2022 Offseason

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SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
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UFA's
Patrice Bergeron (gulp) - 2022 Cap hit: $6.875
Jesper Frödén - 2022 Cap hit: $842,500
Curtis Lazar - 2022 Cap hit: $800,000
Anton Blidh - 2022 Cap hit: $750,000
Jakub Zboril - 2022 Cap hit: $725,000

RFA's
Jack Studnicka
Joona Koppanen
Jack Achan

Trade candidates
Jake DeBrusk (per his request)


The Bruins will likelty be returning MOST of their current roster next year - with the two big decisions being the status of Bergeron, and if DeBrusk has reconsidered his trade request.

Bergeron leaving would likely portend the team going into complete rebuild mode. If he moves to the Chara "one year at a time" contract plan, it's likely the team tries one more time to get him another Cup.

DeBrusk played great after his trade request this season. He definintely increased his trade value, and the contract extension he signed will make him an attractive candidate for teams looking to bolster their wing depth. It's really up to him, I imagine, at this point.

Once Bergeron signals his intentions, most of the drama for the offseason will be over.

The real challenge will be finding room for some of the talent the Bruins have in the pipeline in Lysell, Lohrei, Merkulov, Beecher, etc.
 

LogansDad

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I think Bergeron is done. His reactions and hugs after the game tonight give every hint that he’s going to retire.
That's my gut feeling, too. Add to the hugs that it's so obvious that he adores his wife, and his kids are just getting to the age where he is going to want to be around to do all the awesome growing up stuff with them, with his age and the concussion history, and I really think it's the last we've seen of him in a Bruins jersey.
 

McBride11

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I think Bergeron is done. His reactions and hugs after the game tonight give every hint that he’s going to retire.
Oof, that would be a tough loss. All time legend Bruin. Does a Selke win motivate him to come back? He is 36 (37 this summer). Hockey players have certainly played longer. But being the best 2 way center over the past 15 years likely takes a toll vs a D man or wing.


Beyond the sentimental value - would create a large gap at C as well. And if reading Sportrac right, there is like only 2m in free space. So he doesn't get a lot of help if he returns, unless the kids step up (Sway being a year experienced may also help on the backend)
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Bergeron may also feel that if a team with a core like 37/63/88/73 can get bounced in the first round in desultory fashion like this then winning a second Cup isn’t in the cards and may figure it’s time to go.
 

amfox1

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Josh Brown and Troy Grosenick are UFAs also.

My gut is also that Bergeron retires.

Trading DeBrusk, Ullmark and Reilly would free up $12mm.

The team needs to look at getting younger up front. Also, Pasta is UFA after next season.
 

The Mort Report

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My biggest issue with what the bruins have done for years is fill in 2-3 spots a season with 3ish million vets. This really needs to stop, and I wish that the 4th line was more giving young guys a shot, not with over minimum salary vets. I love Lazar's game on the 4th line, but that's his ceiling, I would have rather tried a younger guy in his spot. Could the player crash a burn? Sure, but they could also play at a higher level. The B's seem too scared to take a chance with the 4th line and prefer OK defensive, blackhole offensive one
 

MiracleOfO2704

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They're in deep trouble. Like, Detroit in 2015 trouble.

If you want to put anything down as a positive, it's that they pretty well have their Opening Night roster locked up, less 1C. Of their UFAs, I probably give Zboril a make-good 1- or 2-year deal. He was making strides before he blew out his knee, and he might be the one player of the bunch that has a chance of contributing to this team going forward.

Now, the ugly stuff. They have 7 defencemen signed for next season already, and only McAvoy seems like a sure bet to live up to their contract. Lindholm may, but it's not a guarantee. Everyone else is pretty limited in what they can do. They're woefully thin at RW and C, but don't really have many prospects ready to fill in (Lysell probably helps with RW, but I don't think you can use Studnicka. It's clear the organization doesn't think he's going to help them). Bergeron retiring leaves them with a likely zero top-6 centres, and oh yeah, their first this year went out with the Lindholm deal.

This trade deadline, we saw a lot of posts along the lines of "go big or start the rebuild", and there was logic behind it. They needed another top-4 defenceman, which they got in Lindholm, and a top-6 forward, preferably a centre. They finagled the Ducks deal to leave them with plenty of cap space and assets to take care of the forward, then...nothing. The leitmotif of this organization under Sweeney: build up everything to make a big move, then get caught holding the bag when no one wants to dance with them. The result is the team's first first-round exit since 2017, and some real tough prospects coming up.

