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

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Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has an uphill fight in front of him. He has to find a way to correct the mistakes made by his predecessor, Peter Chiarelli. In yesterday’s article, we discussed how the Bruins need to fix their defensive lines and how locking up Dougie Hamilton is absolutely necessary.

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The biggest albatross around the Bruins’ neck is the cap ceiling. The Bruins were fined twice for being over the cap during the Chiarelli administration. Sweeney now has to figure out a way to bring in adequate talent and keep the team cap compliant.

“Getting a feel in terms of the players and having a relationship there, I feel that I know them and they know me as a person,” said Sweeney. “But again, this is a different role, and I have to get comfortable and they have to get comfortable in that regard. I think that we do have to explore all of the cap flexibility things, we have the draft coming up, so we have things that are on our plate that we need to address right away, even from the unrestricted and restricted free agents that we have to have conversations with.”

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  • He’s already made some progress in that department. He’s signed free agent goaltender Zach McIntyre to an entry-level deal. McIntyre will likely end up in Providence, freeing up Jeremy Smith or Malcolm Subban to be the number two in Boston.  He’s also signed Finnish forward Joonas Kemppainen to a one year, two-way contract. (His contract is worth about $700,000 at the NHL level.) If Kemppainen can make the adjustment to North American ice quickly, the 6’2″, 213lb forward could end up being a part of the new fourth line.

    The rest of the Bruins cap troubles come from a series of long-term, no trade clauses. Sweeney will have to try to trade players that may not have much motivation to leave Boston. Getting a player to waive their no-trade clause, isn’t easy, and he’ll certainly have an uphill battle in that regard.

    The Bruins will also have to figure out what they can do with Milan Lucic. He had a disappointing last season for the Black and Gold. His physicality wasn’t what it was, and he only put up eighteen goals for the Bruins. Lucic’s contract expires at the end of the upcoming season. He’ll need to prove to Sweeney that he wants to stay in Boston.

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