The official feeding frenzy of free agency began at 12:01 yesterday morning. The Boston Bruins are looking around to see if they can score big with a free agency deal in the next few days. The Bruins are probably shopping around for a diamond in the rough player, as most of their available salary cap will be aimed at retaining players the team will want to keep for the near future. (Tuukka Rask being the biggest target for the Bruins to keep.) Yesterday the Bruins chose not to extend offers to Kaspars Daugavins and Michael Hutchinson, adding them to the market of potential free agents.
The Bruins came off a very ‘safe’ entry draft this year. No major trades happened at the last minute. The possibility of Tyler Seguin being shipped off to another team didn’t occur either. ( I can only hope that someone as talented as Seguin realizes that the Bruins love this kid, but they’re sick of the shenanigans and want him to be the top six forward they know he is capable of being.)
I can’t see the Bruins going having a very exciting free agency period either. At the most, the Bruins might look for a bottom-six forward to shore up the Merlot Line. In my opinion, Daniel Paille had a good season, and some great ice time in the playoffs. The slapdash line of Paille, Seguin, and Chris Kelly did wonders for the Bruins, and it would be a shame if Claude Julien didn’t at least give serious thought of keeping that line together.
The Bruins had three rookies step up to the rink in the post-season. Matt Bartkowski, Dougie Hamilton, and Torey Krug came out off the bench eager to prove themselves. While all three of them met or exceeded expectations, Torey Krug turned out to be a monster for us, especially during the Rangers series. The young blood proved it could hang with the Bruins style of play, and their performance in the post season justified them wearing the spoked B next season. Krug and Hamilton’s ascension meant we were going to lose a veteran blueliner, and it turned out to be Andrew Ference.
The Puck Daddy crew rated Ference as one of the top ten prospects in this year’s free agency. (It could be me, but Puck Daddy never seemed to have much love for Boston or the Bruins, so if they’re rating him a top ten (along with Nathan Horton and Jaromir Jagr), then you know the market will be hot for someone who brings a champion level attitude as well as an excellent hockey skill-set.) So, while we see a lot of familiar faces in the Bruins organization moving on to other teams, it looks like the Bruins’ free agency will be a rather mild one.