Bruins in 18-19

RedOctober3829

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Who should be targeted in FA? Right now, they have $9.6 million in cap space.

Current Forwards
1. Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak
2. DeBrusk-Krejci-Donato(Rick Nash UFA)
3. Heinen-?-Bjork(Riley Nash UFA)
4. Acciari-?-Backes(Schaller and Wingels UFA and Kuraly RFA)
In-house options: JFK, Senyshyn, Fitzgerald, Koppanen, Frederic, Kuhlman, Hughes
Key FA C's: Tavares, Stasny, Bozak
Key FA LW: E. Kane, Neal, JVR, Perron, Vanek, Maroon
Key FA RW: Grabner, Kovalchuk, Comeau

Current Defensemen
Chara-McAvoy
Carlo-?(Gryz RFA)
Krug-Miller
McQuaid--can't see him playing every day.
In-house options: Zboril, Johansson, Lauzon, Clifton,
Key FA D: Carlson, Green, De Haan, Cole

Current Goalies
Rask
?(Khudobin UFA)
In-house options: McIntyre
 
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Boston Brawler

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It's going to be interesting to see what they do with Rick Nash. I like him and I think he could play a role on this team, but lots of people are sour on him. It all depends on the money of course, but if they can get a reasonable deal with him, why not bring him back?
 

MiracleOfO2704

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It's going to be interesting to see what they do with Rick Nash. I like him and I think he could play a role on this team, but lots of people are sour on him. It all depends on the money of course, but if they can get a reasonable deal with him, why not bring him back?
That's a massive if. There's probably a few teams that'll give him something like 3 yrs./$18m ($6m AAV), so expecting a deal that works with what the Bruins can give him is probably a pipe dream.
 

Boston Brawler

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That's a massive if. There's probably a few teams that'll give him something like 3 yrs./$18m ($6m AAV), so expecting a deal that works with what the Bruins can give him is probably a pipe dream.
I agree. I'm speculating on the fact he waived his NTC to come here, so perhaps he wants to stay, especially knowing they're likely to get back to the playoffs next year.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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Some talk from Bruins Stats on Twitter of buying out Backes that would save just over $2 million. Is that something anybody would be in favor of?
They have a bunch of dead money on the books already (Beleskey retained money, buyouts for Hayes and Seidenberg). I wouldn't mind them taking a break on putting more dead money against the cap for a while.

NB: In fact, while this offseason is relatively free of big RFAs needing to get paid, we can't say the same for next year. CapFriendly has Carlo, McAvoy, Heinen, and Donato all needing raises after next year. DeBrusk comes the year after that. As far as I'm concerned, I want them to stop being reckless with cap space, and for better or for worse, I think that affects decisions on Backes and Krejci I'd otherwise explore this offseason.
 
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mcpickl

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Who should be targeted in FA? Right now, they have $9.6 million in cap space.

Current Forwards
1. Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak
2. DeBrusk-Krejci-Donato(Rick Nash UFA)
3. Heinen-?-Bjork(Riley Nash UFA)
4. Acciari-?-Backes(Schaller and Wingels UFA and Kuraly RFA)
In-house options: JFK, Senyshyn, Fitzgerald, Koppanen, Frederic, Kuhlman, Hughes
Key FA C's: Tavares, Stasny, Bozak
Key FA LW: E. Kane, Neal, JVR, Perron, Vanek, Maroon
Key FA RW: Grabner, Kovalchuk, Comeau

Current Defensemen
Chara-McAvoy
Carlo-?(Gryz RFA)
Krug-?
McQuaid--can't see him playing every day.
In-house options: Zboril, Johansson, Lauzon, Clifton,
Key FA D: Carlson, Green, De Haan, Cole

Current Goalies
Rask
?(Khudobin UFA)
In-house options: McIntyre
You missed Kevan Miller here on D. Assuming they keep Grezlyck they'd have 7 NHL defensmen on the books. They'd have to move one of the righties to change much.

I think if they spend at all in free agency, they should be targeting a veteran wing Krejci can count on for his line.
 

timlinin8th

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That's a massive if. There's probably a few teams that'll give him something like 3 yrs./$18m ($6m AAV), so expecting a deal that works with what the Bruins can give him is probably a pipe dream.
Even if they could get a more reasonable deal than what other teams would give, I don’t want any part of it. There is still a lot of younger talent that will be making the push and clogging up a roster spot with a guy who may or may not underperform is not something the Bruins need. This is in line with your post about being reckless with cap space - I don’t think signing Rick is the best use of a roster spot or space for the upcoming future of this team.
 

