 weeks with a partially torn MCL in his left knee, general manager Peter Chiarelli announced Monday. Krejci suffered the injury in Friday night’s loss to the Blues.

David Krejci will miss 4-6 weeks with a partially torn MCL in his left knee, general manager Peter Chiarelli announced Monday. Krejci suffered the injury in Friday night’s loss to the Blues.

Krejci, who also missed time earlier this season, has 26 points (7 goals, 19 assists) in 38 games, good for the second-best points per game pace on the team behind only Patrice Bergeron.

Blog Author: 
WEEI

The Bruins finished a horrid five-game road trip with their only victory of the stretch, but at least it was a blowout.

Ryan Spooner

Ryan Spooner

The Bruins finished a horrid five-game road trip with their only victory of the stretch, but at least it was a blowout.

Playing in their first game since David Krejci suffered an undisclosed injury Friday, the Bruins scored half a dozen goals — the fourth of which chased Corey Crawford — as they earned a 6-2 victory over the Blackhawks (box). The win gave the Bruins just four points of a possible 10 in the five-game trip (1-2-2). It also snapped a six-game losing streak (0-4-2).

Boston got goals from Patrice Bergeron, Loui Eriksson, Milan Lucic, Gregory Campbell, Dougie Hamilton and Reilly Smith. Bergeron’s first period goal put him in a tie with linemate Brad Marchand for the team lead.

The victory keeps the Bruins (28-21-9) three points ahead of the Panthers (26-20-12) for the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Here are four more things we learned Sunday:

BRUINS (FORCED TO) SHOW FAITH IN SPOONER

Claude Julien gave Ryan Spooner a lot of responsibility and displayed a lot of patience with the center in Spooner’s first NHL game since October.

Julien skated Spooner with Krejci’s usual linemates in Milan Lucic and David Pastrnak and put him in Krejci’s place on Boston’s first power play unit. Spooner had a brutal turnover on a first-period power play when he entered the zone, pulled up and sent a pass intended for Torey Krug into the neutral zone that Versteeg took for a breakaway that Rask stopped. Spooner responded by facilitating a Loui Eriksson goal moments later and added an assist on Milan Lucic‘s second period goal for his first assist of the season.

BRUINS SURVIVE BERGERON INJURY SCARE

It’s bad enough that the Bruins don’t know the status of Krejci. When Patrice Bergeron took a shot off the foot in the third period and spent the next few minutes off the ice, there was reason to fear even a four-goal win would still hurt the Bruins.

Those concerns would prove to be overstated, as Bergeron returned to the ice late in the third and played three more shifts before the end of the game.

Bergeron’s first-period goal was the 200th of his career. He added a pair of assists in a three-point performance.

RASK WEARS DOWN, MELTS DOWN

Sunday marked the 17th consecutive game played for Tuukka Rask, and he hardly looked like a tired goalie as he turned in brilliant play early on, highlighted by a save on Patrick Kane in which he lunged across the net and stacked the pads following a rebound.

Yet in the first period’€™s final minutes, Rask took a penalty for playing the puck outside the trapezoid ‘€” a major mental error ‘€” and threw a fit after allowing a Jonathan Toews goal on the ensuing Blackhawks power play. Rask slammed his stick against the post, perhaps getting a piece of Kris Versteeg, who went down to draw a penalty.

Rask still turned in a strong performance on the day, stopping 25 of 27 shots.

FOURTH LINE SCORES

The Bruins scratched Daniel Paille and Craig Cunningham for the second straight game, instead icing a fourth line of Gregory Campbell between Jordan Caron and Brian Ferlin. The line scored in the second period when Ferlin won a puck battle and fed Campbell in the high slot, with Campbell firing a shot past Caron’€™s net-front presence and past Corey Crawford. The goal, which marked Ferlin’€™s first career NHL point, chased Crawford.