Now, the two big events that will define the offseason:
-Patrice Bergeron. I'll take most of you at your word and assume he's retiring. If he is, that all but SHOULD make the decision for the GM. If, however he returns, you'd have to assume they'll run it back, whether they should or not.
-Don Sweeney. He's without a contract, and I guess there are whispers he may not be back.

So how do we do this? My way involves Bergeron retiring and Sweeney not re-signing.

You go to Marchand and ask for a list of teams he'll go to. Make it healthy enough of a list that they can actually get a decent return for an in-his-prime LW that should still clear 30-40=70 for the next couple of years. You also go to Pastrnak and offer a 5-year contract, $8-9m AAV. If he balks, get his list. It seems crazy, but you're at a point where future assets are going to be important to this team. He should be one of the guys you build around, but you can't afford to let him walk away at the end of 2022-23 for nothing. I'd also put feelers out about any non-McAvoy/Lindholm defencemen, to see if there's any way to turn a couple of them into future assets. My biggest gets, though, are a coach that can build the team to be a more up-tempo team in line with teams like Carolina, Colorado, Florida, and (yes, really) Toronto. I'd also completely overhaul the scouting department, particularly amateur scouting. As much as it's a product of their success, there's no reason their farm system should still be bottom 5 in the league as they are. With this, there's going to be a few years in the wilderness, but it's likely their best chance of rebuilding relatively quickly, especially in a division that has an ascendant Ottawa and Buffalo and only Tampa Bay on a downswing.

The pessimistic me sees Bergeron retiring, Sweeney re-signing, and a continued denial of reality, signing guys like Foligno to more 3-year contracts, trading DeBrusk for a poor return, and watching this team lean even harder into the late Holland-era Red Wings comparison, eventually bottoming out when they get forced into a long, painful rebuild that they're not prepared for.
 

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SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
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They’re not trading Ullmark. 3 years to go on that deal and Swayman is not a number 1 keeper yet.
I had originally included him in the "Trade Candidates" section - because I do believe Swayman is as close to a #1 as he can get without being a true #1, yet.

If, IF there was someone looking to add him via trade (why, I don't know) - there are quite a few veteran UFA's who might be worth picking up on a one year deal to spell Swayman as he becomes a true #1.

Marc Andre-Fleury
Mikko Koskinen
Martin Jones
Braden Holtby

All guys with experience who can help teach Swayman what it means to be a #1, while being no real threat to his starting role. Also, someone you're comfortable with spelling him 25-35 games during the year.
 

amfox1

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Amalie Benjamin
@AmalieBenjamin

5m

The clock has started ticking on the Bruins for the summer. It all starts with Patrice Bergeron and his decision. Everything else flows from there. My sense? I think he's played his last game.

Amalie Benjamin
@AmalieBenjamin

2m

For the record, this isn't based on inside info, but on clues through the season. The emotions from Bergeron and Marchand after Game 7, his kids at his last press conference at TD Garden, impressions from the ASG. I don't know if Bergeron even knows yet. But this is my guess.
 

lexrageorge

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If Bergeron retires, I would like to see them use the coming season as a dreaded bridge year. Make trades with the future in mind, while also realizing that Pastrnak and McAvoy and others need to be part of the team's next core. Agree that if they can find a taker for Ullmark, all the better.

EDIT: Not looking forward to KPD/Neely calling for more "grit" while complaining about Pastrnak.
 

burstnbloom

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I don't think there are any easy solutions this offseason but the post championship Red Wings comparison is pretty loose. I don't see it. This team doesn't have a long list of aged non performers that they need to wait out. There is no Frans Nielsen's or Steven Weisses on this balance sheet. The foundations here are also way stronger than that end stage Red Wings team. Swayman is an above average goaltender on an ELC. McAvoy is one of the best defenseman alive and Pastrnak is an elite goal scorer. He's also the oldest of the three and turns 26 next week. They have a good amount of flexibility going forward so signing him long term isn't a question of money. He should be retained. It would be almost impossible to overpay him.

My larger concern is that the gaps in the roster (1,2 C and depth scoring) are complicated and I've just not seen enough from Sweeney and co that give me any hope they can manage it in a creative way. Especially given how many prime opportunities he's had to build this team into a juggernaut and he's mostly failed with those chances. Most of the best teams are fronted by players acquired during long stretches of sucking. Florida, Carolina, Tampa, Colorado, Toronto are all good because of players they acquired from being among the worst teams in the league. All of those GM's have intelligently supplemented those players with shrewd depth moves. Sweeney has mostly failed to do that with the bruins foundational pieces. It's hard to imagine he can do it without a bunch of top 5 picks and acquiring them means being horrible for the primes of two elite players. A lot of these questions should have been solved last offseason when they had all that cap space, but alas, they did what they did instead.

