2019-2020 Bruins

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
9,823
What's amazing is that Backes is probably the best of all of those. What a remarkable day of spending.
Yes, Sweeney gets credit for doing the least bad of bad free agent signings that summer.

I did have higher hopes for Backes. It's clear that at 35 his legs are gone, and there is no way he should be risking his health by playing the pugilist role any more. If he retired, it wouldn't be the worst thing. Anyway, maybe he can get sheltered a bit at the AHL and get a buyout in the summer.
 

Salem's Lot

Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog!
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
7,145
Gallows Hill
~$1.075 million cleared.

I feel bad for Backes, but they needed to do this. By all accounts he’s a great guy but the game has passed him by.

Guessing this ends in a buyout after the year. Curious to see if he reports and plays in Providence.
What happens if he doesn’t report? He’s considered suspended? Which probably doesn’t make a difference cap wise.
 

RIFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,072
Blackstone MA
He did contemplate retirement after the Sabourin incident but got reassurance from an independent neurologist that he could continue to play. I don’t know if this will change things for him but I can’t imagine he would want this to be the end.
It's definitely reading between the lines, but when you factor in Cassidy's comments in the tweet above about Backes I have to wonder if Cassidy has reservations about being responsible for what could happen to Backes if he was concussed again. These guys are all human and by all accounts Backes is tremendously respected. I don't think I'd want to be in Cassidy's position if Backes ended up disabled because he got another concussion even if Backes fully accepted the risk. If Backes was in the game last night it's highly likely he would have done what he thought was the good teammate thing to do and looked for someone to square up with. My take on Cassidy is he'll defer to what he thinks is in the players best interest, such as Chara with the day off the other game, and not be a hard ass and throw them to the wolves even if it doesn't help with the game today. Backes probably didn't ask for a maintenance day and was most like told the waiving was going to happen. Go home sleep on retirement / LTIR and let us know. He doesn't want to hang them up and they went with the only option they have.

I wonder if he'll see the ice in Prov. The AHL game in a lot of ways is more physical than the NHL since a number of those guys aren't there on skill alone. There are definitely a lot of guys who run around and want to make a name for themselves by lighting up someone. I still fear this is going to end very badly for him.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
14,716
The Bruins owe him a little more than $4 million in real money. He’s made $55 million in his career, not sure if That’s enough to forgive the $4 million and call it quits. He did contemplate retirement after the Sabourin incident but got reassurance from an independent neurologist that he could continue to play. I don’t know if this will change things for him but I can’t imagine he would want this to be the end.
I see it the other way. Given what appears to be his relative skill level, the only alternative is either playing in th AHL or being someone else's 12/13/14 forward.
I was hoping to see him in a shootout. His hands and shot are still both good.
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
24,684
306, row 14
It's definitely reading between the lines, but when you factor in Cassidy's comments in the tweet above about Backes I have to wonder if Cassidy has reservations about being responsible for what could happen to Backes if he was concussed again. These guys are all human and by all accounts Backes is tremendously respected. I don't think I'd want to be in Cassidy's position if Backes ended up disabled because he got another concussion even if Backes fully accepted the risk. If Backes was in the game last night it's highly likely he would have done what he thought was the good teammate thing to do and looked for someone to square up with. My take on Cassidy is he'll defer to what he thinks is in the players best interest, such as Chara with the day off the other game, and not be a hard ass and throw them to the wolves even if it doesn't help with the game today. Backes probably didn't ask for a maintenance day and was most like told the waiving was going to happen. Go home sleep on retirement / LTIR and let us know. He doesn't want to hang them up and they went with the only option they have.

I wonder if he'll see the ice in Prov. The AHL game in a lot of ways is more physical than the NHL since a number of those guys aren't there on skill alone. There are definitely a lot of guys who run around and want to make a name for themselves by lighting up someone. I still fear this is going to end very badly for him.
Here’s Cassidy’s answer to the Backes question today (first Q is about the goalies, then he gets into Backes)

View: https://twitter.com/nhlbruins/status/1218233527994585094?s=21


Cassidy 100% has reservations about putting Backes on the ice.
 

