Kukla's Korner Hockey
“I’m a huge fan. I’m in there probably 70 percent of the time watching games. When you have an organization like the Bruins that’s contending every single year, that makes it exciting. You have high hopes and high expectations. Obviously last year was a little disappointing with an early exit against Montreal.
“But the thing that they have in place with the core of the team is exciting for fans, and for management too. They’re always looked at as one of the teams that should be contending. I remember around this time year you’d be getting excited for camp, and there’s only a few weeks left. You get back into that work mode, and this time of year always kind of brings me back to that.”
-Ray Bourque on the Boston Bruins. More from Bourque by Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
“I think they have a very strong nucleus,” Park told ESPN.com in a recent phone conversation. “I think they’ll probably lose some offensive power with Iginla not coming back. I don’t think they have somebody capable of scoring, on a regular basis, 25-to-30 goals. Offensively, that hurts them.”
The Bruins, who recently signed key performer David Krejci to a six-year deal worth $43.5 million, have approximately $69.8 million committed for next season (the cap has been set at $69 million), according to Capgeek.com, and that is with restricted free agents Reilly Smith and Torey Krug still unsigned.
Considering the obstacle that faces general manager Peter Chiarelli, many believe the Bruins will have to trade one of their defensemen. Boston currently has a glut of blueliners as they head into training camp later this month.
Park thinks the Bruins’ back end is particularly solid, and should be a strength for the club, especially if they can stay healthy.
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
Nobody wants to see Boychuk traded from this current group of Bruins, and dealing away the hard-nosed, hard-hitting D-man with the booming shot will weaken their team in the short term. His inclusive personality would be missed. His intensity in the playoffs would be missed. His willingness to endure a puck to the face to win a game would be severely missed.
Winning it all this season would be aided by having No. 55 in uniform for the Black and Gold.
But Boychuk would net the biggest savings if his $3.36 million cap hit was dealt to a team in need of his services, and he’d also yield the best player in return to a Bruins team that could use a right wing. Could he be packaged with other items to rescue a gem like Nail Yakupov from the Edmonton Oilers, or Jakob Silfverberg, or Tomas Tatar?
There’s also the cold, hard fact that the Bruins won’t be able to afford Boychuk after this season when he hits unrestricted free agency. He will easily command $5-6 million per season based on the ludicrous contract given to Brooks Orpik by the Washington Capitals, and the Bruins would be hard-pressed to go that high with a second-pairing defenseman on the wrong side of 30.
It comes down to signing players like Soderberg, Hamilton, Krug, Smith and others to deals while absorbing the $7.25 million Krejci cap hit after this season, and Boychuk seems like an ill-fitting jigsaw puzzle piece from a cap perspective.
from Nicholas Goss of NESN,
...the Bruins still need to re-sign restricted free agents Torey Krug and Reilly Smith.
The best-case scenario is to finalize these contracts before training camp begins Sept. 18. “I want them to be part of this team and I want them to have a full camp,” Chiarelli said when asked about Krug and Smith. “In my tenure here we’ve never had anyone not attend. But that doesn’t mean that they won’t.”
The B’s are $809,143 over the salary cap ceiling, per CapGeek, which might force Chiarelli to make a move or two before Krug and Smith are re-signed. The team also has the option of putting Marc Savard’s contract on long-term injury reserve to free up $4,027,143 in cap space.
Chiarelli was asked about Milan Lucic’s future, too. The veteran power forward is another valuable member of the team’s core, and he has two more years left on his contract.
“He’s another guy we like,obviously I consider him a backbone of this franchise,” Chiarelli said. “Eventually we’ll get around to that. We’ve got a lot of things we have to do, that’s the business of hockey. … We’ll get him done when his time comes around.”
more from Chiarelli on the signing of Krejci...
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
According to a report out of the Czech Republic, David Krejci has agreed to a six year contract extension with the Bruins that will pay him in the neighborhood of $43 million. Hokej.cz is reporting through Krejci’s management group that the playmaking center and the Bruins have agreed to terms on a six year extension that would pay him $7.16 million per season.