As for this year, I imagine this is closer to what they do:

Trade: Mike Reilly - he should fetch a mid round pick or prospect or a 3rd line winger type from a team looking to increase their defensive depth.
Trade: Jake Debrusk- its a huge bummer but he's probably gone. Now that they can move him for futures, it opens up a lot of doors.
Buyout: Nick Foligno - he was awful and his contract is easily bought out. It would save them $2m next year and add $900 K the following.
Buried: Wagner - sorry bud

That saves the bruins roughly $10m in cap space. They could likely also move on from Forbort pretty easily but its clear that the organization values him despite his performance. blocked shots! PK! I'd worry that Sweeney will go throw $7m of that at Trochek but we'll see.

As much as I have loved Bergeron, if he moves on it presents an opportunity to retool this team around some exciting young stars and that's pretty fun to watch. I'm just not optimistic about the people making those calls and that makes it feel rather dire.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Hurts a lot to look at how much money has been spent on bottom-6 forward depth. It has led to stretches of great regular season play when stakes are lower and defenses are allowing for the possession/analytics darling-types to maximize their contributions but come springtime it’s the same song and dance—zero depth scoring and pluggers clogging up cap space while the 2nd line is perpetually short a player.

In a vacuum no single one of these deals is a back breaker but in totality, year after year, it has eaten up so much space that could have been spent on additional offense. And these kinds of deals show an utter lack of imagination or creativity by the GM. The FO has been addicted to these moves for years, it’s wild.

It feels like a perpetual attempt to recapture some of the 2010-11 magic with great FW depth that ignores the reality of that group, which was that they had a 1A and 1B line, and a 3rd line anchored by a defensive dynamo.

Too many little mistakes and just enough big ones to have brought us to this point without another Cup win and usually not even coming close despite having the best line in hockey.
 
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MiracleOfO2704

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@burstnbloom maybe the Detroit death rattle is loose, but almost every pundit agrees that the cupboard is barren, especially at center. Top-6 centres in their prime don’t exactly flood the waiver wire or make it to free agency, so either they make a massive trade that essentially dooms them to a very long rebuild through the heart of Pastrnak and McAvoy’s prime, or you take your lumps for a couple years and build around that. Add in that a retired Bergeron means you’ve probably seen the highest Marchand’s trade value can be going forward (he himself not a spring chicken at 34), and I’d rather sit through a couple lean years than risk being forced there in a couple years, and all for the right to be cannon fodder for the Panthers and Leafs in the first round. I mean, I don’t mean to be sour, but we’re one man’s decision away from potentially looking at Marchand-Coyle-Pastrnak and Hall-Haula-Smith at their top 6. It just isn’t good enough. Add on the fact that I wouldn’t trust the chef to find the ingredients for grilled cheese, and I feel justified in my pessimism.
 

RSN Diaspora

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Were Bergy's post-game hugs measurably different than how he has ended previous playoff runs? I might be suffering from desire-based delusions of his return, but I feel like he's done that before.
 

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SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
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Were Bergy's post-game hugs measurably different than how he has ended previous playoff runs? I might be suffering from desire-based delusions of his return, but I feel like he's done that before.
Also - he wears the C now. He may see it as his responsibility to be that guy at the end of the season.
 

cshea

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It’s not totally out the ordinary. After every win he is the last player on the ice, stands by the door and fist bumps/high fives everyone on their way off.

The hugs seem reasonable as a season ending gesture. I don’t think it’s necessarily a signal he is done. I don’t think he knows yet.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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Myt1

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That's my gut feeling, too. Add to the hugs that it's so obvious that he adores his wife, and his kids are just getting to the age where he is going to want to be around to do all the awesome growing up stuff with them, with his age and the concussion history, and I really think it's the last we've seen of him in a Bruins jersey.
The fact that I came pretty close to having serious eye damage would weigh on me, were I in his position. I think these guys feel immortal/amnesiac to the sudden traumatic stuff—else how would they do their job—while being intimately acquainted with the gradual wear and tear. But, as a father, that would freak me out.
 

lexrageorge

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If there's one silver lining to the DeBrusk situation, it's that both sides handled the situation quite well after DeBrusk went public with his trade demand. There was no further anonymous sniping to the press, or even open sniping. Instead, the Bruins signed him to an extension and promoted him so that he was a steady presence on the top 2 lines the rest of the season, thereby improving his trade value. If the two sides do need to part ways this offseason, at least it's being done the best way possible. Let's hope the trend continues during the team's season ending press conference.
 

amfox1

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Blow it up scenario:

