How Should The Boston Bruins Handle Free Agency (Part One)


The Boston Bruins still have a few decisions to make before the start of free agency. They’re going to need to look at what kind of team they’re going to want to have and make the appropriate choices and adjustments to avoid a repeat of missing the playoffs. So who should stay, and who should leave?

At the moment, there are seven players the Bruins will have to decide on. Three of them are forwards, three of them are defensemen, and one is the B’s current backup goaltender. In this article, we’ll handle what the Bruins should do with their unsigned forwards and the goaltender.

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  • In the goaltending department, there is Niklas Svedberg. Svedberg didn’t have the full confidence of Claude Julien, and for that he spent a majority of the season riding the bench. His numbers weren’t amazing, but they weren’t much different than Tuukka Rask. His goals against average was 2.33 (Rask’s was 2.30), his save percentage was .918 (Rask was .922) and he had two shutouts in his 7-5-1 record.

    If they want Tuukka to start 65-70 games a season, then they might as well offer him a contact to stay as the number two player. If they believe that either Jeremy Smith or Malcolm Subban is ready, then they’ll part waves with the Swedish netminder.

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    Carl Soderberg, Ryan Spooner, and Brett Connolly are the three forwards moving forward in free agency. How should the Bruins approach signing their forwards.

    Ryan Spooner has earned a spot on the Bruins line for next season. The departure of Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell makes it even more likely he’ll be signed next year. He provided the speed and playmaking ability that was missing.

    Sure, he didn’t make Claude Julien very happy at times. But Spooner won the coach over by playing a more complete game for the Black and Gold.

    Brett Connolly proved in a short time that he could adapt to the Bruins style of play. It’s a pity he broke his hand on the second day of the job. The Bruins essentially traded Connolly for Johnny Boychuk, so expectations were high. He was only able to play five games for the B’s, but he looked promising.

    With a new GM coming to town, the situation has changed. Peter Chiarelli would keep Connolly, no questions asked. The next general manager could decide that the Bruins part waves with the twenty-two year old forward.

    The Bruins are likely to hold on to him going into next season. Connolly’s next contract wouldn’t be that large, and it would certainly be cap friendly.

    Finally, there’s Carl Soderberg. Soderberg finished tied for third in overall scoring for Boston this year (He and Milan Lucic had forty-four points). He put up thirteen goals, but like many Bruins he had a very streaky season for the Black and Gold. Still, he turned out to be a reliable center for the B’s.

    That’s where the problem lies. The Bruins have way too many centers as is. While the Bruins should try to keep him for next year, it’s unlikely that the Bruins can afford him. They’ll need to be saving their money for more important targets, and Chris Kelly is a member of the ‘over-paid with no-trade’ club.

    Expect the Bruins to let Soderberg go come July 1.

    Tomorrow, we’ll dive into the defensemen and see who needs a raise, who needs to stay, and who needs a one-way ticket out of Beantown.

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