2022 Offseason

The Napkin

wise ass al kaprielian
Dope
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development camp dates (media only):

Monday, July 11
– Group 1: 10:45 a.m.
– Group 2: 11:45 a.m.

Tuesday, July 12
– Forwards: 10 a.m.
– Full group: 11 a.m.
– Defensemen: 12:15 p.m.

Wednesday, July 13
– Defensemen: 10 a.m.
– Full group: 11 a.m.
– Forwards: 12:15 p.m.

Thursday, July 14
– Forwards: 10 a.m.
– Full group: 11 a.m.
– Defensemen: 12:15 p.m.

Friday, July 15
– On-ice session: 10 a.m.
 

scottyno

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That should guarantee no Pastrnak trade, and one more year of going for it, whatever that entails (Krejci?). He isn't coming back if they're going into total rebuild mode.
 

TSC

SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
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That should guarantee no Pastrnak trade, and one more year of going for it, whatever that entails (Krejci?). He isn't coming back if they're going into total rebuild mode.
Bergeron and Krejci BOTH coming back would suddenly made this team a lot more formidable for the upcoming season.

Marchy / Bergy / DeBrusk(?)
Hall / Krejci / Pasta
Haula / Coyle / Smith

is a really, really good/deep top 3 lines. Takes a ton of pressure off Coyle who had 18g and 26a. Once Haula settled in last season he was really good (18g 26a). Smith had a quiet, but professional 16g 21a last year. Like...that's a great third line.

The Bruins would really just need to play .500ish hockey while the walking wounded return to the ice, and they could go on a huge second half run.
 

cshea

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Yeah, I think bringing Krejci back is the only play here. They can't punt with Bergeron on the roster.

They can't run it back though due to the cap. I think there's a good chance Smith is gone, maybe Jake too.
 

TSC

SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
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Yeah, I think bringing Krejci back is the only play here. They can't punt with Bergeron on the roster.

They can't run it back though due to the cap. I think there's a good chance Smith is gone, maybe Jake too.
Hopefully some moves centered around Forbert, Foligno, Nosek, or even Frederick can buy them enough space.

In a dream world, they offload Ullmark to EDM for picks/space.

Who knows.
 

cshea

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So the offseason is fully here. Let's take a reset of where things stand as we head into the next few weeks. The draft is July 8-9. then free agency opens on July 13th.

Coach

I think the order of business for the next 7-10 days is settling on a coach. There were rumblings yesterday that David Quinn met with ownership. On his podcast last night, Friedman did not mention names but said he was hearing the Bruins were going to conduct their 2nd round interviews this week. I can't imagine they'd get to the draft without having a coach in place. I'm unenthusiastic about Quinn, interested to know who else made the 2nd cut.

Roster

There's uncertainty here. I don't see how they can run it back, they need to move out salary just to fit in their UFA/RFA's, let alone actually bring in reinforcements. Vegas and Tampa are over the cap, then Montreal comes in $1.9 million under followed by Boston with only $2.3 million in cap space. It's tight.

Marchand* - XXX - DeBrusk
Hall - Haula - Pastrnak
Frederic - Coyle - Smith
Foligno - Nosek - Wagner
Steen

UFA: Bergeron, Lazar, Blidh
RFA: Studnicka

Lindholm - McAvoy*
Grzelyck* - Carlo
Forbort - Clifton
Reilly - Zboril

UFA: Brown
RFA: Ahcan

Ullmark
Swayman

Prospect Pool

The * are for the injured guys who are all out for at least 2-3 months to start the season. They could go into substantial LTI and figure it out later, but that's not how this front office has operated, so I'm going to count the cap hits.

They have some serious cap maneuvering to pull off even to just fit in Bergeron (and Krejci, if that's in the cards). The D injuries make that a big more challenging. Reilly might be a candidate to go from the back end. I think Smith and DeBrusk are in play up front. We're not really sure where DeBrusk's trade demand lies at the moment. The last information was at break up day when he said he would take time to think it over, and reports surfaced that the Bruins told him they wanted him to stay. The coaching change may also change his calculus. I get torn on Jake. On the one hand, he seems like a great kid and when he's on his game he's a contributor. On the other hand, he's very peaks and valleys and I can see the logic behind trading him now while he's at a peak. My read here is he'll stay, but once the rumor machine gets cranked up in coming week I'm sure we'll know more. I think Smith goes. He's tradeable given his age, contract and performance. From a Bruins standpoint, I think they might have Lysell penciled in for his spot. Smith played 14:25 a night, got 2nd PP minutes and didn't kill penalites. That strikes me as a soft role they could put Lysell into to break him in to the league.

