Kukla's Korner Hockey
added 3:31pm, Boston press release is below...
added 3:38pm, Calgary release below too...
from Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald,
Sweeney very well could trade an important player — Loui Eriksson or Milan Lucic, perhaps — to free up cap space.
However, arguably his biggest issue is finding a way to get restricted free agent-to-be Dougie Hamilton under contract. Sweeney spoke with Hamilton’s agent J.P. Barry on Wednesday night and, though the lines of communication are open, it doesn’t sound like a deal is imminent.
While Sweeney would not discuss the content of the meeting, it’s believed some discussion centered around the length of the deal, which would greatly affect the value of the contract. A shorter bridge deal would be cheaper but could cost the Bruins in the long run when Hamilton, who projects to be a consistent point producer, gains arbitration rights.
A shorter deal would buy the cash-strapped Bruins time to move money after some prospects hopefully develop. Perhaps they would feel more comfortable in trading goalie Tuukka Rask in two years time, if Malcolm Subban or Zane McIntyre develops into a No. 1.
A long-term deal could be between $6 and $7 million, pretty steep for a very good offensive-minded defenseman but not quite the complete package yet.
Asked if a long-term or short-term deal was preferable, Sweeney said, “There are two sides to make a good deal. We presented opportunities on both ends of it. We’ll find the right deal.”
Asked if a deal would get done before July 1, and before offer sheets could start coming Hamilton’s way, Sweeney said, “In a perfect world it would be, yeah, but it takes two sides to make a deal and we’re going to continue to explore that and communicate in order to find the right deal.”
BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, June 25, that the team has acquired a sixth round pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for the rights to Carl Soderberg. The 2016 sixth round pick is Boston's natural selection, as it originally belonged to the Bruins and was part of the March 2, 2015 trade between Colorado and Boston that brought Max Talbot and Paul Carey to the B's in exchange for Jordan Caron.
Soderberg has played in 161 regular season NHL games - all with Boston - and has registered 29 goals and 65 assists for 94 points. The 29-year-old also skated in 14 playoff games with 1-5=6 totals.
Soderberg was drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the second round (49th overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired by the Bruins from St. Louis on July 23, 2007 in exchange for Hannu Toivonen.
Soderberg will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2015.
added 5:08pm, Avs release is below...
from Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province,
Milan Lucic could use a new hockey home. The Vancouver Canucks need an influx of presence and chutzpah.
There’s a certain symmetry there, isn’t there?
But for the Canucks to add Lucic, the East Vancouver kid who starred in junior with Vancouver Giants, via a trade with the Boston Bruins would take major dominoes falling. It would take multiple deals of substance from general manager Jim Benning.
The Canucks are butted up against the salary cap currently, with $5.03 million to spend on five players, according to the website generalfanager.com. The Bruins, with $7.28 million to spend on seven players, according to the same site, aren’t in a position to take on extra salary in a swap, either.
Lucic, 27, has a cap hit of $6 million for the coming campaign, is one season away from unrestricted free agency, and, by his standards, had a so-so 2014-15, featuring 18 goals in the regular season. That all ties into the talk that Boston will move the 6-foot-3, 235-pound left-winger.
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
A two-year deal in the $4.5-5 million per season range would give the young D-man a nice bump to recognize the offensive breakthroughs Hamilton made while notching 10 goals and 42 points in 72 games last season. But it would also acknowledge what everybody knows about Hamilton: that the youngster still has some strides to make with work in the D-zone and decision-making with the puck.
The most obvious candidate to attempt luring Hamilton away with an offer sheet would be Peter Chiarelli and the Edmonton Oilers, but the Columbus Blue Jackets have also shown keen interest in the potential restricted free agent.
The real lack of young, potential future No. 1 defenseman and the fairly reasonable compensation of just a first round pick, a second pick and a third round pick for any contract under $7.3 million per season could turn those teams into proactive buyers. There’s also a number of new GM’s in new spots over the last couple of seasons, and that could change the surprising lack of activity in the RFA market over the years.
There are many around the league watching this Hamilton/Bruins situation play out with great interest.