The $7.16 million cap hit would put him slightly above the pay scale of Patrice Bergeron ($6.5 million), Zdeno Chara ($6.9 million) and Tuukka Rask ($7 million) to make him the highest paid Bruins player on an average annual value basis. The salary number isn’t a surprise given the rising salary cap and the big money extensions handed out to Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews earlier this season, and guarantees that the Bruins will keep together a roster built around their top two frontline centers for the majority of the next decade.
Both the B’s organization and Krejci haven’t yet confirmed the contract extension to CSNNE.com, but it was fully expected that the B’s would work something out with their top line pivot prior to the season.
from Mac Faulkner of Shnarped,
Recently Shnarped had the chance to speak at length with Matt as he reflected back on his journey from a 9th round pick in the bantam draft to an overtime hero in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In part one of a three-part series, we explore his thoughts on playing in Boston and what it was like scoring the overtime winning goal in his NHL playoff debut.
Is there anyone on the Bruins that you want to model your game after or just respect the way they prepare and carry themselves?
It’s hard not to go into that dressing room and respect the guys that put on that jersey because they’re there for a reason and they all believe in a common goal of winning the Stanley Cup. You have to respect the guys like (Shawn) Thornton, (Milan) Lucic and (Zdeno) Chara. You look at a guy like (Jarome) Iginla and he’s done so much for his career, in the NHL and on an international level, that it’s a no brainer.
You need to watch those guys because you want to see how they prepare and how they carry themselves in the dressing room, during the game and after the game with the media. You see why they’re so successful because they know how to be a professional. All those guys are so professional and they’re there because they want to win. Ultimately if you didn’t want to win and didn’t want to prepare yourself then you wouldn’t be there.
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE who answered some questions from fans...
w/ cap issues, too many D and age starting to show, how do you feel about shopping big Z while value is still high?
JH: I feel like this may happen eventually if he continues to show his age in key spots during the season (cough, cough…the playoffs), but the Bruins would need to develop an exit strategy first. I don’t see anybody on Boston’s roster that could step in and become the defensive stopper and play 25-30 minutes a night against the other team’s best offensive players.
You could force Johnny Boychuk to play that role or push Dougie Hamilton into it before he’s potentially ready to take that on, but that could have negative consequences. Just look in Toronto where the Maple Leafs have pushed Dion Phaneuf into a stopper D-man role that he’s really not suited for, and Toronto’s entire defensive effort has been compromised because of it.
The bottom line: the guy was a Norris Trophy finalist last season and had an excellent year. Be careful what you wish for, especially now that the 6-foot-9 defenseman has agreed to park his big frame in front of the net on power plays. That’s been a big difference-maker.
more Boston related questions and answers...
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
They still have to sign power play defenceman Torrey Krug and top-nine winger Reilly Smith, and they lost first-line forward Jarome Iginla to the Colorado Avalanche because the Avs could give him more than a one-year performance-laced deal.
They also have to resign their second-best centre David Krejci, also UFA next summer.
Can they afford to give Boychuk a multi-year deal, with a significant raise from his current $3.33 million cap hit? Do they have anyone who can take his spot with a similar skill-set? Do the Bruins think about moving Boychuk before h becomes UFA? Does Boychuk see what a reasonable facsimile player Brooks Orpik, 34 next month, got from Washington ($5.5 million cap over five years) this July and think he’d like a shot at the same gravy?
All questions to ponder.
from DJ Bean of WEEI,
According to a source familiar with the negotiations, the Bruins have had “casual discussions” with David Krejci‘s camp about a contract extension for the first-line center. Krejci, 28, is entering the final year of a three-year, $15.75 million contract and is set to be an unrestricted free agent after the coming season.
The source said there is an expectation that talks will accelerate in the near future. Historically, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has tried to get deals with his franchise players done before they enter their contract years. Chiarelli did it prior to the 2010-11 season, when he locked up free-agents-to-be Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron, and last summer, when he signed Bergeron to an eight-year extension.
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.
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