RIFan

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
2,072
Blackstone MA
Just coming to post that as an answer to my own question. Major, major props to Cassidy and the B’s organization. We definitely don’t see teams putting the person before the game enough. I would bet a lot of teams would run him out there and let the chips fall where they may. It’s tough for Backes and I think everyone feels for him, but this had to be done.
For people who want to read the answer:
View: https://twitter.com/amaliebenjamin/status/1218230682587213824?s=21
 

LogansDad

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
17,990
Alamogordo
Man, I hope Cassidy is coaching this team for a really long time. He just seems like exactly what I want in the person who coaches the teams I root for. He gets the most out of his players and makes adjustments when necessary, and put his players in the position that they can best succeed, but more than that he seems like an honest and good person. This really does suck for Backes, but for coach to come out and talk about him like that, and recognize that it sucks for Backes and that he is rightfully unhappy about the decision, but also be able to say that it was done not just for the good of the team, but for the player's family as well says a lot to me.
 

kenneycb

Hates Goose Island Beer; Loves Backdoor Play
SoSH Member
Dec 2, 2006
13,217
Tuukka's refugee camp
His cap hit is 2.75 while Dobby gets 2.5. Halak got more of his money up front. Not to harsh on your larger point but he's more expensive, although not enough to make any sort of real impact on the salary cap.
Yep, was looking at the 2020 salary instead of cap hit. That's what I get for trying to read.
 

RetractableRoof

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2003
3,039
Quincy, MA
If the right thing for Backes is to NOT be a banger for health reasons, I can't see him playing 4th line for anyone else either. I also don't know that he could be effective in any other role - unless there is a team with a lot of youth that wants a highly regarded professional/mentor/leader in the locker room. I'd assume he clears, and at that point, it would suck to have to force someone with his time in the game to 'refuse to report' to get a chance to work elsewhere. I would think there would be a Hellenic flu or something to allow him not to have to suit up in the AHL while his agent looks for a landing place?

Too bad for him all the way around, imagine how much he missed out on by not being in a St Louis uniform when they skated with the cup.

I hope someone can figure out a reasonably graceful way for this to wind down for him.
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
24,684
306, row 14
The CBA doesn’t really offer a “graceful” option. They’ve exhausted trade options or else we wouldn’t be at this point. Here’s essentially what can happen:

1. Retirement. This would be a gift from the heaven’s for the team. His money and cap hit come off their books, suddenly giving themselves an extra $6 million to work with at the deadline and over the summer (particularly useful with Krug, DeBrusk and Grzelyck up for new contracts). From Backes’ perspective, retirement would essentially be the end. He’d be forfeiting $4+ million and ending his playing career. Since Cassidy said Backes disagreed with their decision to waive him, I’d imagine retirement is a long shot. Maybe after a few days of reflection and talking it over with his family, doctors and agent he decides to hang them up, but I think this is a long shot. The PA will also likely be in his ear to not do this.

2. Assignment to Providence, he reports and plays. No change in the cap situation for the team. Backes gets to play. Risk here is his health. The AHL is a rough and tumble league. There will be no shortage of guys looking to make a name for themselves by running/engaging him. He could get injured again which obviously isn't good for him. It isn’t great for the team either as he needs to be healthy if they want to buy him out in June.

3. Assignment to Providence, he doesn’t report. In this case he gets suspended by the team. This has no impact on the salary cap. He doesn’t play or get paid. The way his contract is structured, he is only being paid a $1 million base salary this year. He‘s been paid a little more than half that so a suspension costs him a little less than $500,000. That may be a manageable dollar amount to forfeit, but he’d be unable to play the rest of the year which will impact his ability to land somewhere else if/when he gets bought out.

I think the most likely conclusion is a compromise between 2-3.
 

Salem's Lot

Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog!
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
7,145
Gallows Hill
The CBA doesn’t really offer a “graceful” option. They’ve exhausted trade options or else we wouldn’t be at this point.

I think the most likely conclusion is a compromise between 2-3.
So something like, he “reports” and skates a few times a week in practice, but never gets in a game, then they buy him out in July 1, 2020?
 

RetractableRoof

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2003
3,039
Quincy, MA
Thanks for the write up outlining the options. Doesn't sound fun for anyone involved.

I think as professional leagues continue, their unions are going to have to figure out a slot for this 'kind' of situation. A player who would permanently endanger their future if they continue to play. Could be a spinal injury (say to the neck), concussions, a hip like Neely had... anything in this bucket that is clear from a medical standpoint.

I like how Cassidy is approaching it, but I'm not confident that many other coaches would do the same if it puts them in cap difficulty. I think the league is going to have to make it not be a financial penalty to do the right thing by a players future health. And of course they are going to have to put huge penalties in place for a team that tries to scam the process.
 

Salem's Lot

Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog!
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
7,145
Gallows Hill
Thanks for the write up outlining the options. Doesn't sound fun for anyone involved.

I think as professional leagues continue, their unions are going to have to figure out a slot for this 'kind' of situation. A player who would permanently endanger their future if they continue to play. Could be a spinal injury (say to the neck), concussions, a hip like Neely had... anything in this bucket that is clear from a medical standpoint.

