May 1, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) celebrates with defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) after he scored a goal to tie the game during the third period against the Montreal Canadiens in game one of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Boston Bruins have underwhelmed (again) in Free Agency


 

 

We all love the Black and Gold. We go to the games, we love the TD Garden, and we love watching the team win. Some of us still hold June 15, 2011 as a watershed moment for ourselves and Bruins history. All that being said, it looks like the Boston Bruins bungled the whole Jarome Iginla bonus clause and the organization is paying for it now come free agency time.

Let’s start off with the good points so far. Keeping Jarome Iginla would have been a logistical and financial nightmare for the Bruins. Peter Chiarelli made the right choice to understand the mess he was in. He cut his losses and spared the Bruins from having to be trade gutted or turned into half an AHL squad next season. He still has sufficient money to sign Torey Krug and Reilly Smith. We’ll still have our best offensive and defensive breakthroughs of last season with us again.

Now let’s take a look at the other side of the coin. The Bruins have NHL quality defensemen coming out their ears. Zdeno Chara will be back next season.  Both Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid will be healthy next season (barring McQuaid isn’t made part of a deal somewhere down the line.) Johnny Boychuk and Dougie Hamilton are looking great too (barring Boychuk isn’t made part of a trade). For sake of argument, let’s put Kevan Miller and Torey Krug as the bottom two defensemen. This leaves a lot of Providence talent still waiting in the wings (or to be used as potential trade bait) and Matt Bartkowski standing out in the cold (or traded).

“You’ve got to keep a core, and you’ve got to turn over players. It’s a testament to the players that we have — the ones that we have to move out. We’re going to lose some next summer. I just see the numbers, where guys are going, and players have to keep bubbling up.” Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli

We should have had a clear message that this is what the Bruins are going to go with. Then Peter Chiarelli hires another defenseman (Christopher Breen) on a one year, two way contract. In essence, he hires another Corey Potter before we even need him. (I don’t have his job, so clearly I am missing something here.) In hiring a cheap temp, it tells me that the Bruins are going to move someone before training camp (sadly, I still think it’s either Boychuk or McQuaid here.) We knew this wasn’t going to be a blowout free ageny in Boston. (That award goes to the Dallas Stars in having one of the best free agencies in recent memory.) To be honest, a lot of us were hoping to just break even. Maybe I’m wrong here, but it feels like we fell behind this time around.

Then there is the completely invented goaltender drama. Luckily, it doesn’t involve Tuukka Rask. We give up on signing Chad Johnson (who earned himself a nice two year package with the New York Islanders). We give Niklas Svedberg a one way contract. Chiarelli all but announces that Svedberg will be the new number two in Boston. Then he hires another goalie as part of a two-way contract and announces that the back up job is still up for grabs. OK, that probably threw a lot of you for a loop. Jeremy Smith isn’t terrible, but his numbers hardly give us heady confidence.  He played for the Springfield Falcons (the Columbus AHL affiliate) last season. He put up a 21-14-3 record while posting a 2.78 goal against average and .898 save percentage. (How often have you seen a sub .900 wearing the spoked ‘B’  in net the last few seasons?)

Most of us have questions, and some of us are already disappointed. That’s pretty rough for being only two days in to free agency.

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Tags: Boston Bruins National Hockey League NHL Free Agency

  • George Costanza III

    Odd isn’t it that Chiarelli who built this team via trades and f/a now can’t do either one because he can’t do Cap.

    • iodfjwiojwdio

      he won a cup, got to the finals, and is in the playoffs every year you idiot

      • George Costanza III

        He did funny I thought Tim Thomas won the cup. did you notice we are trending downward
        or did you miss that part. He got us to the playoffs! You mean like almost the entire NHL got
        to the playoffs. WOW
        The way he’s going it’ll be another 39 scratch that 36 and counting years before winning
        another.

        • John Valleau

          Funny I thought the Bruins won the Cup? Didn’t see Tim Thomas score many goals. Hockey is a team game. The general manager’s job is to put together a team that can contend for the championship. Chiarelli has done that. Using your logic, there would be 29 GMs out of work every season.