Bergeron retires.
Sweeney replaced as GM, new GM ordered to blow it up.
Cassidy continues as coach for now
Bruins have no 1st, no 5th, two 7ths in the 2022 draft & no 2nds in 2023/2024

Marchand traded for an Eichel-like return (2022 1st, 2023 2nd, top prospect, 2nd line player)
Ullmark traded for 2022 2nd, decent prospect
DeBrusk traded for 2022 2nd, 3rd line player
Reilly traded for 2022 5th
Pasta signed to $9.5mm/yr extension beginning in 23-24

22-23 roster (62.94mm for 19 listed players, 3 open roster spots, 81.5mm cap):

Hall (6.00)/Haula (2.38)*/Pastrnak (6.67)*
[trade return]/Coyle (5.25)/Lysell (0.93)
Frederic (1.05)^/[trade return]/Smith (3.10)*
Foligno (3.80)*/Nosek (1.75)*/Steen (0.80)
Wagner (1.35)*

McAvoy (9.50)/Lindholm (6.50)
Gryz (3.69)/Carlo (4.10)
Forbort (3.00)/Clifton (1.00)*
Zboril (1.14)

Swayman (0.93)^/[vet backup]

*UFA after 22-23
^RFA after 22-23

This team is not likely to score enough to do well but should defend well. After next year, they should have sufficient cap space to upgrade the top 6.

Potential help from the farm:
McLaughlin (C) - could be the 3rd line C in 22-23, probably will be on the Prov-Bos commute in 22-23
Ahcan (D) - probably will be on the Prov-Bos commute in 22-23, could be up full-time if Gryz is traded
Merkulov (LW) - could eventually be the 2nd line LW, probably will be on the Prov-Bos commute in 22-23
Beecher (C/LW) - could eventually be the 3rd/4th line C, likely in 23-24

??
Studnicka (C) - seems like a AAAA player, not sure he is going to make the leap
Koopanen (LW)/Hughes (C/LW) - had breakout years in Prov, need to see if it is real
Lauko (C/LW) - could be a surprise, depends on how he looks in training camp

Further away:
Harrison (C) - should see him in Providence in 22-23
Berglund/Callahan (D) - let them develop in Providence in 22-23
Lohrei (D) - back to Ohio St. until next spring, when he steps in at LD2
Keyser/Bussi (G) - let them develop in Providence in 22-23

EDIT: updated for Zboril signing
 
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SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
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If you can find a taker for Ullmark who gives you that return, you do it in a cocaine heartbeat.

You’re not getting anything for Ullmark but salary relief and maybe a late round pick in the off-season, though.
 

Ferm Sheller

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Also, Marchand's 34 -- I don't see them getting that kind of a return for him. Way too pricey. They'd be lucky to get the top prospect and second line player.
 

amfox1

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You’re not getting anything for Ullmark but salary relief and maybe a late round pick in the off-season, though.
Also, Marchand's 34 -- I don't see them getting that kind of a return for him. Way too pricey. They'd be lucky to get the top prospect and second line player.
Then BOS won't blow it up. I don't see BOS selling off pieces solely for salary relief, since they constantly spend to the cap. If they blow it up, it's to get future pieces; if the market is not there, BOS should run it back with Sweeney as GM and Cassidy as coach and wait until the trade deadline.
 

mcpickl

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Doesn't this have to be the end for the Sweeney/Neely front office?

They inherited a team 7 years ago that had Bergeron, Marchand, Pastrnak, Krejci, Rask, Lucic, Dougie Hamilton, Krug, Loui Erikkson and Reilly Smith all age 30 or younger, and Zdeno Chara still having some juice left.

And they've added one stud in Charlie McAvoy, one bonafide top 6 forward in Taylor Hall last year, and finally in year 7 of their tenure another top pair defenseman in Hampus Lindholm.

Other than that it's the best adds have been middle 6 forwards(Debrusk, Coyle, Smith), one second pair DMan(Carlo) and maybe a goalie of the future in Swayman.

That's not nearly good enough.

Even with the home run with McAvoy on their record they haven't drafted well, they haven't done well in free agency, trades have been hit or miss, they have done a good job re-signing their own guys to good deals.

But man whenever the last guy goes out the door, Pastrnak I suppose, we're gonna look back a think, geez Sweeney/Neely got left with that core of guys and in 7 seasons they won a total of 6 playoff series and only got through the second round once?
 

McBride11

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Also, Marchand's 34 -- I don't see them getting that kind of a return for him. Way too pricey. They'd be lucky to get the top prospect and second line player.
Would Marchand's perception as a 'dirty player' affect GMs knowing he could be suspended for stuff others get away with?
 

