Kukla's Korner Hockey
BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, May 24, that the team has signed defenseman Kevan Miller to a four-year contract extension through the 2019-20 season at an NHL cap figure of $2.5 million per year. The Bruins have also signed forward Seth Griffith to a one-year, two-way contract through the 2016-17 season at an NHL cap figure of $625,000 per year.
In his third season with Boston, Miller competed in a career-high 71 games and also established career highs in goals (five), assists (13), points (18) and penalty minutes (53). He posted the second-best plus/minus rating on the team (+15). Miller played in his 100th NHL game on November 5, 2015 at Washington.
from the NHLPA,
Colton Orr has announced his retirement today from the National Hockey League (NHL), following nine NHL seasons and a 13-year professional hockey playing career.
“I feel privileged to have played for a decade in the NHL and to have had the support of four great organizations in Boston, New York, Toronto and Calgary. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to play with great teammates and against great players, many of whom have become great friends. It has been an amazing journey that would not have been anywhere near as fulfilling as it was without the love and support of fans, friends, agents, GMs, coaches and family,” said Colton Orr.
from Bill Burt of the Eagle Tribune,
The Bruins appeared to be one step ahead of the gritty and talented Chicago Blackhawks, who had won a Cup three years earlier and were arguably the best of the talented Western Conference.
The Bruins appeared to be possibly melding into ... well ... the New England Patriots.
They were young. They were tough. They were smart. They could win 1-0 and they could win 8-7. They were well-managed. They were well-coached. And, for the first time since Bobby Orr floated through the air in 1970, they appeared to be “championship driven.”
Jeremy Jacobs, who had owned the franchise since August of 1975, was in uncharted waters.
For the first time in nearly four decades, he was almost adored. Almost....
The Bruins we have learned are pretenders, with most of that great, young talent we saw in 2013, gone.
Other than five or so players, this franchise looks like it’s in big trouble immediately going forward.
They are a team that reflects its management and ownership.
Who is going to fire them?
thanks to a KK reader for the pointer
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
The Bruins on Wednesday held their second end-of-season press conference in less than a week, with ownership more firmly standing behind Cam Neely as president and Don Sweeney as general manager. It’s their team to fix and make ready for 2016-17.
Otherwise, the briefing amounted to status quo for a club that missed the playoffs for a second straight season. Claude Julien, as announced last week, will return as coach, and the Neely-Sweeney partnership will look for ways to upgrade a roster that again melted into the ice surface at the tail end of the season.
According to Neely, the three areas of greatest need for the roster are: 1. defense; 2. right wing; 3. backup goalie. None of which is a surprise, particularly on the back end, where the Bruins traded free agent Dougie Hamilton last summer without sufficiently stocking the blue line corps with NHL-ready talent....
Ownership, represented by Jeremy Jacobs and son Charlie Jacobs, made clear its feeling that the club continues to suffer for the financial dealings of former general manager Peter Chiarelli. Without naming Chiarelli specifically, the Jacobses noted that some of the player contracts Chiarelli negotiated hamstrung the organization and played a part in the club’s failures the last two seasons.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
We finally learned on Thursday, five days after the season ended, what Bruins management thinks went wrong in 2015-16. In somber, sometimes funereal tones, general manager Don Sweeney explained how a bad start, a worse finish, and spotty roster talent produced a second consecutive postseason DNQ. When I left the Garden after the news conference, I felt like I needed to sign a book of condolence, shake a grieving spouse’s hand.
Instead, I paid my $28 for 3-4 hours of parking and drove home, somewhat bewildered by it all, much like I felt many nights during the season.
How will Sweeney fix it? He’s not sure. He was key in creating the mess at hand, a rookie GM handed the keys just a year ago, and it stands to reason he doesn’t yet have all the answers. But he needs to find them, and quickly, or this time next year he’ll have to explain the club’s first three straight DNQs in the post-Bobby Orr era, and probably do so while handing the keys to a new GM....
Sweeney’s charge now is to add to the team’s talent. If amid that search he overlooks heart, what this year’s team lacked most, he’ll be right back where he was Thursday, ignoring the obvious, or unwilling to say it.
via the YouTube channel of NESN,
Boston Bruins CEO Charlie Jacobs is confident that new technologies will help improve the pace of play in the NHL, which has slowed down because of challenges. NESN.com's Michaela Vernava went one-on-one with Jacobs at the first ever "Play It Forward" sports summit at Boston University and talked to him about this issue and other topics.
The technology talk starts at the 3:30 mark.
This is not the time for Neely and Jacobs to be emotional and start chucking coaches and players into the drink. People make bad decisions when they’re angry. They will be best served backing away from the trigger, surveying the big picture, and resolving to solve problems. It’s their responsibility to supply Julien and the roster core with better players by putting their picks and prospects in play for adult defensemen.
But the front office operates in an environment of blame. In such cultures, punishment is the textbook move. That usually starts with the coach.
-Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe where you can read more on the Bruins.
from Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe,
Sorry. Claude has been nothing but class and professionalism. He is the winningest coach in team history and he brought the Cup back to Causeway Street. But nine years is enough. Nobody gets to do this forever. The Bruins have to rebuild and Julien might not be the guy for a team of youngsters.
They certainly haven’t responded to him in the big moments the last two years. Saturday’s embarrassing 6-1 “must-win” loss to the moribund Ottawa Senators would get a lot of coaches fired.
“It’s unacceptable, the way we showed up,’’ admitted Patrice Bergeron, Boston’s best player.
Does this mean the end for Claude, the longest-tenured coach in the NHL?
“That’s not my decision,’’ said Bergeron. “But this is definitely not on him. It should be on us.’’
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
Now comes an offseason of great introspection for the Bruins, who traded away young defenseman Dougie Hamilton at last June’s draft and then traded four draft picks (a 2nd, 3rd, 4th and a 5th) plus a prospect to bring in rentals John-Michael Liles and Lee Stempniak, which seemed to run counter to the team’s goals of stockpiling young assets.
There will be much speculation that Claude Julien, the man who guided the Bruins to a Stanley Cup win in 2011 and to the finals two years later, will pay for the disappointment with his job.
And there is no mistaking the swoon that enveloped the Bruins in the last month of the season as they won just four of their last 14 games.
But the reality is there’s plenty of blame to go around the Bruins to have it stop solely at the coach’s door.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org