Don Sweeney Has A Lot Of Work To Do – Part One


The Boston Bruins have roughly six weeks to handle a bunch of serious issues facing the organization. They have to lock up Dougie Hamilton before July 1st, rebuild the fourth line, get a reliable backup goaltender, and revamp the defensive lines.  Not much to ask of a guy who has had the job for a whole thirty-six hours.

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  • There will be more headaches down the road for Don Sweeney. He’ll have to figure out who the Bruins will pick in the upcoming draft, decide whether or not to keep players like Dennis Seidenberg and Milan Lucic, hire a bunch of young talent, and somehow stay under a salary cap that isn’t going up(Figures still have the cap landing in the $71-$71.5 million range.) anytime soon.

    All this will have to be done while meeting the fans’ expectations.  No problem, right?

    So, what should be Don Sweeney’s first task be?

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    The Bruins will need to lock up Dougie Hamilton first. He’ll be taking up the lion’s share of the remaining salary cap money. The Bruins used to make sensible investments in their players, and they’ll need to do so here. They’ll need to sign him to a four or five year deal, and offer him something reasonable(The going rate is in the high three, low four million per year). Let him know that he’ll be asked to play top-four minutes, and there will always be more money available down the road.

    What’s next then? Build a defensive unit that can play like it used to. This may be a lot to ask for. Chara isn’t get any younger (and he hates us reminding him of that), and he never really played at one hundred percent last year. Dennis Seidenberg also had his issues coming back from a severe injury with a rebuilt ACL. But the Bruins have solid young talent with Krug and Hamilton.

    The Bruins will have to go outside their comfort zone and make sensible choices for their starting six defensemen. They’ll need to mix youth and experience, and find the right combination of the players they can get their hands on. (Hopefully, the Bruins will have the good sense to let Matt Bartkowski test free agency and find himself a team he can grow with.)

    Here’s a ‘best case’ scenario with the Boston Bruins using players that have available in their system.

    Zdeno Chara – Dougie Hamilton

    Dennis Seidenberg – Adam McQuaid

    Torey KrugZach Trotman

    Kevan Miller

    That’s just the first two problems the Bruins front office will need to tackle. Tomorrow we’ll take a look at a few more problems that Cam Neely, Don Sweeney, and the Bruins organization will have to tackle in a very short period of time.

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