Ferm Sheller

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Would Marchand's perception as a 'dirty player' affect GMs knowing he could be suspended for stuff others get away with?
I think that that'd be of minimal concern -- he doesn't get suspended that often. The far bigger issue is that he's declining. I think a team that feels it's a Marchand away would give up value for him, but not nearly the haul that Amfox suggests.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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It's always risky, in my opinion, in judging what an athlete is thinking based on the immediate post-game reactions. As emotional as watching sports can be for us, it's a completely different level for those actually playing. Beyond the mental and physical toll, there's the emotional toll. To know you were so close to moving on but just couldn't get the right breaks against a team that is probably not built to win it all and who pantsed you left and right during the regular season must be almost impossible to stomach, especially given that their last good chance to win a second Cup with Bergeron ended with a fairly one-sided loss in their building. In the moment, "That's it, it's over, I'm done" might be a natural reaction. But once you have a chance to process it all, maybe you start thinking a little differently. One more year might be enticing if there is a belief that the team will be back next year.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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It's always risky, in my opinion, in judging what an athlete is thinking based on the immediate post-game reactions. As emotional as watching sports can be for us, it's a completely different level for those actually playing. Beyond the mental and physical toll, there's the emotional toll. To know you were so close to moving on but just couldn't get the right breaks against a team that is probably not built to win it all and who pantsed you left and right during the regular season must be almost impossible to stomach, especially given that their last good chance to win a second Cup with Bergeron ended with a fairly one-sided loss in their building. In the moment, "That's it, it's over, I'm done" might be a natural reaction. But once you have a chance to process it all, maybe you start thinking a little differently. One more year might be enticing if there is a belief that the team will be back next year.
It cuts both ways, though. Sometimes, you get so close that, in the moment, you tell yourself there’s no way it can end like that. Then you wake up a month later, still sore, and your kids are begging you to play with them and your body’s screaming.
 

McDrew

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They’re not trading Ullmark. 3 years to go on that deal and Swayman is not a number 1 keeper yet.
I am incredibly happy with the Ullmark/Swayman pairing. Compared to what other teams are getting for how much they spend on their tandem, I don't see how a move can be made that ends up being a net positive.
 

Myt1

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Then BOS won't blow it up. I don't see BOS selling off pieces solely for salary relief, since they constantly spend to the cap. If they blow it up, it's to get future pieces; if the market is not there, BOS should run it back with Sweeney as GM and Cassidy as coach and wait until the trade deadline.
You trade off pieces for salary relief so that you can allocate the money more effectively, though (like they did with Backes, for example). It doesn’t really have anything to do with not wanting to spend to the cap.
 

veritas

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I hate to say it, but trading Pasta seems like their only real move to contend next season if Bergeron retires. You cant build a team around wingers and they have 3 great ones. The other two have full NMC and would fetch less than him. As much as I love him, I don't think his next contract is going to be a great value. I don't have anyone particular in mind, and don't know if they could get fair value at C for him, but I think they need to try.
 

burstnbloom

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@burstnbloom maybe the Detroit death rattle is loose, but almost every pundit agrees that the cupboard is barren, especially at center. Top-6 centres in their prime don’t exactly flood the waiver wire or make it to free agency, so either they make a massive trade that essentially dooms them to a very long rebuild through the heart of Pastrnak and McAvoy’s prime, or you take your lumps for a couple years and build around that. Add in that a retired Bergeron means you’ve probably seen the highest Marchand’s trade value can be going forward (he himself not a spring chicken at 34), and I’d rather sit through a couple lean years than risk being forced there in a couple years, and all for the right to be cannon fodder for the Panthers and Leafs in the first round. I mean, I don’t mean to be sour, but we’re one man’s decision away from potentially looking at Marchand-Coyle-Pastrnak and Hall-Haula-Smith at their top 6. It just isn’t good enough. Add on the fact that I wouldn’t trust the chef to find the ingredients for grilled cheese, and I feel justified in my pessimism.
Nothing you're saying here is wrong. I just meant that the bruins arent in the same position detroit was in because Detroit compounded on their decline and had very few young assets. 15/16 was the beginning of the rebuild after getting bounced in the first round for 3 straight years. They had a rookie Larkin and Mantha. That's it. There was no foundation at all. The Bruins aren't in that kind of position. I also agree that its very hard to find elite centers but thats not he only way to win. The wild had 107 points this year with Ryan Hartman, Frederick Gauthier and JEE as their top 9 centers. I don't think you can win a cup with your best players being wings and D but you can be competitive. It seems pretty clear.