Foligno stinks but they said there would be no buyouts. That's going to be a tough one to move, given his age, performance and contract. Wagner is cheap and in the last year so maybe there's some hope of getting out from that one.

I think it's going to be a busy offseason, but I just don't see many viable paths towards actually improving. This will be a tough needle to thread.
 

Salem's Lot

Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog!
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The more I think about it, the delay In Sweeney’s contract probably had more to do with whether he wanted to continue doing that job anymore.

Who else could Neely have brought in that would’ve done all the work, but yet not have roster control in their contract?

It’s really the perfect situation for Neely. He does none of the work, makes all the big decisions, and when shit goes wrong, everyone blames Sweeney.
 

PedroSpecialK

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Do we have any actual evidence that Nelly has roster control?
Thanks to some posters repeatedly questioning and chastising the only person who's worked in the organization for sharing knowledge with us, we will probably never know
 

RG33

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FL4WL3SS

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Jul 31, 2006
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Andy Brickley's potty mouth
Thanks to some posters repeatedly questioning and chastising the only person who's worked in the organization for sharing knowledge with us, we will probably never know
He seemed a little thin skinned, let's be honest. It's cool he works for the org, but come on? I didn't think there was anything wrong with posters having a back and forth with him, just like any other poster. Unless I'm missing something egregious, which I don't think I am.
 

cshea

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It's just frustrating that people shout over and over again that Neely is a puppet master pulling all the strings when there is zero evidence in support of that. As far as I know, there's never been a credible report stating that to be the case. The one poster in the know posted that Neely and Sweeney's relationship was nothing beyond a professional boss/direct report relationship. Despite that, the narrative still seems to be that Neely is an unqualified idiot who is running the show with his best buddy Sweeney taking the bullets.

I'm not sure why there is a perception that Neely is a problem. Is it because he's a former player? I mean he's been an executive for 15 years now, President for 12. The team has reached 3 Stanely Cup Finals with him as President and won 1. They've made the playoffs in 13/15 years he's been in the executive suite. If he's truly running the show, doesn't he get credit for that? I mean, that's a pretty solid resume. It seems like when they win the narrative it's its in spite of Neely, and when they lose it's his fault. Which is it?

I think it's fair to question Sweeney's last few years and if he's the right guy to lead them through the next phase of bridging from the Bergeron era to the next era. The Neely and Sweeney BFF's stuff just seems like consipiracy theories.
 

PedroSpecialK

Comes at you like a tornado of hair and the NHL sa
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He seemed a little thin skinned, let's be honest. It's cool he works for the org, but come on? I didn't think there was anything wrong with posters having a back and forth with him, just like any other poster. Unless I'm missing something egregious, which I don't think I am.
Meh. Increasingly I'm similarly less inclined to engage because folks aren't doing their research or have selective memories, and I think that's what Chuck decided to do after this post.

A quick google search reveals that that team was indeed cap strapped and accordingly dealt Söderberg, Lucic 50% retained, Hamilton, Savard, Smith, and Jones from the Lucic trade to shed a total of just under $18m ($23.5m including what Hamilton signed for). That and the incremental $4.75m overage aren't hard to find - that team was operating under a ~$67m cap that season, and Sweeney effectively maneuvered them out of that cap hell. His subsequent trade acquisitions were expiring deals (Liles, Stafford, Holden) with the poor Hayes / Beleskey acquisitions from summer '15 shipped off 2-3 years later respectively.

To shed that much cap commitment while retooling on the fly and competing within 1 year is impressive - Sweeney maximized value for Lucic, had his hands tied with Hamilton, and got creative with playing LA / SJ off each other with Jones to secure an extra 1st for his troubles - that's good GMing. He's capable of it and led them to the brink of a Cup; his free agent forays haven't been as successful as we know, given we've rehashed a few times, and I don't know if he's the right person to steer the ship back on course, but he clearly has had successes. To read and argue otherwise regarding the mid-'10s retool is tiresome.
 

lexrageorge

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The idea that the Bruins were not in salary cap hell when Sweeney took over is so obvious that I can see why Fris decided to move on from the debate, especially when he presented tons of supporting evidence to back his statements.

