Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Eric Wilbur of Boston.com,
If this group is still to be considered a playoff team, then should Chiarelli have the freedom to add the pieces he deems fit for an improbable Cup run? And if that’s the case, what level of return might we be talking about?
Are the pipe dreams of landing either T.J. Oshie or Taylor Hall (both linked to the Bruins in one way or another in recent months) little more than laughable scenarios? Will the Bruins simply, finally acquire Buffalo’s Chris Stewart so we can just all shut up about the immortal trade rumor of the season? How soon would it take head coach Claude Julien’s head to explode if Chiarelli re-acquired old friend Jaromir Jagr, and he was forced to play him alongside Ryan Spooner?
This is a big week for the Bruins. Despite a dazzling month of January, played in the wake of owner Charlie Jacobs’ veiled threats, the Bruins are just 2-6-2 in their last 10 games, not exactly the results the team’s hierarchy is looking for with a trip to the playoffs - along with Chiarelli’s and Julien’s jobs - in question.
That’s probably a stretch for Julien, what with a new contract extension in tow, but could be a possibility as far as the general manager is concerned, not for the product that he delivered (or, as some might opine, failed to deliver) this season, but for putting the Bruins in a salary cap situation that has them up against the wall at knifepoint.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Bosotn Globe,
For now, the cost is too expensive for general manager Peter Chiarelli.
Prices will decrease by Monday. There is no way Buffalo GM Tim Murray, for example, will go beyond the deadline without moving right wing Chris Stewart for futures. The right-shot Stewart would fall into the rental category. To this point, Murray has demanded a second-round pick and a prospect for Stewart.
“It’s high. It’s really high,” Chiarelli said of the overall rental market. “I don’t know if that’s the answer. It’s just really high.
“You have to look at all angles. What happens is that teams look at your fortunes and the price keeps going up and up and up. At some point, you have to pay a price. I understand that. I’ve done that before. I’ve shown that we do deals and we pay.”
more on the Bruins as the trade deadline approaches...
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
- The biggest problem that’s bothered the Bruins on defense all season is their inability to protect the house consistently. Their coaches repeatedly stress the importance of stationing at least one man in front of the net to disrupt shots, block pucks, and lift sticks. If the Bruins occupy the net-front area correctly, it leaves others to work their way out from there and cover the rest of the defensive zone. It’s been easier said than done. The Bruins have been too quick to leave the space open to hunt down loose pucks or close on opponents. “The front of the net is the main area,” Adam McQuaid said. “That’s something that’s a team thing. It’s five guys coming back and getting in the right positions, then working from there.”
- Chatter around the league pegs New Jersey as a franchise that could seek a new general manager. Lou Lamoriello is in his 28th season at the Devils’ helm. They have good young pieces in Cory Schneider and Adam Henrique. But too much of the roster has gone gray.
many more hockey topics...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
- The chatter that began over the summer about Johnny Boychuk wanting to sign with his hometown Oilers this summer when the 31-year-old defenseman becomes a free agent persists even as his value to the Cup contenders on Long Island continues to grow.
As huge a get as Boychuk was for GM Garth Snow when he acquired Boychuk on the eve of the season from Boston (who chose not to use their precious cap space on him while fearful of losing the defenseman for nothing), keeping the righty will be a more challenging task…even as the Islanders appear to be in an outstanding position relative to the cap.
The number will start at $6M per.
- So, if the Jacobs ownership was 10 minutes away from firing GM Peter Chiarelli and coach Claude Julien when the Bruins were down 4-1 to the Leafs with time running down on Game 7 of the first round in 2013 before their historic rally to win it, as we were told by a man who knew the plan, then what will the fallout be if Boston misses the playoffs this time?
We’re betting that the GM will be named Cam Neely by the time of the Entry Draft.
- Hey, have you heard about the NHL renaming the Adams to COY? Not to be confused with the CYA Trophy, about to won yet again by Philadelphia’s “Mr. Snider.”