The larger issue you bring up, which I agree with, is who is shopping for the shrewd supplemental roster players? I dont trust this group very much. I just dont think a tear down is the right move either. There are a number of above average players in this organization and a few elite ones. I don't think you can set that ablaze. I also don't think this ownership group allows it, if we're being honest. I'm 42 and they've only done that twice. The Joe Thornton rebuild, which was mostly about cost of talent in the late 90's and the post lockout rebuild, which was all about having almost zero obligations during a lockout this owner pushed for very heavily. That was almost 20 years ago and they've been mostly good that whole time.

All that said, you're certainly justified in your pessimism. I didn't mean to imply that you shouldn't feel that way. I just don't think its detroit level dire. They didnt have enough NHL level players to ice a team. That's not where we are.
 

RIFan

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There are no good options here. The nibbled around the edges to be competitive and try to make a run with the remaining core. Tuukka got hurt, Krejci left and none of the young players outside of Swayman took any steps forward. If Bergy retires most of his cap space is already absorbed by the McAvoy and Lidholm extensions. They aren’t signing anyone to replace him, not that anyone of close to his caliber is available. We can talk about blowing it up, but the valuable pieces are Pasta, McAvoy, Lindholm, and to a lessor extent Marchand and Hall. Hall’s contract is moveable, but he didn’t exactly light it up enough to expect a franchise boosting return. Marchand’s age, mileage, and perhaps a perception that he was a somewhat a beneficiary of his line mates takes a little off his return. The good thing is there are a number of teams that believe they are cup caliber that won’t even make the conference final or even second round (hello Leafs). Most are seeing their window closing due to cap and age issues. Someone might pay a kings ransom for a player like Marchand that could put them over the top.

I’m probably alone on this island, but absent a kings ransom deal I don’t see coming, I’d rather they basically stand pat. See what they can do to move Foligno, Haula, Nosek, Frederic, Grzelcyk, and maybe Coyle. Put out a feeler to Krejci to see if he is interested in centering Pasta and Marchand. Otherwise let Studnicka, Beecher, Lysall, and the other kids get their growing pains in the show. There isn’t much they can do to suddenly elevate them to the level of Florida, Tampa, NYR or Toronto. I’d rather be moderately competitive and hope that Swayman learns rebound control and becomes a franchise goalie and someone makes a leap from the kiddie pool to bolster the top 6.. Focus on team D and try to grind out a lot of 3-2 games. if it all goes to shit, start the rebuild at the trade deadline. They can probably get more in return at the deadline versus the offseason. A teardown in this league probably means they are uncompetitive until 2028 or later. i’d try to keep the best possible team in front of Swayman and hope for the best. Otherwise, we’ll probably end up like the Flyers.
 

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
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Doesn't this have to be the end for the Sweeney/Neely front office?

They inherited a team 7 years ago that had Bergeron, Marchand, Pastrnak, Krejci, Rask, Lucic, Dougie Hamilton, Krug, Loui Erikkson and Reilly Smith all age 30 or younger, and Zdeno Chara still having some juice left.

And they've added one stud in Charlie McAvoy, one bonafide top 6 forward in Taylor Hall last year, and finally in year 7 of their tenure another top pair defenseman in Hampus Lindholm.

Other than that it's the best adds have been middle 6 forwards(Debrusk, Coyle, Smith), one second pair DMan(Carlo) and maybe a goalie of the future in Swayman.

That's not nearly good enough.

Even with the home run with McAvoy on their record they haven't drafted well, they haven't done well in free agency, trades have been hit or miss, they have done a good job re-signing their own guys to good deals.

But man whenever the last guy goes out the door, Pastrnak I suppose, we're gonna look back a think, geez Sweeney/Neely got left with that core of guys and in 7 seasons they won a total of 6 playoff series and only got through the second round once?
Sweeney's drafting since that infamous 3 first rounders year in 2015 has actually been decent given their draft position. And, actually, having 2 of those mid-first rounders from 2105 turn into DeBrusk and Zboril isn't all that bad given the track record of players picked in those draft slots. Zboril was starting to show he belonged in the league before he got hurt, and some defenseman do take time to develop; and DeBrusk finished the season solidly in the Top 6 among Boston forwards. Frederic has been disappointing, but he was also the 29th pick. Vaak helped them land Lindholm, and is still young for a defenseman at 23. Lindgren was a decent pick that helped them land Nash; unfortunately, nobody could really forsee what would happen to Nash. There were 2 seasons where they didn't have a first rounder at all. It's still way too early to cast judgment on their last 2 or 3 drafts, but there does appear to be at least a couple of promising prospects in there, which is good given their draft position late in the round.