Salem's Lot

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I hope they stick to what they're doing. Let UFA's like Riley Nash and Rick Nash sign for too much money somewhere else. Let guys like Bjork, Donato, JFK, Etc fight for those spots. I still like Backes for his leadership and wouldn't buy him out. They're stuck with Krejci. Maybe if one of these young guys really makes a jump his role will be reduced anyway. I'd like to see McIntyre in the back up goalie role. He had a good year in Providence.
 

TheRealness

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I don’t think they will keep either Nash. With another step in Donato’s development, I would expect he and DeBrusk are early favorites for second line wings. I also would let Riley Nash go, and likely look to Czarnik to fill the third line role. Tampa showed speedy gritty forwards like him can be invaluable, and he was Providence’s best player this year. I have to wonder if you leave it up to him and JFK to carve out a role early and have the other for injury insurance. There isn’t a need to spend in free agency. Not unless they somehow plan to replace Krejci. Bjork also likely factors in, although this was mostly a lost year for him.

They are fine on defense. They just need to stay healthy.

As for Backes, he's not going anywhere. As a young team he will help, and will do fine in his role, he's just overpaid.

Overall this was a great step forward, but having your lunch handed to you by Tampa for four straight games mars that in the short term. It's important not to forget how far they came in just a year, and how well they are set up for the future.
 

Scoops Bolling

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Sweeney should try to get an extension done with McAvoy this summer.
Yep. Time to take a page out of the MLB playbook, and see if you can get any of the kids (McAvoy, DeBrusk, Heinen, maybe Carlo) to take a deal that gets them some guaranteed cash now but keeps them cheaper moving forward.
 

kenneycb

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Probably the biggest area they need outside help at is the left D position. Gryz is a RFA and there's not much in the minors that would be helpful for next year. Nobody to break the bank on but a Postma/Holden-esque guy that won't embarrass themselves too badly when injuries inevitably hit.
 

Salem's Lot

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Grzelcyk will probably sign a reasonable extension. Local kid, likes being here. They also have two kids in Zboril and Vaakanianen that they drafted in the first round that play the left side. I'd rather let them compete for those spots then being in another mid level veteran. If you could make a trade for a 25-28 year old top 4 left handed D then sure, but those guys rarely get traded.
 

PedroSpecialK

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Wanted to do a cap update based on the bare bones of the roster, and the likely returning RFAs / UFAs. Despite the totals on the CapFriendly page, my assumption is that not enough bonuses vested to push the B's over the limit. CF doesn't account for banked LTIR salary (of which the Bruins banked at least $2m) or which bonuses were actually reached, rather than the potential bonuses. Anders Bjork for instance likely hit $0 in bonuses. Anyhow, broken down by position before with a summary at the bottom.

Tl;dr

Assuming the Bruins bring back Grzelcyk, Kuraly, and Khudobin and let all other UFAs walk, they're looking at around $6m in cap space including having a 7D and a 13F on the roster. Undoubtedly ~$2-3m will be reserved for Chara's bonus overage for '19-'20, as that will hit the cap when McAvoy, Carlo, Donato, and Heinen are all RFAs. More detail below.

Forwards

Assumed lineup:

Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak
DeBrusk - Krejci - Bjork
Heinen - JFK - Backes
Donato - Kuraly - Acciari
Szwarz

Assumed UFAs departing: Nash, Nash, Wingels, Gionta, Schaller (IMO will demand $1.5m+, too rich for 4th line), Agostino, Czarnik
Assumed RFA re-signings: Kuraly - 1 year, $900k
Possible additions for 13F and/or bottom 6 C, assuming sub-$1m AAV
  • Derek Ryan
  • Kyle Brodziak
  • Austin Czarnik (UFA)
  • Tim Schaller (UFA)

Defense


Assumed lineup:

Chara - McAvoy
Krug - Carlo
Grzelcyk - Miller
McQuaid

Assumed UFAs departing: Holden, Postma, Breen, Cross
Assumed RFA re-signings: Grzelcyk - 2 years, $1.65m AAV. Benning will be his main comparable, also up for an RFA deal in Edmonton. Chiarelli scares me a bit here but it should stay below $2m AAV unless it's a 3+ year deal
Possible additions for 7D, assuming sub-$1m AAV

  • Luke Schenn
  • Chris Wideman (please god no)
  • Nick Holden (UFA)

Goaltending

Assumed lineup:

Rask
Khudobin

Assumed UFA re-signings: Khudobin - 1 year, $1m
Possible alternatives, assuming sub-$1m AAV

  • Jaroslav Halak
  • Ondrej Pavelec
  • Zane McIntyre ($650k AAV at NHL level)

Financials - Buyouts & Retained Salary


Assumption: Beleskey is bought out by NYR, reducing Boston's commitment to $2.633m spread over 4 years ($483k in 2018-19)

Financials - Salary Cap Commitment


Assumes no additional signings outside of Kuraly / Grzelcyk / Khudobin

If they get creative with moving McQuaid, they may have the space to take a run at Carlson - I wouldn't hold my breath though.
 

teddykgb

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To me this series showed that the NHL has moved enough that you need to have an entire D corps who is average or better at moving the puck. At least to get by this Tampa team. Chara, Miller, McQuaid all looked antiquated out there in a way. Of course these guys all have strengths and it would be silly to overreact to one series loss but I hope we look at what the appropriate balance is because we just watched what happens when you can’t reliably get out of your own end. Forwards contributed too but the turnovers and weak clears invited so much pressure
 

kenneycb

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Grzelcyk will probably sign a reasonable extension. Local kid, likes being here. They also have two kids in Zboril and Vaakanianen that they drafted in the first round that play the left side. I'd rather let them compete for those spots then being in another mid level veteran. If you could make a trade for a 25-28 year old top 4 left handed D then sure, but those guys rarely get traded.
From all accounts Zboril isn't close to being ready and Vaakanainen hasn't played a minute in North America, so I would take issue with relying on them to provide much of anything. They shouldn't have any major cap issues so I don't see what's wrong with taking on a guy for like a 1 year, $1 million or less contract.
 

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Thanks PSK. If the cap does indeed go to 80M and they follow your thinking on letting go of the veteran UFAs doesn't that suddenly make Carlson a very realistic possibility?
 

timlinin8th

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I still like Backes for his leadership and wouldn't buy him out. They're stuck with Krejci. Maybe if one of these young guys really makes a jump his role will be reduced anyway. I'd like to see McIntyre in the back up goalie role. He had a good year in Providence.
Yeah, Backes and Krejci are sunk costs, and I don’t see any other team giving up anything to get either of them without having to throw in a lot to get anyone to bite (added to the fact both have pesky NMCs that its doubtful either would waive). With the team being extremely young there is room for their veteran presence, even if they will be overpaid for their performance. That savings will come in the form of younger guys coming up. No sense in trying to buy them out and having dead money on the cap while needing to fill their production.

If enough things break right, maybe in the next year or two you have Krejci as your third line C and Backes on the fourth line - that’s a pretty sick lineup if so.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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That’s definitely where I am on those two. In fact, if ever there were a year to keep out of free agency, it’s probably this one, though I do have one exception to that.

We’ve mentioned that left defence is going to need some help, and while reinforcements might be on the way via Providence (Zboril) and Europe (Vaakanainen), I don’t think either can be counted on for a couple of years. Meantime, it may benefit the Bruins to give Chara second-pair minutes next year, and someone has to fill those holes. If you can get someone that’s relatively young and able to handle top-4 minutes on that side, I’d make a play, and if they block any of the kids, that’s a good problem to have.
 

biff_hardbody

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Unfortunately, the series against the Lightning and this thread have made it painfully obvious how good a fit McDonagh would have been. No use crying but... ugh.

I hope they do nothing except resign Grz, Czarnik, Khubodin, and extend some of the young guys (McAvoy, specifically). I wouldn't be shocked to see them bring in another veteran forward a la Riley Nash, either.
 

AMcGhie

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I really want Don Sweeney to go after OEL (conditional on an extension of 3 years more at 8.5M?)