Six Three saves, three goals in 31 minutes.
added 12:35pm, Video of Subban post-game is below...
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
This is Chiarelli’s roster. If the Bruins don’t make the playoffs, CEO Charlie Jacobs and president Cam Neely will not hesitate to make Chiarelli (hired in 2006) and Julien (2007) pay the price.
“Whether it’s Cam or Charlie who said we’re all under review, I understand that,” Chiarelli said. “We’ve had a lot of success here in my tenure and Claude’s tenure. We’re having a down year. It’s unfortunate that we’re under review for one year. But I understand. We’ve got to make things better.”
Chiarelli knew there would be hiccups. He didn’t replace Jarome Iginla. He traded Johnny Boychuk four days before the start of the season. Dennis Seidenberg has taken a full year to recover from a torn ACL. There were injuries, like the ones that sidelined David Krejci and Zdeno Chara.
But Chiarelli did not expect this roster, which he built and still believes in, to continue its peaks-and-valleys play into February.
“I didn’t know it would just keep carrying forward,” Chiarelli said. “I didn’t project that. I didn’t project the injuries. But when they happened, you have to change your projections a bit. There’s a lot of subpar performances. Sometimes that happens.”
First off, there is no plausible return for Big Z that would be commensurate with his importance to the franchise, on and off the ice. You would have to find a real sucker to take on his almost $7 million cap hit for the next three years. He’s going to be 38 in March, has tons of mileage on his legs, and, if you look closely, there’s a piano slowly developing on his back.
There may be some takers out there for 28-year-old forward Loui Ericsson ($4.5 million hit next year, then UFA) and 32-year-old defenseman Dennis Seidenberg ($4 million hit for next three years, then UFA). That would alleviate some of the salary-cap crunch for general manager Peter Chiarelli going into next season, but what are you getting in return — draft picks and middling prospects? Ericsson hasn’t been very good and Seidenberg struggles to stay on the ice — but dumping them still makes the Bruins significantly worse this season.
And if the Bruins bail on this season, there goes another prime year of the core of the team: all-world center Patrice Bergeron and goalie Tuukka Rask.
-Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post where you can read more on the Bruins and other hockey topics...
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
The tumble down the Eastern Conference standings started Feb. 4, when the Bruins lost to the Rangers, 3-2. It was the first of six losses this month.
But their downturn is a collision of several factors:
■ The salary cap for 2015-16 is unclear, mostly because of the Canadian exchange rate. This is making general managers, including Peter Chiarelli, wary of acquiring players with term remaining beyond this season.
■ The Bruins are tight against this year’s cap. They are carrying an overage penalty of approximately $4.75 million, mostly because of bonuses accrued last year by Jarome Iginla. That’s the average annual value of a good defenseman or right wing, both of which the Bruins desperately need.
■ The Bruins have lost confidence in Niklas Svedberg. The backup goalie has been pulled in two of his last three starts. They’ve had to ride Tuukka Rask for 15 straight games and 24 of the last 25. No goalie can sustain that workload.
■ The Bruins drafted poorly during Chiarelli’s first years. Their only remaining NHL asset from 2007-09 is Jordan Caron, a regular healthy scratch. Those misses have led to a thin prospect pool.
"I would have to look at it very carefully. When I went to Long Island I didn't know what I was getting into. I'd want to know exactly where I was going with this. Who is running the show? What pieces were in place to play with?
"I'm not chomping at the bit [to coach]. I'm happy with what I'm doing. I've got a pretty good schedule with a little bit more free time. But when somebody dangles that carrot in front of you and gives you an opportunity like that, there's so few chances like that. I'd have to say I'd strongly consider it if that came around."
-Mike Milbury if he would be interested in coaching the Boston Bruins if the job became available. Watch the comments at CSNNE.
While playing for the Boston Bruins in 2013, Andrew Ference learned of a little girl who was coming to watch his team play. The five-year old child was battling a life-threatening disease and Ference was touched by her story.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
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