I like how Cassidy is approaching it, but I'm not confident that many other coaches would do the same if it puts them in cap difficulty. I think the league is going to have to make it not be a financial penalty to do the right thing by a players future health. And of course they are going to have to put huge penalties in place for a team that tries to scam the process.
The problem is, who’s portion of the money would this player designation come from? The owners or the players? The whole idea of the cap is fixed costs for owners. If big market clubs could get out of bad contracts without taking a cap hit, and small market teams couldn’t afford to do it, it would defeat the purpose of the cap. If a player is on LTIR it’s different because the owners can recoup insurance money to defray 80% of the cost.
 

RetractableRoof

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 1, 2003
3,039
Quincy, MA
The problem is, who’s portion of the money would this player designation come from? The owners or the players? The whole idea of the cap is fixed costs for owners. If big market clubs could get out of bad contracts without taking a cap hit, and small market teams couldn’t afford to do it, it would defeat the purpose of the cap. If a player is on LTIR it’s different because the owners can recoup insurance money to defray 80% of the cost.
Good question, and I'm not offering a solution. I'm just suggesting that as a league, they need to make it so an injured player isn't feeling pressure to continue to perform when facing long term damage. I know it's a sticky question, and your question is probably the biggest obstacle to an implementation. But I'd hate to see a Savard situation arise because Backes (or someone similar) got his head dented trying to hang on to the end of the bench as an enforcer (assuming a known injury history).
 

Jordu

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2003
6,654
Brookline
Am I counting correctly? Do the Bruins now have 13 NHL forwards?

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak
DeBrusk-Krejci-Kuhlman
Heinen-Coyle-Bjork
Wagner-Kuraly-Nordstrom

Lindholm
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
14,716
Good question, and I'm not offering a solution. I'm just suggesting that as a league, they need to make it so an injured player isn't feeling pressure to continue to perform when facing long term damage. I know it's a sticky question, and your question is probably the biggest obstacle to an implementation. But I'd hate to see a Savard situation arise because Backes (or someone similar) got his head dented trying to hang on to the end of the bench as an enforcer (assuming a known injury history).
You've described the NFL. Except most of the players facing these decisions haven't already made enough money to retire. Non guaranteed contracts for most. "You can't make the club from the tub" mindset.
A difference is that there's no minor league to send him to.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
8,305
I don't know the rules of NHL injured reserve, so can someone help me out? Rask got put on IR. How long is he required to be on it? How long can we expect him to be out?
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
24,684
306, row 14
There’s no minimum games/days requirement for NHL IR. Essentially all it does is open a roster spot. LTIR, where the team gets cap relief, mean the player has to miss 10 games and 24 days.

Rask is on the former. He could theoretically be activated tomorrow. He is concussed so cant really say how long he’ll be out, but he seemed to be in good spirits the other night during his ceremony. They play tomorrow and Tuesday then have a 10-day break so hopefully he’s ready to go after the break, but again, you don’t know with concussions.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
8,305
There’s no minimum games/days requirement for NHL IR. Essentially all it does is open a roster spot. LTIR, where the team gets cap relief, mean the player has to miss 10 games and 24 days.

Rask is on the former. He could theoretically be activated tomorrow. He is concussed so cant really say how long he’ll be out, but he seemed to be in good spirits the other night during his ceremony. They play tomorrow and Tuesday then have a 10-day break so hopefully he’s ready to go after the break, but again, you don’t know with concussions.
Thank you!
 

Jordu

Member
SoSH Member
Apr 30, 2003
6,654
Brookline
Nope. Cassidy told reporters Backes gets the time off the rest of the team is getting at the All-Star break. Backes still has a week or so to decide what to do.
 

Salem's Lot

Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog!
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
7,145
Gallows Hill
I’m really rooting for this guy, not just because he can help if that knee can stay healthy , but for how hard he’s worked.
 

LogansDad

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
17,990
Alamogordo
I’m really rooting for this guy, not just because he can help if that knee can stay healthy , but for how hard he’s worked.
Absolutely agreed. I felt awful for him when he came back just to get hurt again. i hope that all the "setbacks" were just making sure he got back to 100%.
 

Salem's Lot

Andy Moog! Andy God Damn Moog!
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
7,145
Gallows Hill
What’s the upside on Lauzon and Kuhlman?
Lauzon high end a good #3-4 physical defender with a good shot. A right handed Johnny Boychuk. Low end is probably a 6’ 1” McQuaid. Slightly faster but not as big.

Kuhlman’s high end is probably a good 3rd liner that provides energy and 15-20 goal ability. Low end is 4th line energy guy.
 

joe dokes

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
14,716
Cassidy:

"What we’re trying to do . . . and again, I’ll be very open,” explained Cassidy, prior to leaving the Garden and prepping for his appearance at this weekend’s NHL All-Star Game, “we decided a couple of weeks ago, or whatever it was, that we needed a little more internal competition.”

