Boston Bruins: Lather, Rinse, Repeat, Defeat

Jul 29, 2015; Foxboro, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug and general manager Don Sweeney chat after a press conference for the Winter Classic hockey game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 29, 2015; Foxboro, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman Torey Krug and general manager Don Sweeney chat after a press conference for the Winter Classic hockey game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Boston Bruins have been looking for a top-four defenseman.  Certain names have been floated about by the media. Tyson Barrie, Jacob Trouba, and Alex Goligoski were names offered up as a player that could actually fit the Bruins organization. In the last few days, all three of those players have been crossed off the list for various reasons.

Nothing like a few wrenches thrown in the works just a few days before the NHL Entry Draft.

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The Bruins front office still claim that they’ve got a plan moving forward. But it looks like the plan they’ll have at the NHL Entry Draft will be significantly different from the one they had at the NHL Combine. A few weeks ago, the Bruins were positive about keeping Loui Eriksson in Boston. That seems to have changed with all signs pointing to the B’s signing away his rights at or just before the draft.

So the Bruins are looking for one top-four to add to the roster. They’ve also got to give Torey Krug his payday for proving he could be a top-four defenseman.

Still, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney believes the team doesn’t need a major reboot and they will be competitive with just a few minor tweaks.

“We had our pro meetings . . . I’m not going to give my whole plan out to you,” said Sweeney a few weeks back. “[We’re] exploring a bunch of different things trade-wise. It’s difficult in this league, but I think that we’re in the position with two first-round picks to be either selecting really good players, or to be in the

marketplace.”

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Don Sweeney is sadly repeating mistakes made by his predecessor, Peter Chiarelli. He gave up draft picks for players that weren’t significant game changers (Lee Stempniak and John-Michael Liles). Granted, these choices weren’t as bad as Chiarelli’s (giving up a first round pick for Jaromir Jagr, who had one of his worst NHL seasons in a Boston uniform.), but they’re still going to hurt the team on draft day.

Peter Chiarelli also liked to throw big money at replaceable players, citing their strength of charachter and their locker room presence (Chris Kelly’s $3 million dollar head-scratcher leads the list). At the start of last season, the Bruins had a $4 million plus cap hit on their fourth line.  Sadly, Sweeney seems to have one-upped Chiarelli on this one, having a bottom defensive pair worth over $5 million dollars.

Maybe Don Sweeney is sitting on his plan and is refusing to share it with anyone outside the Bruins inner circle. To be honest, I really hope that’s the plan here. I’d love for Sweeney to come out and surprise everyone with some cunning plan that proves that he was right and all he needed to do was make one or two moves to create success. That would be awesome and the fans would love it.

Maybe he’ll find that roaming top-four blueliner. Maybe he puts together a package deal that involves Loui Eriksson, and/or the 29th pick to get someone who could come in and fill in one of the top-two defensive lines. If he pulls that off, he’d silence many of his critics and give the season ticket holders a chance to breathe a sigh of relief.

I don’t see that happening though. From what we’ve seen so far, it looks like the Sweeney era is Chiarelli 2.0, and the only thing they changed was the name on the office door.