SUNRISE, Fla. — The Bruins did a lot on Friday. It’s obvious that the moves as a whole represent a horrid day for new general manager Don Sweeney, but at least one of them made sense in a vacuum.
As such, here’s an attempt to break down each of the individual moves made by the Bruins:
Bruins trade Dougie Hamilton to Flames for picks No. 15, 45 and 52
One-word summary: Unforgivable.
The Hamilton fiasco represents really two lapses on the part of Don Sweeney.
First is the struggle to sign the team’s most important young player to a second deal. He asked for a lot of money because the best young defensemen in the league make a lot of money on their second deals. The Bruins’ unwillingness to pay it does not bode well for the future.
Consider this: David Pastrnak has two more years left on his entry-level deal. Guess who represents him? The same guy they just swung and missed with in J.P. Barry. This group can only hope it has better a better feel for re-signing youngsters by then.
The second part of it is the trade itself. Hamilton was one of the very best chips Sweeney had, and one that should have been kept at nearly all costs. Instead, he was flipped for the 15th overall pick and two second-rounders.
At the very, very least, the Bruins should have been able to get at least another first-round pick or a top prospect from a team in exchange for the already established Hamilton. This was the kind of move that can set a franchise back.
Bruins trade Milan Lucic to Kings for pick No. 13, Martin Jones and Colin Miller, retain $2.75 million in salary
One-word summary: Right.
While the move didn’t unload a lot of money due to money retained, it got the Bruins multiple decent pieces for a player they weren’t going to keep. After losing Hamilton, the B’s had better hope Miller is good.
Bruins sign Adam McQuaid to four-year contract with $2.75 million average annual value
One-word summary: Worrisome.
Why worrisome? Because hours after telling a top defenseman he won’t be worth $6 million-plus when he reaches his mid-to-late 20s, the Bruins gave nearly half of that to a third-pairing defenseman with limited skill whose solid intangibles are far overshadowed by his tendency to injure himself.
McQuaid has missed at least 10 games in each of his five seasons as an NHL regular. In the last two seasons combined, he has missed a total of 71 regular-season games and 12 playoff games due to multiple injuries.
Then factor in that McQuaid is 28 years old. He is a fine player, but he isn’t going to get better. Letting him walk and using the money saved on Hamilton should have been a no-brainer. The fact that the Bruins didn’t do that is … worrisome.
Bruins draft defenseman Jakub Zboril 13th overall
One-word summary: Expected.
The B’s didn’t trade up for Noah Hanifin (fifth overall), Ivan Provorov (seventh) or Zach Werenski (eighth), so it was only logical they would take the next-best defenseman once their pick came. At that point in the day, doing the logical served as a surprise.
Bruins draft left wing Jake DeBrusk 14th overall
One-word summary: Interesting.
There were better-rated forwards on the board, but the Bruins badly need left wing prospects. I can’t knock the scouting staff at this point, as the scouts have seen these guys and I haven’t.
Bruins draft right wing Zachary Senyshyn 15th overall
One-word summary: Reach.
This one could have also gotten the “worrisome” tag, as the Bruins could have traded down to get a player ranked in the 40s on some lists and the 60s and others. Sweeney acknowledged that, but said he feared that another team might take him in the meantime.
That’s where the lack of experience on the GM’s part is exposed once again. Unless you’re positive this kid is going to be a star, that’s what you do: You move down and you risk losing the player. If someone else takes him, then you take someone else, just like you took another defenseman you liked after missing out on the big three.
Again, this is no knock on Senyshyn. Scouts say good things, but if he could have been there later they shouldn’t have taken him 15th overall. That was the first pick they got for Hamilton, by the way.