On to Neely: technically, all we know for certain is that he fired Chiarelli and hired and subsequently extended Sweeney. He probably did sign off on firing Claude and hiring and firing Cassidy, but there is a world of difference between signing off on a transaction and actually playing GM in a President's clothing, and there is no real evidence of the latter. My biggest complaint with Neely was his entertaining of Jim Benning's "half of Kane" nonsense during the Seguin trade discussions. And some of the plodding free agents that Sweeney fell in love with seemed to be the kind of player Neely would want, but that is just pure speculation and probably some frustration speaking.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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Jul 12, 2005
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Not to relitigate Sweeney’s career, but I’m sure it’s not controversial to say that his ability to make good trades was well-established. We killed him on the day, but Dougie being an RFA and wanting nothing to do with Boston tied his hands, and a first and two seconds that day is actually good business.

Where I think we all have an issue with him is three-fold:

-He has a tendency of making a cluster of smaller moves with a bigger move in mind, only to watch it fall through. The two glaring examples are Draft Day ‘15 (pu-pu platter of mid-1st to Arizona without making sure Arizona would do that) and Deadline Day ‘22 (giving up pricey assets to get Lindholm with Anaheim retaining, only to eat the cap space).

-A draft strategy that emphasizes attainable floor over high potential. Just about every pick after the first 50 is a lottery ticket, so the lack of contribution there is on the player development side, but before that, you should get a decent NHL player. We know how ‘15 turned out. In ‘16, they get McAvoy, but then take Frederic at 29 when the world screams he’s a bottom-6 forward at best. Vaakanainen in ‘17, whose biggest impact was becoming Lindholm 5 years later. No one in ‘18, Beecher in ‘19. Missing in the first two rounds consistently is a death sentence for a GM.

-Free agency. In the interest of fairness, I’ll look at two sides of this coin: first, he does EXTREMELY well in retention. McAvoy’s big deal will be the first time a Bruin will command an $8m+ AAV under Sweeney. Pastrnak’s soon-to-expire deal was 6/$40m, Bergeron never above $7m AAV, same for Marchand. When he IDs a guy that is a core player, they stay, and often at discount. In contrast, Kyle Dubas doesn’t as much negotiate with his core players as much as hand them a blank cheque.

HOWEVER, IDing FAs outside the organization seems to be a bit trickier, and I think Fris shared that frustration. Backes, Beleskey, Moore, Wagner, Foligno, Smith, Haula, Forbort…all guys that were signed, and often with little care for the tail risk. The first half have been traded or buried (Beleskey, impressively, managed both), and most of the latter half are active impediments to making much of this roster for 2022-23.


My biggest complaint with Neely was his entertaining of Jim Benning's "half of Kane" nonsense during the Seguin trade discussions.
The one that chaps my ass to this day is the fact that another of the drivers from that day, Scott Bradley, is still with the organization to this day. That he continues to be paid by the Bruins for some of the crap he spewed is an indictment of someone in the FO.
 

FL4WL3SS

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Meh. Increasingly I'm similarly less inclined to engage because folks aren't doing their research or have selective memories, and I think that's what Chuck decided to do after this post.

A quick google search reveals that that team was indeed cap strapped and accordingly dealt Söderberg, Lucic 50% retained, Hamilton, Savard, Smith, and Jones from the Lucic trade to shed a total of just under $18m ($23.5m including what Hamilton signed for). That and the incremental $4.75m overage aren't hard to find - that team was operating under a ~$67m cap that season, and Sweeney effectively maneuvered them out of that cap hell. His subsequent trade acquisitions were expiring deals (Liles, Stafford, Holden) with the poor Hayes / Beleskey acquisitions from summer '15 shipped off 2-3 years later respectively.