Also need to give Sweeney some credit for letting Lucic (via trade) and Eriksson (via UFA) walk; neither decision was particularly popular among posters here at the time they were made, but those decisions do count as well.

Personally, I'd be OK with moving on from Sweeney, although they could have done much worse these past few years. I do fear Neely falling in love with someone like Jim "Half of Kane" Benning, so be careful what you ask for. And Neely is going nowhere as long as Jacobs is in charge, and Jacobs ain't selling, or John Henry would have bought the team already.
 
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MiracleOfO2704

not AWOL
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Jul 12, 2005
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The Island
Also need to give Sweeney some credit for letting Lucic and Eriksson walk; neither decision was particularly popular among posters here at the time they were made, but those decisions do count as well.
He traded Lucic to LA. It was the one bright spot of that first day of the 2015 draft.
 

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
15,614
He traded Lucic to LA. It was the one bright spot of that first day of the 2015 draft.
Good point. And regarding that draft: DeBrusk is very much in the median outcome for the 14th overall pick. Can even live with the Zboril pick given the overall difficulty in projecting defenseman after the top of the round. But the other pick alone could be fireable offense given the situation and the players on the board.
 

cshea

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Nov 15, 2006
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I'm ready to move on from Sweeney. In short, the roster problems today are the same as 4-5 years ago. We all knew the Bergeron/Krejci window was nearing it's end and there hasn't been any sort of viable succession plan put into place. I don't think he's a bad GM, but I think they need a fresh set of eyes.

As for the roster, I'm not sure where I'd go. I would probably lean towards staying the course as opposed to blowing it up. There's no guarantee that blowing it up gets them back to contention quickly. Buffalo is in their 3rd straight rebuild with nothing. Ottawa is in year 5. Detroit was ugly (don't think they are an apt comparison to this Bruins team) and aren't close. I guess the Rangers are a success story but they won two lotteries and had a Norris caliber defensman demand his way to them. I guess the point is, it's easy to take it to the bottom but very difficult to climb back up the mountain.

If the Bruins trade Pastrnak, they'll probably spend the next 5-10 years trying to find the next Pastrnak.
 

RedOctober3829

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Jul 19, 2005
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Doesn't this have to be the end for the Sweeney/Neely front office?

They inherited a team 7 years ago that had Bergeron, Marchand, Pastrnak, Krejci, Rask, Lucic, Dougie Hamilton, Krug, Loui Erikkson and Reilly Smith all age 30 or younger, and Zdeno Chara still having some juice left.

And they've added one stud in Charlie McAvoy, one bonafide top 6 forward in Taylor Hall last year, and finally in year 7 of their tenure another top pair defenseman in Hampus Lindholm.

Other than that it's the best adds have been middle 6 forwards(Debrusk, Coyle, Smith), one second pair DMan(Carlo) and maybe a goalie of the future in Swayman.

That's not nearly good enough.

Even with the home run with McAvoy on their record they haven't drafted well, they haven't done well in free agency, trades have been hit or miss, they have done a good job re-signing their own guys to good deals.

But man whenever the last guy goes out the door, Pastrnak I suppose, we're gonna look back a think, geez Sweeney/Neely got left with that core of guys and in 7 seasons they won a total of 6 playoff series and only got through the second round once?
Bingo. The front office has failed the core of this team at pretty much every turn.
 

RedOctober3829

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Jul 19, 2005
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deep inside Guido territory
I'm ready to move on from Sweeney. In short, the roster problems today are the same as 4-5 years ago. We all knew the Bergeron/Krejci window was nearing it's end and there hasn't been any sort of viable succession plan put into place. I don't think he's a bad GM, but I think they need a fresh set of eyes.

As for the roster, I'm not sure where I'd go. I would probably lean towards staying the course as opposed to blowing it up. There's no guarantee that blowing it up gets them back to contention quickly. Buffalo is in their 3rd straight rebuild with nothing. Ottawa is in year 5. Detroit was ugly (don't think they are an apt comparison to this Bruins team) and aren't close. I guess the Rangers are a success story but they won two lotteries and had a Norris caliber defensman demand his way to them. I guess the point is, it's easy to take it to the bottom but very difficult to climb back up the mountain.