Does a 1st, Friederick, one of Donato/DeBrusk/Heinen, and one of Grz/Carlo do it?
Does salary need to be dumped as well to make him fit with an extension?

McAvoy-OEL
Chara-Krug
Grz/Carlo-Miller
McQuaid
 

Salem's Lot

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I really want Don Sweeney to go after OEL (conditional on an extension of 3 years more at 8.5M?)

Does a 1st, Friederick, one of Donato/DeBrusk/Heinen, and one of Grz/Carlo do it?
Does salary need to be dumped as well to make him fit with an extension?

McAvoy-OEL
Chara-Krug
Grz/Carlo-Miller
McQuaid
Ask yourself, If you had OEL would you trade him for a pupu platter of pretty good prospects? Or would you want McAvoy?
 

lexrageorge

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I don't see the team giving up another first rounder and 3 of their top prospects for Larsson. I think that money would be better served by extending McAvoy and Carlo (who's absence may have played a bigger role in the Bruins' struggles than many would expect). I'd like to see them find a solid top 4 defenseman, but I'm not convinced it will be feasible.

As for Backes, he was quite effective in his 3rd line role, especially if you look at the possession stats. Those stats suffered greatly in the playoffs, but Heinen and Riley Nash were also invisible, which didn't help. My bigger concern with Backes is his health; that concussion is a concern, even with the summer off.

As for Krejci, well that's another issue. He's still a solid playmaker when healthy. Unclear if he was healthy these playoffs.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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This is not specific to next year's roster and isn't even meant as an indictment of Rick Nash, but if I were a GM I would immediately scrap the practice of trading 1st round picks for true rentals under most circumstances. If it's a top tier guy and you have an elite but young/cheap roster and the means to re-sign him without gutting the team or blowing up the future? Fine, go nuts. If you can swing such a deal during the offseason and get the guy for a full year? Great!

But most of the time, the overpriced deadline rental just feels like bad business, and never really yields the benefit you think it will. And poof, the guy is gone. If you can, and if it makes sense with the roster, get guys with term and even pay a little extra if you need to.
 

reggiecleveland

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I admit I watched sporadically during the regular season, and also that I know more about hoops, so I am anxious to see what other think of my take. I had hoped they had timed ti right to win this year, since some of the youth, Pasta and particular seemed to be ahead of schedule, and if Rask got hot I thought they would win this year.

QUestion, did they miss a chance that is gone, or do you think the vets will maintain while the youth improves next year. My take is pessimsitic, I think they missed a chance that may not come back.
 

joe dokes

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Unfortunately, the series against the Lightning and this thread have made it painfully obvious how good a fit McDonagh would have been. No use crying but... ugh.

I hope they do nothing except resign Grz, Czarnik, Khubodin, and extend some of the young guys (McAvoy, specifically). I wouldn't be shocked to see them bring in another veteran forward a la Riley Nash, either.
McDonagh would have been nice, but at the deadline, they didn't know they'd be down Carlo, but they were worried about the offense. In fact, the misgivings in this thread about Rick Nash is, IMO, more evidence that the problem was up front, which could not score 5 x 5, rather than the defense.
 

lexrageorge

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I admit I watched sporadically during the regular season, and also that I know more about hoops, so I am anxious to see what other think of my take. I had hoped they had timed ti right to win this year, since some of the youth, Pasta and particular seemed to be ahead of schedule, and if Rask got hot I thought they would win this year.

QUestion, did they miss a chance that is gone, or do you think the vets will maintain while the youth improves next year. My take is pessimsitic, I think they missed a chance that may not come back.
I felt this season that any of the 8 teams that were in the 2nd round had a legitimate chance to win the Cup, without any obvious favorites. Given that the B's earned over 100 points, yes, it does feel like a missed chance. Next year is never guaranteed to be better, and there is more room to go down than up.

The good news is that none of their most valuable players will leave as free agents. Guys like Pasta and McAvoy should come back strong next year. Marchand, Bergeron will still be good. We'll hopefully see some improvement from many of the younger players. And there will be some new faces that could help: Bjork, for example, looked really good early on until he got hurt. They do have some room to add a player via trade or free agency if the right one becomes available.
 

RetractableRoof

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I'm also of the feeling that they missed an opportunity this year. They had an almost perfect storm of enough young talent stepping up mixed with a solid core and some older veterans still delivering at an acceptable level - along with some good chemistry and coaching that seemed to be on the right page with the players.