To shed that much cap commitment while retooling on the fly and competing within 1 year is impressive - Sweeney maximized value for Lucic, had his hands tied with Hamilton, and got creative with playing LA / SJ off each other with Jones to secure an extra 1st for his troubles - that's good GMing. He's capable of it and led them to the brink of a Cup; his free agent forays haven't been as successful as we know, given we've rehashed a few times, and I don't know if he's the right person to steer the ship back on course, but he clearly has had successes. To read and argue otherwise regarding the mid-'10s retool is tiresome.
Great post
 

veritas

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HOWEVER, IDing FAs outside the organization seems to be a bit trickier, and I think Fris shared that frustration. Backes, Beleskey, Moore, Wagner, Foligno, Smith, Haula, Forbort…all guys that were signed, and often with little care for the tail risk. The first half have been traded or buried (Beleskey, impressively, managed both), and most of the latter half are active impediments to making much of this roster for 2022-23.
Chris Wagner has never made more than 1.35 mil in a season. Haula was pretty decent last year and only signed for 2 years at under 2.5/year. Craig Smith signed a 3x3 deal and is still a pretty good player. There are some bad signings for sure, but c'mon, some of those names do not belong in such a list. This is the sort of lazy post we're talking about.

Even Backes, a bad signing for sure, he was good for 2 years, ok for 1, and they got out of the last year of his contract pretty easily. Beleskey was the worst deal there, just awful. None of the rest are the type of deals that put you in cap hell. Every team has at least a bad contract or two, except for TB who can't sign FAs because they're in cap hell. Darren Helm just won the Stanley Cup, he stinks, he makes 4 million a year.
 

j44thor

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Meh. Increasingly I'm similarly less inclined to engage because folks aren't doing their research or have selective memories, and I think that's what Chuck decided to do after this post.

A quick google search reveals that that team was indeed cap strapped and accordingly dealt Söderberg, Lucic 50% retained, Hamilton, Savard, Smith, and Jones from the Lucic trade to shed a total of just under $18m ($23.5m including what Hamilton signed for). That and the incremental $4.75m overage aren't hard to find - that team was operating under a ~$67m cap that season, and Sweeney effectively maneuvered them out of that cap hell. His subsequent trade acquisitions were expiring deals (Liles, Stafford, Holden) with the poor Hayes / Beleskey acquisitions from summer '15 shipped off 2-3 years later respectively.

To shed that much cap commitment while retooling on the fly and competing within 1 year is impressive - Sweeney maximized value for Lucic, had his hands tied with Hamilton, and got creative with playing LA / SJ off each other with Jones to secure an extra 1st for his troubles - that's good GMing. He's capable of it and led them to the brink of a Cup; his free agent forays haven't been as successful as we know, given we've rehashed a few times, and I don't know if he's the right person to steer the ship back on course, but he clearly has had successes. To read and argue otherwise regarding the mid-'10s retool is tiresome.
Since you explicitly called out my post questioning if they were really in "cap hell" I'd like to point out that the very article you used to support the argument said they had roughly 11M in cap space and needed to fill the back end of the roster plus Douggie, in 2015. If that is cap hell then what are they in now with less cap space and arguably a worse roster?
I gave Sweeney a lot of credit for the haul he got for Lucic but Lucic clearly had some value and I disagree they maximized the return on Douggie as there were reports at the time Douggie wasn't even known to be available league wide.
Tampa Bay has been in cap hell for the last 5 yrs according to pundits but because they sign players at or below market value consistently they more often than not trade aging players for picks or youth and continue to retool. That is what elite GMs do as opposed to acquiring those types of players and overpaying those players on the downside of the age arc. Sweeney started out that way with the Lucic trade but has largely regressed since, often overpaying for vets.
 

cshea

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Since you explicitly called out my post questioning if they were really in "cap hell" I'd like to point out that the very article you used to support the argument said they had roughly 11M in cap space and needed to fill the back end of the roster plus Douggie, in 2015. If that is cap hell then what are they in now with less cap space and arguably a worse roster?
I gave Sweeney a lot of credit for the haul he got for Lucic but Lucic clearly had some value and I disagree they maximized the return on Douggie as there were reports at the time Douggie wasn't even known to be available league wide.
Tampa Bay has been in cap hell for the last 5 yrs according to pundits but because they sign players at or below market value consistently they more often than not trade aging players for picks or youth and continue to retool. That is what elite GMs do as opposed to acquiring those types of players and overpaying those players on the downside of the age arc. Sweeney started out that way with the Lucic trade but has largely regressed since, often overpaying for vets.
This just isn't true. Tampa basically never trades their good players. They typically don't trade players for picks/prospect to retool. The only example of this ever really happening was when they traded 26 year old JT Miller to Vancouver in 2019.