I thought lauzon looked like he belonged during last year's defense plague. Glad to see him get some time.​
 

burstnbloom

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 12, 2005
1,850
Cassidy:


I thought lauzon looked like he belonged during last year's defense plague. Glad to see him get some time.​
He looked good again in his limited minutes. Good skater, nice shot on the goal. Side note: a lot of these guys are young/look young. Jeremy Lauzon looks like a high school freshman.
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
24,684
306, row 14
Backes note in Friedman’s 31 Thoughts column this week:

View: https://twitter.com/friedgehnic/status/1220044439139364866?s=21


Backes and the Bruins haven’t commented, but Friedman reports that Backes will not be retiring and there are “a few different” ways this can go, but unfortunately he doesn’t elaborate on the options.

Fluto has an article up on the Athletic about next steps and one of the options he lists is Backes failing to report to Providence and the Bruins then voiding the contract since he is in breach of contract. They would the be off the hook for the $3 million due in salary next year plus the cap hit. The Bruins would still have to pay his $1 million 7/1 signing bonus but otherwise free. Backes benefits by becoming a free agent immediately. I’m sure the Bruins have given Backes the green light to talk to other teams so I would think his agent has done due diligence on what his market would look like and what kind of $ he could recoup if they went this route.

This seems like a best case scenario, though it kinda seems to good to be true. Kovalchuk just did this with with LA, but his cap hit sticks because it was a 35+ contract. The union is probably the biggest hurdle. The only large contract termination I can think of under this CBA is Patrik Berglund.
 

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
43,658
deep inside Guido territory
Backes note in Friedman’s 31 Thoughts column this week:

View: https://twitter.com/friedgehnic/status/1220044439139364866?s=21


Backes and the Bruins haven’t commented, but Friedman reports that Backes will not be retiring and there are “a few different” ways this can go, but unfortunately he doesn’t elaborate on the options.

Fluto has an article up on the Athletic about next steps and one of the options he lists is Backes failing to report to Providence and the Bruins then voiding the contract since he is in breach of contract. They would the be off the hook for the $3 million due in salary next year plus the cap hit. The Bruins would still have to pay his $1 million 7/1 signing bonus but otherwise free. Backes benefits by becoming a free agent immediately. I’m sure the Bruins have given Backes the green light to talk to other teams so I would think his agent has done due diligence on what his market would look like and what kind of $ he could recoup if they went this route.

This seems like a best case scenario, though it kinda seems to good to be true. Kovalchuk just did this with with LA, but his cap hit sticks because it was a 35+ contract. The union is probably the biggest hurdle. The only large contract termination I can think of under this CBA is Patrik Berglund.
Would they still carry his remaining cap hit this year or just be stuck with it and only the $1 million savings when they waived him?
 

veritas

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2009
2,977
Somerville, MA
Lauzon high end a good #3-4 physical defender with a good shot. A right handed Johnny Boychuk. Low end is probably a 6’ 1” McQuaid. Slightly faster but not as big.

Kuhlman’s high end is probably a good 3rd liner that provides energy and 15-20 goal ability. Low end is 4th line energy guy.
Boychuk is a really good comparable for his ceiling. He's athletic, physical, can contribute some in the offensive zone, but isn't much of a transition player.

If Kuhlman is scoring 15-20 goals, he's a top six player given his all around game. Granted, the type of top six player that shouldn't be one of your best six forwards if you want to be a really good team, but easily a 2nd line quality player.
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
24,684
306, row 14
LeBrun’s trade deadline primer:

View: https://twitter.com/pierrevlebrun/status/1220692979079401473?s=21


Not much about the B’s plans- he has a stick up his ass about Kovalchuk, says they’ll add a forward and names Toffoli and Kreider as possibilities.

He does add that a mutual termination with Backes would clear that cap it off the books. that would be an incredible gift from a team perspective. So I guess the question to be answered over the next few days (they waived him a week ago, so I assume mid-next week this will be settled) is if Backes is willing to forfeit $3 million in an attempt to resume his NHL career elsewhere.
 

AMcGhie

Set Adrift on Memory Bliss
SoSH Member
Apr 11, 2006
3,240
Portland, OR
Brad Marchand's last suspension was Jan 24, 2018. By going 2 years without a suspension, he is no longer a repeat offender.
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
24,684
306, row 14
I’d imagine we’ll get some clarity on the Backes situation tomorrow. Big club break is over, Providence back too with a game on Friday.
 

TheRealness

Don't make him go all Lucic on your ash
SoSH Member
Feb 8, 2006
11,022
The Dirty Shire

RedOctober3829

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 19, 2005
43,658
deep inside Guido territory
Any idea what this means? It sounds like the club is acquiescing to him not reporting, and I assume this means they won't terminate his contract or attempt to.

I don't think this clarifies anything.

EDIT: Except that, you know, he's not going to Providence.
Sounds like he's healthy to play, but are going to look to trade him and not terminate his contract.