Remember, when the Bruins and Blackhawks met in December, the Hawks won thanks to their fourth line dominating for a pair of goals. The Bruins are now in the high teens for fourth-line combinations tried, but Caron-Campbell-Ferlin did the unthinkable by producing.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Ryan Lambert calls the guys to talk about the Bruins playoff chances, Chiarelli's future and if the B's are sellers or buyers as the trade deadline approaches.

[0:11:31] ... for a half million dollars in my mind and people complain about Chris Kelly he's over Gregory Campbell it. Doesn't UK and the U shouldn't. Over these big guys on the bottom of your roster and get away with Chris Kelly makes three million dollars probably worth two and a half maybe two. Over the teach is. Getting paid in my estimation more ...
[0:15:26] ... terrible. That's so light is so you can you can go out Calgary Flames and wanna help scene that awful. OK so. So so ago with with Lou each OK so you have one year left ...
[0:21:17] ... use jumped out of a job in the NHL where he's like Peter Laviolette and he was just going to be for a year yelled. I I'd recently had a conversation about this with someone am. ...





During hour 2 of the 3rd edition of Sunday Skate, DJ and Joe talk with Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy and get his thoughts on the Bruins potential to make the playoffs and if they should make a trade for this season. The guys take more calls and get reaction from frustrated B's fans. They talk about the future of Claude and Chiarelli.

[0:11:29] ... for a half million dollars in my mind and people complain about Chris Kelly he's VP Gregory Campbell it. Guys UK and the U shouldn't. Over his big guys on the bottom of your roster and get away with Chris Kelly makes three million dollars probably worth two and a half. Maybe two. Mill that teach is. Getting paid in my estimation more ...
[0:21:15] ... would jump out of a job in the NHL where he's like Peter Laviolette and you would just going to be for a year yelled. Hi I recently had a conversation about this with someone am. ...
[0:27:04] ... her. Pocket I'm not saying you shouldn't have the typical conversations. With. Chris Kelly and the genocide bird in the great Campbell and Ekene IA who looked. I like broad they brought a Stanley Cup that you know why you're so important go. And you should. Treat deep guy and you let. Jarome Iginla go home not no it didn't score very gold street you keep captain Mea alarm Moochie. Playing in a manner in which ...
[0:27:54] ... they're not you roster. And do what ever what's necessary to keep Jarome Iginla. Who is the a hit an eight. But often grueling. So I you know what I find a sense of as well ...






The Sunday Skate dudes are back at it again on another stormy Sunday morning. In hour 1, the guys discuss the overall performance of Peter Chiarelli and his future. What moves are available for the B's, especially with the salary cap issues they have. DJ and Joe debate whether the Bruins should buyers or sellers. Are there any "untouchable" players as we approach the deadline? They also talk about Rask and Subban, who struggled in his NHL debut in St. Louis Friday night. The boys get opinions from callers on all of these issues as well.

[0:04:33] ... 2011 when they adding you know the heavily. You know on the Chris Kelly's of the world maybe just those sort of parts in common and maybe. If this team a little bit and in jeans ...
[0:06:12] ... real always upsides and you know it's all down locks you out Mark Stuart Goldberg both are real pieces on their roster yet the second round pick for Chris Kelly. Which. When. Not what people out who Chris Kelly was the time. Sector optic for this guy and that ought to be great treat them a third line that it gets ...
[0:07:16] ... any any further. What compare double right now we mentioned Blake Wheeler Mark Stuart those of the two big games I've seen it's done. Who's compatible right now to those those such a player right on ...
[0:07:50] ... picker their top line crutch he's been hurt in our lineup obviously. Patrice Bergeron it's been fine rally Smith has been in a ghost that points. But they've got this great third line that. If you ...






Have the Bruins’ recent injuries done them in? Are Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien‘s jobs in danger? Discuss all things Bruins with Pete Blackburn, DJ Bean and Joe McDonald during the Sunday Skate live chat. To listen to the show, click here.

Live Blog Sunday Skate Live Chat
 

Blog Author: 
WEEI