The rest of their business is basically turning the old, overpaid guys into LTIR cap space. They traded the corpse of Ryan Callahan for Mike Condon and a 6th. They traded a 2nd round pick, Braydon Coburn, Cedric Paquette for Marian Gaborik and Anders Nilsson's LTIR space. They traded Tyler Johnson and a 2nd for Brent Seabrook's LTIR. In the later two cases, they tied premium assets to their bad contracts and get back LTIR space. That's the formula, not trading guys for picks/prospects.

What they do is scour the market and pay premium assets for players on under market, longer term contracts. 1st and top prospect for a year and a half of Blake Coleman at $1.8 million, 1st for a year and a half of Barclay Goodrow at $1 million and a 3rd, 2 firsts for 2.5 years of Brandon Hagel at $1.5 mm AAV, etc. Then they let them go when they reach free agency. They left Gourde unprotected in the expansion draft.
 

PedroSpecialK

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Since you explicitly called out my post questioning if they were really in "cap hell" I'd like to point out that the very article you used to support the argument said they had roughly 11M in cap space and needed to fill the back end of the roster plus Douggie, in 2015. If that is cap hell then what are they in now with less cap space and arguably a worse roster?
I've been one of the louder critics on here of Sweeney's recent choices. Retaining Carlo coming off successive concussions, and last summer's forays into the UFA market specifically (Haula / Nosek aside).

The fixation on unremarkable players at UFA premiums from last summer has them in this predicament more than anything else. Both 2015 and 2022 can be (and are) cap hell.
 

cshea

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To me, it's not that newsworthy that he's in South Carolina because he owns a house there so he'd likely be there for the summer anyways. Weekes is just doing this for clicks.
Yes, he has always gone to SC in the offseason but I think it's noteworthy that he's back in the US.

Disagree with you on Weekes. ESPN has basically made him (and Kaplan) their lead insiders. Look through his feed, he doesn't post random BS. He can be coy but if he posts it, he's hearing something.
 

j44thor

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This just isn't true. Tampa basically never trades their good players. They typically don't trade players for picks/prospect to retool. The only example of this ever really happening was when they traded 26 year old JT Miller to Vancouver in 2019.

The rest of their business is basically turning the old, overpaid guys into LTIR cap space. They traded the corpse of Ryan Callahan for Mike Condon and a 6th. They traded a 2nd round pick, Braydon Coburn, Cedric Paquette for Marian Gaborik and Anders Nilsson's LTIR space. They traded Tyler Johnson and a 2nd for Brent Seabrook's LTIR. In the later two cases, they tied premium assets to their bad contracts and get back LTIR space. That's the formula, not trading guys for picks/prospects.

What they do is scour the market and pay premium assets for players on under market, longer term contracts. 1st and top prospect for a year and a half of Blake Coleman at $1.8 million, 1st for a year and a half of Barclay Goodrow at $1 million and a 3rd, 2 firsts for 2.5 years of Brandon Hagel at $1.5 mm AAV, etc. Then they let them go when they reach free agency. They left Gourde unprotected in the expansion draft.
They also traded Ben Bishop for Erik Cernak and Drouin for Sergachev. Drouin was still in his prime but getting more expensive so more along the lines of trading Douggie but Sergachev is 3yrs younger. Bishop was clearly offloading an expensive aging vet. So two of their current top 4 D were acquired in cap saving trades. Though certainly they are also very adept at trading for LTIR.
 

cshea

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Bishop was a pending UFA who was traded at the deadline with Tampa out of the playoffs. I wouldn't call it a cap savings move, Bishop was gone anyway as they were turning the net over to Vasilevsky.

Drouin for Segachev had a cap element, but it's also a hockey trade.

