The Boston Bruins have acted early on some of their expiring deals, with Don Sweeney not allowing players to even reach the free agency window.
Obviously all of the chatter is around how the Boston Bruins can renew a resurgent Jake DeBrusk and also keep Torey Krug in the fold. That will dominate their free agency, but in the meantime, other players are already re-signed:
Perhaps the shrewdest deal of the lot, given Anders Bjork is fulfilling a vital role in place of the injured David Pastrnak on the Boston Bruins’ top line.
He doesn’t project to be a long-term first line option, but he certainly did enough with his training camp performance and his growing chemistry alongside Charlie Coyle in the regular season to win over Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy.
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Inking a three-year deal that will only cost the team $1.6 million per season is really smart business by the Boston Bruins.
A return of 19 points, including 9 goals in 58 regular season games on a $925,000 entry-level deal put him at a comparable cost per point to Dillon Dube in Calgary, Oskar Lindblom in Philadelphia or Pierre Engvall in Toronto.
That comparison is where the savings come into this; Lindblom renewed for three years at $3 million per season, albeit due to illness played 28 less games to achieve the same production rate.
Dillon Dube still has term to his entry-level deal and thus isn’t the clearest comparative, while Pierre Engvall only got a two-year renewal, costing $1.25 million with slightly lesser point production.
The Boston Bruins have erred on the side of caution with a relatively low-cost deal but with enough term that it could easily turn out to be a proper bargain deal by the time it’s up for renewal in three years.
Although he may have recently dropped out of the line-up in this first round series with the Hurricanes, Jeremy Lauzon did enough in a short time span to earn the trust of the Boston Bruins.
More than just that, the Bruins fan base also took a shine to his marauding physical game and while he still needs to fix up some defensive frailties, this will come as he spends more time in the NHL.
Signed for two more years at just $850,000 per season, even playing on the third pairing or sitting in the press box as the seventh defenseman on the roster represents great value.
The Boston Bruins would’ve been more than happy to give him a small raise of just $102,500 per year to ensure he stays with the team, especially when there’s still burdensome contracts signed for defensemen like John Moore.
In inking such a sweet deal, Jeremy Lauzon has all but ensured that he should remain on the Boston Bruins’ NHL roster for the time being. At worst, his value ensures he is a useful piece to slot into a trade should the need arise.
Much like Jeremy Lauzon, Connor Clifton arrived on the scene and straight away Boston Bruins fans warmed to his controlled defensive game. Not only is he unafraid of physicality but he’s shown a deft touch of timing his offensive pushes.
To secure him for $1 million per season means we’ve essentially added two defensemen for the price of one, when you factor Kevan Miller’s $2.5 million deal coming off the Boston Bruins books this free agency period.
Again much like Lauzon, Clifton doesn’t need to be playing every game for the Bruins to gain value from him. Signing on to such a cheap deal means there’s a chance of renewing Torey Krug and Jake DeBrusk when the time comes.
All in all, you have to say that Don Sweeney deserves a pretty high grade for the new deals he’s signed thus far. Especially when there’s a couple of important ones upcoming.