Boston Bruins: Two Down, Who Is Next

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The Boston Bruins announced today that they would not re-sign forwards Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille for next season. This did not come as a surprise to many Boston Bruins fans. While a lot of us were upset about the loss of the two Merlot Men, we understood the reasoning behind the organization’s decision.

Campbell and Paille spent an awful lot of time on the ninth level in the closing games of the season. The Bruins front office just lost confidence in their two forwards. Campbell and Paille played in a combined one hundred and forty-one games. They scored six goals each, and in total they only had twenty-five points. (In comparison to David Pastrnak who earned more points than both of them combined.)

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“It’s unfair sometimes,” Bergeron said of the departing Merlot Men. “That’s the business we’re in. But it is sometimes unfair when you don’t perform to your fullest. It’s sometimes the way out, the coaches, but I definitely think they weren’t the problem. It was us as players, we deserve a lot of the blame.”

Three other Bruins players left the organization, but for a different reason. David Pastrnak, Ryan Spooner, and Zach Trotman were sent down to the AHL. Those three players will certainly do their best to help the organization push for the Calder Cup.

There are players that are facing unsure futures with the organization.

Adam McQuaid has done the best he can under the circumstances. He’s still a reliable big bodied defenseman who can still offer something to the Black and Gold. Hopefully, the front office and him can quickly come to a reasonable arrangement in order for him to spend another year in Boston.

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  • Then there is Dougie Hamilton. At the beginning of the season, he was regarded as the future of the organization. Now, his path is a little more muddled. He was silent on all attempts by the media when it came to gauging his injury, and the state of his upcoming contract talks.

    Hamilton certainly deserves a raise on his entry-level contract. He’s been one of the more improved players on the roster. He is still prone to mistakes, and a few of those mistakes cost the Bruins critical points that would have made the difference. Hopefully, this is just a numbers game as the two sides get closer together to a mutually agreeable rate for the next few seasons.

    Matt Bartkowski. I sincerely wish to dismiss him out of hand. He spent an awful lot of time guarding the popcorn machine on the ninth level. He was an up-and(mostly)-down player this year for the organization. It’s a pity that Claude Julien dumped considerably more scorn on Spooner than he did on the struggling blueliner.

    Here’s the ugly truth. They’ll probably keep him. (I really really want to be wrong here.) Zdeno Chara has admitted that he has a permanent tear in his PCL (which will certainly weaken his trade value if the Bruins can work around that Chiarellian contract of his). Dennis Seidenberg didn’t have an outstanding season either. There will be no Johnny Boychuk miracle happening on Causeway Street either.

    The Bruins are lacking in defensemen. They’ll need a body unless they get really lucky with a walk-on. So, as much as I hate to admit it, the Bruins will give him a bare-bones contract and make him the number six guy on the blueline.

    We can always hope Bartkowski takes them to arbitration again, and the Bruins just wash their hands of him.

    Carl Soderberg is the most interest piece in the puzzle. Can the Bruins afford to give him up? Can the Bruins afford to keep him? Could they sign him to a contract and then immediately shop him around? Soderberg did his best work as a third line center, and that may not be a bad place to keep him going forward into next season.

    Brett Connolly is still up in the air. It would seem foolhardy for the Bruins to give him up after essentially trading him for Johnny Boychuk (in second round draft picks). They fans and the team liked what they saw in his limited time on the ice for the B’s. Hopefully, the B’s can offer him a contract that is marginally better than the last one and hope for the best.

    The Bruins have a few months to try to make this ugly situation work. The Bruins front office have decided to keep Peter Chiarelli in his current job as general manager. So, they’re giving him a chance to fix some of his mistakes and get the Bruins back into playoff contention. There will still be cap trouble, there will still be hurt players, and there will still be a loss of confidence from the fan base.

    Now the Bruins organization will have to hibernate and be ready to come roaring out of that cave in October. A lot of jobs will be depending on it.

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