“Every team is looking for that big, mobile, puck-moving defenseman that’s capable of getting 35-50 points, you know?” said one NHL front office member outside of Boston. “If I’m another team and I have a chance to get him, obviously with the CBA there are different things you can do to make that happen like offer sheets. I think he’s in a good spot for himself. As far as the [Bruins] organization goes, I wouldn’t want to be the guy that lost him.
“When you look at the [offer sheet] compensation, it’s not bad compensation for a guy [in Hamilton] who’s going to play 25 minutes a night and can move the puck like that.”
from Travis Yost of TSN,
One quick look at the Boston Bruins salary cap situation and you start to realize that new general manager Don Sweeney has his work cut out for him this summer.
The Bruins, like a handful of other teams around the league, are already pushed near the salary cap ceiling. Most estimates have the team with $4-million to $5-million in available cap space, though those numbers can change slightly depending on what the players do with the escalator clause built into the new collective bargaining agreement.
Even in a best case scenario, with a salary cap around $71-million for the 2015-2016 season, the Bruins are in a bit of distress.
Dougie Hamilton alone is going to command a rather hefty salary – even if the team plays hardball with the restricted free agent, and you can bet they will, there’s a very good chance he’ll eat into much or all of the remaining cap space left for the team this year. It doesn’t leave them any wiggle room to build around their core pieces – in fact, it barely lets them replace the holes being created by departing unrestricted free agents.
I do think the Bruins have one course of action to get out of trouble, though, and that is to part ways with Milan Lucic. There are two reasons for this, and they both tie back into life in the salary cap era. Lucic, on the final year of a $6-million average annual value contract, is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season. As with any unrestricted free agent (and doubly so for cap distressed teams), you never want to run into the position where you lose an asset for nothing.
from Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald,
Bruins coach Claude Julien spoke to the media today for the first time since being endorsed by new general manager Don Sweeney, saying that, while there were no guarantees, he felt comfortable he would continue to coach the team.
"You have to understand the business and you have to give the GM time to assess and make decisions," said Julien this morning at Ristuccia Arena. "He's got to feel comfortable, too. As much as it wasn't a lot of fun or easy, it wasn't frustration, it was more about understanding the situation.
"My feeling was pretty positive that we could certainly work together. Even in our conversations it certainly felt that way. Maybe if it hadn't been that way it would have been different."...
Julien attempted to dispel the notion this morning that his job was in any jeopardy.
"I know a lot of speculations have been made on whether this is temporary or whatever it is," Julien said. "But we're really committed and determined to take this team and move forward in the right directions. Don and I have had talks and have a very, very similar outlook on what's needed and what we want to do. There was never an issue there at all. That's why it's worked out. We seemed to be seeing the same things.
"Personality-wise, we've known each other for a long time. It wasn't as tough a process as far as evaluating as people might think, but it was more about the time that was needed for him to feel comfortable with everything."
from Steve Conroy of the Boston Globe,
Not only will there be young men to draft, but the trading season kicks into high gear once the Stanley Cup finals end. Sweeney has made it no secret that he’s open to just about anything to get his team on track, whether it’s through a player-for-player swap — aka “a hockey trade” — or dumping some salary so he can dip his toe in the free agent waters, even though the UFA pool is pretty shallow.
He also has to figure out a way to pay defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who appears to be getting more expensive by the day. That means Carl Soderberg most likely won’t be back, which was reported by Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman on Saturday and was becoming more and more obvious, especially after the B’s signed 27-year-old Finnish forward Joonas Kemppainen at the cut-rate salary of $700,000.
The B’s may still want to sign rugged defenseman Adam McQuaid, a UFA, but they may need to offload some salary to do so.
There are a handful of veterans who could be in play. Milan Lucic will be heading into the last year of a deal with a $6 million cap hit. Loui Eriksson is going into the last year of a $4.25 million hit. Chris Kelly has one year left at $3 million. And Dennis Seidenberg has three years left at $4 million. After a disappointing season, Reilly Smith just signed a two-year extension worth $3.425 annually.
Don Sweeney said the decision to retain Claude Julien was made some time ago.
Watch Sweeney from the NHL Combine talk about the coaching staff and more on the Bruins.
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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