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


The Boston Bruins organization knows they’ve got to make changes after such a disappointing season.  The Black and Gold’s first big change was to let go of their general manager Peter Chiarelli. The Bruins second change must be how they handle free agency.

As we approach the official start of free agency, the salary cap issue becomes a little more clear.  As long as the Canadian dollar remains stable, then the salary cap should top out at around seventy-one and a half million dollars. While it’s disappointing, it’s certainly better than the doom and gloom predictions that were seen earlier in the year.

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In Causeway’s last article, we talked about how the Bruins should handle their goaltending and forward free agents. Now we’re taking a look at the B’s defensive free agents.

Going into the 2015-16 season, the Bruins have three players that have no contract as of July 1. Those players are Dougie Hamilton, Adam McQuaid, and Matt Bartkowski.

Keeping Dougie Hamilton is a total n0-brainer. He’s a strategic asset for the Bruins, a part of the future of the organization. If all goes well, he’ll spend his entire career playing in Boston. The organization will need to figure out what kind of contract to give him next year.

To figure out what kind of money Hamilton should receive this year, we need to take a look at several young defensemen who have gotten contracts in the league. The Minnesota Wild signed Jonas Brodin to a six-year extension. Brodin’s contract comes in at $4.16 million a year. Jonas Brodin as a contemporary of Hamilton. Brodin was selected immediately after Hamilton in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, and both play a similar style.

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  • Hamilton is young, and getting better. He’s got a solid career ahead of him, and the Bruins should try to find a three-to-five year contract in the high-three/low-four million dollar price range. The Bruins need to get themselves out of cap jail, and a shorter contract makes more sense for both the B’s and Hamilton. If Hamilton continues to improve by an order of magnitude, he’ll certainly be rewarded with a greater contract after the next one expires.

    Adam McQuaid has had a rough couple of seasons. His career had been off-set with a series of injuries that limited his playtime. Now, as he approaches free agency. The Bruins need to figure out if keeping him is the right move. McQuaid certainly hasn’t had a great season offensively. He only had seven points (one goal) in sixty-three games.

    McQuaid is a player the Bruins need. He’s an identity player that maintained his identity throughout the season. He brought drive, determination, and kept the Bruins sense of integrity throughout the B’s disappointing last season. The Bruins will need him going forward, at least in the short-term. McQuaid should be given a one year, one-million(ish) contract.

    If Adam McQuaid’s career could be called disappointing, than Matt Bartkowski’s career has to be called abysmal. Bartkowski spent nearly half of the season on the bench, playing in only forty-seven games this season.

    Bartkowski is one of the best skaters the Bruins have. His greatest villain is his ability to over-think plays. He can play a clean and technical game, and he even had flashes of brilliance. He just wasn’t able to get the monkey off his back.

    I was rather surprised that Bartkowski stayed with the organization after he filed for arbitration.  I certainly can’t see the Bruins picking him up again for $1.25 million, and the last thing the organization needs is another Jordan Caron project.

    The Bruins should cut ties with Bartkowski, and may fortune find him a team better suited to his skill set.

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