I just wouldn't say their MO is to trade the aging guys away to re-tool. There's very little examples of it.
 

cshea

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Friedman’s pre-draft blog. Went through every team heading into the draft/free agency

View: https://twitter.com/friedgehnic/status/1543482920417038337?s=21&t=wS66yO7ethHiwwBG_Q_ETA


Says their priority is to sign Pasta but they’ll do what’s necessary if he won’t commit. Bruins won’t rebuild, even if Bergy and Krejci return. They’re interested in Trocheck. He also floats Gaudreau out there but “not convinced it’s even possible” because of a connection to Montgomery. They won the USHL together.
 

Myt1

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The team certainly seemed to like/rally around DeBrusk. Which, may tell you something.
Interesting. I didn’t get that impression at all. I heard a lot of good veteran leadership saying all the right things up front, but the subtext and even some of the underlying comments were less favorable, IMHO.
 

TSC

SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
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Interesting. I didn’t get that impression at all. I heard a lot of good veteran leadership saying all the right things up front, but the subtext and even some of the underlying comments were less favorable, IMHO.
You could be right, I just saw the way the teammates reacted to him, how he reacted to them - it seemed to be genuine.

Look at Jakes reaction here, and Coyles reaction to him.

View: https://twitter.com/NHL/status/1511165991962697736?s=20&t=glaAH62QkCs9XH0l7sic5Q


Again, I could be wrong. But it didn’t /look/ like the team didn’t like him.
 

Murby

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Mar 16, 2006
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You could be right, I just saw the way the teammates reacted to him, how he reacted to them - it seemed to be genuine.

Look at Jakes reaction here, and Coyles reaction to him.

View: https://twitter.com/NHL/status/1511165991962697736?s=20&t=glaAH62QkCs9XH0l7sic5Q


Again, I could be wrong. But it didn’t /look/ like the team didn’t like him.
Moreover, if the team didn’t like him, would he rescind this trade request? If he wasn’t comfortable in the room with his teammates with Cassidy, he wasn’t going to magically be cool with them without Cassidy. That doesn’t seem to make sense to me.
 

cshea

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I never got the sense there was a problem between him and his teammates. When it became public they all said he needed to do what was best for him, but he needed to play his best in the interim. He held up his end of the bargain and has been lauded by management, coaches and players for being his best through it.

His problem was always Cassidy. Jake was in the doghouse for almost 2-years. I don’t think he responds well to criticism, at least constant criticism. By all accounts Monty is a positive reinforcement kind of guy so that would seem to be a better fit for Jake.
 

burstnbloom

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Im not even sure if its fair to say "criticism." We've done the Debrusk thing over and over again (and I don't really want to re-litigate) but Cassidy's public comments, his deployment of Jake and then the Dec 21 benching after Jake had been playing well (which caused the trade request to go public) are evidence of being in an inescapable doghouse. You can argue whether or not you believe he belonged there but I'm not sure there is much subjectivity to the idea that it existed.

I wasn't even surprised to hear he rescinded his request. It was always Cassidy.
 

cshea

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So, with Jake presumably staying, I wonder where they see him fitting in on the depth chart long term. Marchand's injury gives him a temporary spot at LW in the top 6. Assuming full health, do they see him as RW1 or do they try to build a 3rd line around him and Coyle again? That didn't go so well under Cassidy but I'm not sure if Monty can coax something out of that duo.

Also, from a cap management standpoint, moving DeBrusk was the easiest way to clear cap space and get something decent in return. Sweeney's going to have to get more creative now.
 

burstnbloom

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Coyle and Jake show a lot of chemistry as a power kill duo on the PK. They attack the PP team in a similar (less skilled) way to bergeron and Marchand. There could be something there. There is a role for Jake there, I think. Coyle plays heavy minutes and Jake is capable of a 16-17 min night as well. The issue is I'm not sure Coyle has much vision to generate offense and neither does Smith. Jake really needs that to be successful. Maybe Lysell is that guy on the right? I'm not sure. I think he likely plays on Bergeron's left until Marchand is back and then moves over to the right. It makes the most sense right now, I think.
 

lexrageorge

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I don't think the above news precludes a trade of DeBrusk if there is an opportunity to improve by doing so.
 

cshea

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It doesn't, but it's been reported that the FO made it clear to Jake that they would like him to be a part of the future. Never say never, but I can't imagine they held firm through the year long saga only to finally pull the trigger the second he rescinds.