Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
"I think there's a lot of frustration right now. I think the guys, everybody's feeling the heat we feel that's been put on us, and it's up to us to work through this and find ways to overcome those kinds of things."
"It's part of being a professional, it's part of the game. So it's up to us. We have higher expectations. In that dressing room, coaches and ourselves, we have higher expectations than what we've shown right now."
"So we're not going to hide behind disappointment and stand here and think that we're doing OK. We're underachieving right now and our game's got to get better. I still feel we've got the group in there to make it better, so it's up to us to take charge."
-Claude Julien, head coach of the Boston Bruins after a 4-3 shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers. More from Caryn Switaj of BostonBruins.com.
from Mark Spector of Sportsnet,
Of course, Chiarelli’s dilemma runs deep. There isn’t a GM in hockey — and he’s one of the best, IMO — who would submit to this obvious trend and deal Chara now. Not with a playoff spot still a very real possibility.
But the decline has begun, and here’s why we are mighty sure that the Bruins are not Detroit, a team that has bucked the trend: Look at the Bruins drafting record since 2007, and you’ll find the answer to why their opponent tonight has fallen on such hard times. It’s why Calgary is rebuilding. It’s why the Canucks are no longer an elite contender. And it’s why the Maple Leafs are as bad as they are.
Boston, an organization that once drafted and developed extremely well, has hit the skids on that front since 2007. The year before, in 2006, Boston drafted Phil Kessel, Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand, who have played a total of 1,215 NHL games. From 2007-2012 (we won’t count the past two seasons), the 37 players drafted by the Bruins have played a grand total of 960 games. Tyler Seguin, now in Dallas, accounts for more than one-third of those games.
There is a dearth on this roster between the age of 26 and 20. Torey Krug, Reilly Smith and Dougie Hamilton are all good players, but not enough to fill the void. Then Johnny Boychuk was dealt for a pair of second round draft picks, and this summer Chiarelli will be in cap jail again — but now with an eighth place team that doesn’t scare anybody anymore.
added 8:25am, from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
The Bruins have lost four games in a row for the first in three years, the fans are upset with the team, the team is teetering on the edge of once again falling out of the playoff picture and there is doom and gloom surrounding the Black and Gold everywhere you look. This sounds like a perfect time for a HaggBag mailbag to get to the bottom of the issues....
If the B’s plan to keep Tuukka why not trade Subban in a package for a top 6 winger?
JH: There is no reason for the Bruins to trade Tuukka Rask, and I’ve never understood the logic there. He’s the reigning Vezina Trophy winner in his prime and has an ironclad no movement clause to start, and that is reason enough to keep him around. But just look at trades involving goaltenders, particularly those with term still on their contracts, over the last four or five years, and the returns aren’t very good. Washington trading Semyon Varlamov to Colorado for a first round pick and second round pick was among the best, and Roberto Luongo was dealt to the Florida Panthers for a fading goalie prospect in Jakob Markstrom and a roster player in Shawn Matthias. That’s it. Ryan Miller had to be packaged with Steve Ott in order to get Chris Stewart, Jaroslav Halak, a first round pick and a prospect from St. Louis, and I wouldn’t call that any kind of package that would entice me to trade Rask. No superstars or multiple first round picks being sent in exchange for goaltenders, so there’s no reason to think there would be an inflated market for a goalie like Rask.
Instead you’d be taking pennies on the dollar for one of the best goalies in the NHL, and that would be poor asset management.
Malcolm Subban, on the other hand, has some value given his cachet as a former first rounder and top prospect expected to be a franchise goalie at the NHL level, and he’s got the added bonus of already being a bit of a Canadian icon given his hockey family bloodlines and history in the Canadian World Junior program. He won’t be traded for a top six forward rental, or some kind of Band-Aid solution for this year’s team. The only way Subban is dealt is if it’s for an impact player that would become a part of the B’s corps moving forward, and preferably a young player with some cost certainty involved with him.
more Q & A...
from the CP at TSN,
TJ Brodie scored a fluke goal with two seconds left in the extra period as Calgary overcame a two-goal, third-period deficit to edge Boston 4-3 for its league-leading 10th victory when trailing after two periods.
"I don't know what to say anymore. Those guys never quit," said Flames coach Bob Hartley. "We always have the feeling that we can pull out those comebacks."
From near the corner, Brodie sent the puck towards the front of the net where it deflected off the stick of Brad Marchand, fluttered high in the air and ended up behind Tuukka Rask.
"I knew there wasn't too much time left, I was just trying to get the puck to the net. It took about three or four bounces and luckily it went in," said Brodie.
Rask tracked the puck OK but couldn't squeeze it.
"I tried to bend myself and grab it and it hit my glove, hit the top of the net, bounced back," said Rask.
read on for more on the game...
Watch the T.J. Brodie goal below...
Earlier in the week, Insider Joe Haggerty suggested the B's could kickstart the teams future by trading captain Zdeno Chara.
Haggerty discussed the idea on Cross Check.
"I think this summer it's something they absolutely have to look at and they should do," said Haggerty. "He's signed on for three more years at a $7 million cap hit per season and you can still get some value for him. I think you've got to make that move now before you're watching him really deteriorate over the next couple years."
Mike Milbury agreed that the team needs to bring in some new blood, and no one on the roster should be safe from a trade.
more and below, watch Haggerty and Milbury discuss the options for 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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