At their closing media availability following their elimination to the New York Islanders in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney and team President Can Neely both expressed that they would like to make another run for a championship with their core players.
In order to set themselves up for the 2021-22 season, the Bruins have some obstacles to hurdle to put together a roster that can push the NHL’s best teams in a best-of-seven series.
First off, the Seattle Kracken Expansion Draft is July 21 and there is a good chance that some players currently on the roster won’t be at Warrior Ice Arena in Brighton in September when training camp starts as they will be selected to head out to the Pacific Northwest.
One week following the Kracken draft, free agency begins and that will be a very busy time for the Black and Gold’s front office. They have their own free agents they need to retain, as well as adding some pieces possibly from other teams. One area that Boston would like to field an experienced player or two is on defense. A left-handed blueliner than can log at least 20 minutes a night would really benefit the Bruins.
Bruins should consider making an offer sheet to a St. Louis defenseman.
No, Torey Krug will not be walking back through the doors on Causeway Street after he signed a seven-year deal last October to head to the St. Louis Blues. However, the Blues have a restricted free agent that could fit the need the Bruins have.
Vince Dunn is a 24-year-old left-shot blueliner that in 43 games this past season for the Blues logged 19:15 of ice-time a night, before being sidelined for the final three weeks of the regular season and playoffs with an injury.
Dunn, who was selected in the second round of the 2015 Entry Draft by St. Louis at No. 56, was on the trade market last fall in the offseason. It was reported that the Blues were looking for a first-round pick for Dunn, but nobody would bite on that and he remained in St. Louis.
It was a season of ups and downs for Dunn with his teammates. He had six goals and 14 assists for the Blues with a career-low plus/minus of minus-8. There have been some rumblings out of St. Louis that things are going well between Dunn and the Blues, so could there be a change coming?
If the Bruins want to acquire Dunn, they would have to offer him a bit of hefty increase than what he earned last season, but the Blues would have a chance to match it. Last offseason, Dunn inked a one-year, $1.875 contract with St. Louis, but if Boston wants him to fill a void they have, they would have to offer more money. Maybe a significant more amount of money that St. Louis would not match.
If the Bruins want Dunn, then they will have to pony up some money and hope the Blues don’t match it. Would Sweeney be willing to offer a deal that carries an annual average value (AAV) of at least $3 million? That might be the starting point.