I waited to post after the loss because I didn't want to be emotionally spewing garbage. I'm even more disappointed in the refereeing of the series now than at first blush. They were really put at a disadvantage by the calls/non-calls. If they were better they might have overcome that - and against a lesser team may have. But facing a one seed the margin for error was too small given the extra level of difficulty the refereeing imposed. It's enough to turn me off of the game - and I had some serious excitement coming in and through the playoffs.

Going forward I'm concerned about a couple of things. 1) Regression from the young ones that played so well this year. 2) They obviously need one (or more) left side puck mover on defense, and I leery of putting too much hope in finding it in Providence. 3) The age of some of their core. I think one of my criticisms of Cassidy was shortening the bench too much too early at times. I think this put a number of older/injured players in a position to fail. I would like to see more depth that would allow Cassidy to roll all four lines - which was a strength of the cup team. After the adrenaline rush of the first game, I think we saw a team that didn't have much fuel in the tank to sustain the extra gear, extra effort Tampa possessed.

I'm grateful for the season and the gift of watching it. I'd be surprised if we got a similar run next year - I think this was just way ahead of schedule.
 

FL4WL3SS

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I'm also of the feeling that they missed an opportunity this year. They had an almost perfect storm of enough young talent stepping up mixed with a solid core and some older veterans still delivering at an acceptable level - along with some good chemistry and coaching that seemed to be on the right page with the players.

I waited to post after the loss because I didn't want to be emotionally spewing garbage. I'm even more disappointed in the refereeing of the series now than at first blush. They were really put at a disadvantage by the calls/non-calls. If they were better they might have overcome that - and against a lesser team may have. But facing a one seed the margin for error was too small given the extra level of difficulty the refereeing imposed. It's enough to turn me off of the game - and I had some serious excitement coming in and through the playoffs.

Going forward I'm concerned about a couple of things. 1) Regression from the young ones that played so well this year. 2) They obviously need one (or more) left side puck mover on defense, and I leery of putting too much hope in finding it in Providence. 3) The age of some of their core. I think one of my criticisms of Cassidy was shortening the bench too much too early at times. I think this put a number of older/injured players in a position to fail. I would like to see more depth that would allow Cassidy to roll all four lines - which was a strength of the cup team. After the adrenaline rush of the first game, I think we saw a team that didn't have much fuel in the tank to sustain the extra gear, extra effort Tampa possessed.

I'm grateful for the season and the gift of watching it. I'd be surprised if we got a similar run next year - I think this was just way ahead of schedule.
Which of their core are you worried about aging?

Chara is already 41, so that concern was there this year. Krejci is no longer a core player, so outside of him, which core player are you worried about?
 

FL4WL3SS

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Of the Bruins top 10 point scorers this season, only Bergeron, Krejci and Backes are over 30. Bergeron is showing no signs of slowing down. His line was the best in hockey this year and will continue to be next year.

Krejci and Backes are not core players and we've discussed in this thread how we can replace some of their production. They will make up 2/3 of the best third line in hockey next season.

I don't see the concern. It's a relatively young team, age doesn't seem to be an issue that can't be mitigated.
 

RIFan

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One of the biggest drivers of roster construction is going to be the health of Backes. It's admittedly premature, but given his concussion history there has to be a possibility he ends up on LTIR. I don't think there was much doubt he was concussed in the last game which would make 2 in the last year.
 

Jordu

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Krejci has had two hip surgeries and he’ll never be player he was in his 20s. But he’s still got skills and vision, and he’s still a superior playmaker. He and DeBrusk played well together, but no one Cassidy out with them at RW produced.

It’s too soon to write off Backes. He got ill and had surgery and missed a third of the season. Yeah, he’s a plodder in a game that’s gotten faster, but he brings a heaviness to the Bruins’ game in a way no other forward on the top three lines can.

The Bruins don’t just need a left-shot defenseman, they need forwards who can put up points in the regular season *and* the playoffs. That’s lot to ask of rookies. (The good news is that DeBrusk and Heinen now have some playoff experience.)

The Bruins are not in a position to sign high-impact free agents. Sweeney has to think about a couple of trades, and prospects won’t be enough to get the quality of players they need.

