With NHL Draft over, are offseason fireworks coming for Bruins?
Bean: Are fireworks coming for the Bruins? originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Something has to come for the Bruins, right?
The draft has come and gone with no changes for their NHL squad as the deadline set by Oliver Ekman-Larsson on Friday for the Bruins to trade with Oliver Ekman-Larsson (?) Is fast approaching.
This off-season has the potential to be Don Sweeney's most important since 2015, his first as GM. Torey Krug can sign with another club on Friday. Zdeno Chara too. Tuukka Rask and David Krejci enter the final season of their contracts while Jake DeBrusk leads the restricted freelance agents in Boston. The whole "you don't have enough wings" thing hasn't gone away either.
Nothing to do so far.
Last year's squad wasn't good enough to win the trophy - and it never was before the interruption - whether Sweeney wants to go broke for the coming season or just build a team that will do really well for a while can be. He has work to do. Not doing anything would be a disappointment and would more or less guarantee another relatively early playoff exit.
Bean: Ranking the Bruins' top trading assets for this off-season
The Bruins have the bones of a good team. They have two of the best goalscorers in the world in David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand, one of the best young defenders in Charlie McAvoy and still one of the best centers in the game in Patrice Bergeron. If Rask has a future in Boston, that's another big plus.
So the next few days will be interesting. The Bruins went into the off-season without many realistic trading chips and did each other a disservice when it came to filling the closet for future trading capital.
The Bruins' first pick, defenseman Mason Lohrie at number 58, is unlikely to be anytime soon.
Colin Cudmore, a blogger for the Senators, put together 50 different collections of prospect rankings to know where each player ranked on average. That way, once player X was made with choice Y, there was a quick resource to determine whether the choice would be viewed as range, theft, or anything in between.
The first choice of the Bruins at number 58 was a first for this year's draft: He was the only player who was completely unranked on all 50 lists.
As always, we don't know anything about the view and don't pretend we do. However, my assumption is that even if there were one or two other teams who liked this kid so much that they inducted him - or even took him to the third round - it probably isn't a very long list.
Maybe Lohrie will become a star player at some point, but he won't be a big trading chip in the meantime. "This guy was inducted into the second round" probably won't mean much when you speak to a team that wouldn't have drafted the guy.
Bean: Who B's should keep, act, and target this off-season
Now, assuming Krug is gone, the Bruins might try to spend free-hand - which Sweeney's mostly didn't like - or try to swing some trades. Josh Anderson, a Blue Jackets goalscorer who made sense of size for the Bruins because of their infatuation with, was sent to Montreal.
Ekman-Larsson? I don't get it Against the cap, it costs $ 8.25 million. While he would strengthen Boston's first or second pairing, the Bruins would only spend more to replace Torey Krug when defense isn't their greatest necessity.
The Bruins should just try to buy more time, which is difficult considering their goalkeeper is in the final year of his deal and they don't have a replacement ready to take control. I'm not going to quite say that for David Krejci as ideally Jack Studnicka will contribute as the right wing - which is a huge need - for the upcoming season and then move to his natural center position when Krejci leaves.
I was all for trading with Patrik Laine who may have exhausted his welcome to Winnipeg. Pierre LeBrun has reported that the Bruins have shown interest in Chicago's left wing Brandon Saad.
If the scoring isn't done through commerce, there are the Dadonovs and Hoffmans in the free agency, but another fascinating option is Taylor Hall. Common sense says it'll cost way too much, but Sportsnet's Chris Johnson reported that Hall, the 2018 Hart winner, will be doing business for a year or two in the face of the COVID-shaped market.
With $ 14.4 million in cap space, Cap Friendly says the Bruins have the batter to add a batter or two depending on whether they extradite DeBrusk or re-sign him. In a perfect world, they get DeBrusk for a team-friendly bridge deal and, after topping up Matt Grzelcyk again, spend the savings on more points.
Bruin's free agents are entering the off-season in 2020
There is the possibility of fireworks here. One particularly strange off-season we're going to see what Sweeney can do.
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