If the Bruins trade Pastrnak, they'll probably spend the next 5-10 years trying to find the next Pastrnak.
You can go the Rangers route but yes to your point it's hard but if you have a good GM it can be done. Take the two top 2 picks out of it. They hit on K'Andre Miller at #22 in '18, Filip Chytil at #21 in 2017, and got a likely Vezina winner in Igor in the 4th round. They used Morgan Barron to acquire Andrew Copp at this year's deadline. The Rick Nash trade provided them with Ryan Lindgren, the piece to acquire Ryan Strome, and the pick for the aforementioned K'Andre Miller. Having Panarin and Trouba choose them in free agency combined with all of the kids and the fringe moves(Goodrow, Reaves, etc.) and they are set up for success for the next few years. But, it took like 4-5 years to get to this point and a lot had to go right. I don't trust that Sweeney can do that and I'm ready to find somebody who can. I so wish that Jeff Gorton did not get the Montreal job.
 

burstnbloom

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Jul 12, 2005
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You can go the Rangers route but yes to your point it's hard but if you have a good GM it can be done. Take the two top 2 picks out of it. They hit on K'Andre Miller at #22 in '18, Filip Chytil at #21 in 2017, and got a likely Vezina winner in Igor in the 4th round. They used Morgan Barron to acquire Andrew Copp at this year's deadline. The Rick Nash trade provided them with Ryan Lindgren, the piece to acquire Ryan Strome, and the pick for the aforementioned K'Andre Miller. Having Panarin and Trouba choose them in free agency combined with all of the kids and the fringe moves(Goodrow, Reaves, etc.) and they are set up for success for the next few years. But, it took like 4-5 years to get to this point and a lot had to go right. I don't trust that Sweeney can do that and I'm ready to find somebody who can. I so wish that Jeff Gorton did not get the Montreal job.
I think the Rangers made the right move when they sent that letter out in 2018. That team was not particularly good, they were pretty old and none of their players were elite. They sold off their aging roster players and made some shrewd moves doing it. That said, without the uniqueness of being "THE NEW YORK RANGERS" i think they are in year 4 of a deep rebuild. As you said, Trouba, Fox and Panarin all made their way to New York because it was New York. Without those three players, what do we think of this Rangers team? The probably look a lot like the devils with some good young pieces but still picking in the lottery.

If the Bruins take that same strategy of tearing it down and don't get two top 15 players begging their way to Boston, what does the team really look like in 2026? Feels bleak to me.

I think most people are touching on the biggest issue and that a challenging problem requires a creative mind, and none of us believe Sweeney is that guy. The real danger here is that he stays, tries to re-tool, and it doesn't work. I think that's when we become the red wings or the flyers. We don't want any Frans Nielsen contracts on this balance sheet.
 

RedOctober3829

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I think the Rangers made the right move when they sent that letter out in 2018. That team was not particularly good, they were pretty old and none of their players were elite. They sold off their aging roster players and made some shrewd moves doing it. That said, without the uniqueness of being "THE NEW YORK RANGERS" i think they are in year 4 of a deep rebuild. As you said, Trouba, Fox and Panarin all made their way to New York because it was New York. Without those three players, what do we think of this Rangers team? The probably look a lot like the devils with some good young pieces but still picking in the lottery.

If the Bruins take that same strategy of tearing it down and don't get two top 15 players begging their way to Boston, what does the team really look like in 2026? Feels bleak to me.

I think most people are touching on the biggest issue and that a challenging problem requires a creative mind, and none of us believe Sweeney is that guy. The real danger here is that he stays, tries to re-tool, and it doesn't work. I think that's when we become the red wings or the flyers. We don't want any Frans Nielsen contracts on this balance sheet.
They are also fortunate that they did not choose to trade Chris Kreider at the 2020 trade deadline when he was the top chip on the market.
 

burstnbloom

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They are also fortunate that they did not choose to trade Chris Kreider at the 2020 trade deadline when he was the top chip on the market.
True, which they likely would have done had Trouba and Panarin not been there. Their ascent would have felt further away. They probably trade Zibanejad as well. Who knows, really. butterfly effect and all that. I think its pretty clear that their quick rebuild, which took 4 years of no playoffs, is not really repeatable. There are so many tear down teams that just suck forever. I really don't want to do that.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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One subtle thing about the Zboril signing is I think we have our answer about Sweeney. Unless ownership put this one together for a kid they liked, I have to think he's staying.
 

lexrageorge

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Jul 31, 2007
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One subtle thing about the Zboril signing is I think we have our answer about Sweeney. Unless ownership put this one together for a kid they liked, I have to think he's staying.
Not sure how much I read into it. It may have been in the works for a few weeks, and there was little reason to let him reach free agency. And even a new GM could still decide to use him as a trade chip if it came to that.
 

The Napkin

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@HackswithHaggs

Sure sounds like pending UFA Anton Blidh is not going to be back after landing in the doghouse toward the end of the Bruins season: “Some days were harder than others. I did not sign here to sit on the 9th floor in the press box.”