          • George Costanza III

            Have you noticed the the ends of the last two years?
            Have you noticed the Cap Management?
            Have you noticed that Chara is getting older and less effective?
            Have seen any signs that Chiarelli is doing anything about the above.
            How long do you get a free pass for the Cup year and Thomas did win the Conn Smyth or did you miss that part?
            Have you noticed the parade of players that Chiarelli trades for and with some paying a big price only to let them walk away with no return?
            Hockey is a team game but a goalie standing on his head can change that quick.

          • John Valleau

            Have you noticed that the Bruins contend every season?
            Have you noticed that they probably would have won the Cup in 2013 if Bergeron did not puncture his lung?
            Have you noticed that they would have gotten past Montreal if Seidenberg was healthy?
            How you noticed that the Bruins continue to content while giving significant playing time to young defensemen?
            How do you discount the value of a GM who has built a Stanley Cup winner?
            Have you noticed the parade of good players that Chiarelli has been able to keep even with a salary cap?
            Hockey is a team game but MOST Stanley Cup winners became champions because their goalie stood on his head? If we gave Rask as many opportunities as we gave Thomas, Rask might just come through. By the way, I am sure that you were Tim Thomas’ biggest critic prior to 2011. Back then, you were probably screaming for Bruin’s management to get rid of him, especially after the Carolina series.

          • George Costanza III

            Have you noticed the Bruins haven’t won POOP with Rask as the starting Goalie
            but Rask was a great cheerleader when we won the Cup you can hear him on the
            Dvd.
            Bruins Finals Thomas 1 finals 1 Win
            Rask 1 finals 1 loss
            You sure makeup stuff on the fly try using facts not fairy tales.
            If seidenberg was healthy PLEASE

          • George Costanza III

            If Seidenberg was healthy he would have scored 7 goals John is that what you are saying because we fell 7 goals short.

          • John Valleau

            We lost Game 1 in overtime. Matt Bartkowski was in the penalty box for two goals. Had Seidenberg been healthy, Bartkowski would not have been on the ice.

          • George Costanza III

            You know I was talking about games 6,7

          • John Valleau

            Why waste my time arguing with some clueless idiot who wants to resign a 40 year old goalie and a winger with a history of concussions? Not to mention the fact that both players left on their own. But, according to you, the Bruins could have kept them if they wanted to. As I said earlier, instead of complaining about the moves that Chiarelli has made, why do you tell us what you would do?

          • George Costanza III

            I said value in return for their leaving or anything in return.
            I also said that both Thomas and Horton’s value was at the highest when they were
            allowed to walk. but you’re to busy being rude.

          • John Valleau

            You get NOTHING when a free agent leaves. As I said earlier, unless you know something that nobody else does, neither Thomas nor Horton wanted to come back to the Bruins regardless of what Chiarelli did.

          • George Costanza III

            Funny that neither you or Chiarelli have heard of sign and trade. Maybe had Thomas
            and Horton got PAID like everyone else that would have changed things.
            You do have excuses galore for your hero Chiarelli, I repeat Why didn’t Chicago
            with Toews and Kane and LA with Quick and Carter have the same problems that
            Chiarelli has unless he ran the players out of town without paying them.
            How many times do I have to ask this question before you give a decent answer to
            it????

      • Willy

        There is no need to call anyone an idiot.

  • iodfjwiojwdio

    this is the most retarded article ive ever read

    • George Costanza III

      You are a class act.

  • Willy

    Smith will most likely be Subbans back-up, he was just added on a 2 way to add competition and in the invent that Svedberg, who lost some ground last season, didnt gain it, cant cut it in the NHL. And Im not saying Smith can but sometimes you can use 2 guys to push each other to improve…

  • Duncan Day

    Bruins have underwhelmed, but I don’t think it matters. Exceptional talent on this past year’s team, and they get knock out. Personnel-wise, if you add a couple players, speed guys, bruisers, defensemen or whatever, how much does it actually help your chances? The B’s have to want to win, and I just didn’t see the desire against the Canadiens. That’s what they need next season. Fight and willingness to get a Stanley Cup Trophy despite being crowned champs a few years ago.

  • Tennis Newz

    Expecting them to trade Boychuk. Should clear enough space for them to sign their RFAs and have cap space for injury call-ups.

  • Cory Ducey

    just because the Bruins did not make any major moves, it doesn’t mean it’s under whelming. When you have a team with depth, major moves are not always necessary.