So who on the Bruins active roster will other teams will want and that we can afford to move?

Krug? He’s the best player the Bruins have might offer, and to a certain extent Grzelcyk makes Krug redundant. The Bruins need to get bigger on the back line — the only defensemen under 6-0 on Tampa or Winnipeg is Stralman and he’s 5-11. But that would mean a defensive corps that isn’t much of a threat to score.

Heinen? Some teams would want a cheap, high-ceiling player as part of a deal. Bjork and Donato appear ready to contribute, and I assume the Bruins consider DeBrusk untouchable.

Kuraly? He’s got speed and is solid bottom six forward and PK specialist. JFK may be ready to center the 3rd line and Acciardi could center the 4th.

And then the are some prospects who could be traded along with one of the above.
 

AMcGhie

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Ask yourself, If you had OEL would you trade him for a pupu platter of pretty good prospects? Or would you want McAvoy?
The counter arguments
  • who is going to offer more? OEL will walk after next season.
  • What is more valuable to Arizona? A Solid #1 defensemen, or 3 legit NHL roster players with a possibility for a 4th.
 

AMcGhie

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This is not specific to next year's roster and isn't even meant as an indictment of Rick Nash, but if I were a GM I would immediately scrap the practice of trading 1st round picks for true rentals under most circumstances. If it's a top tier guy and you have an elite but young/cheap roster and the means to re-sign him without gutting the team or blowing up the future? Fine, go nuts. If you can swing such a deal during the offseason and get the guy for a full year? Great!

But most of the time, the overpriced deadline rental just feels like bad business, and never really yields the benefit you think it will. And poof, the guy is gone. If you can, and if it makes sense with the roster, get guys with term and even pay a little extra if you need to.
I'm a lot happier with Wideman + 1st for Horton/Campbell than 1st+Colborne for Kaberle. I'm loathe to give up a 1st rounder for anyone with less than 2 years unless an extension can be worked out as part of the deal.
 

jk333

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I'm a lot happier with Wideman + 1st for Horton/Campbell than 1st+Colborne for Kaberle. I'm loathe to give up a 1st rounder for anyone with less than 2 years unless an extension can be worked out as part of the deal.
Additionally, the Jagr and Nash were acquired with 1st round picks. I will go through the cup winners later and see if these trades of rentals for first round picks are more productive for them.

In the Cup season, they got Peverley at the cost of Wheeler. At this point, that’s worth more than a 1st.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Krug? He’s the best player the Bruins have might offer, and to a certain extent Grzelcyk makes Krug redundant. The Bruins need to get bigger on the back line — the only defensemen under 6-0 on Tampa or Winnipeg is Stralman and he’s 5-11. But that would mean a defensive corps that isn’t much of a threat to score.
Disagree very much on the Krug=Grzelcyk takes. (KPD had one today also). They are both undersized defensemen, but their games are very different.

At almost every level, Krug has been a scorer, Grzelcyk hasn't. At age 20 in college both had a 10+ goal season but that is the only time in their whole careers that Grzelcyk has been anywhere close to Krug. (And a look at the numbers highlights that Krug was typically his college teams' leading scorer while Grzelcyk never came close.) As a 21 year old in the AHL, Krug produced 13 goals and 45 points in 63 games (48 points in 70 games if you add in AHL playoffs). As a 22-23 year old in the AHL, Grzelcyk produced 6 goals, 36 points in 84 games (39 points in 91 if you add AHL playoffs). They simply are not comparable as offensive producers.

They aren't comparable defensive players, either. Mostly going by eye test here, but Krug isn't in Grzelcyk's league. Also, Krug, for a small guy, isn't and has never been particularly fast, while Grzelcyk is fast and he excels at getting back and retrieving the puck ahead of the forecheck.

Two very different players.
 

Salem's Lot

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The counter arguments
  • who is going to offer more? OEL will walk after next season.
  • What is more valuable to Arizona? A Solid #1 defensemen, or 3 legit NHL roster players with a possibility for a 4th.
I think if I was running the Coyotes, I would take my chances that someone would beat that deal before the deadline. Maybe it would, maybe I'd have to settle for a little bit less, but unless there was an elite prospect on the table, I'd wait it out to see if someone gets stupid during the season.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Additionally, the Jagr and Nash were acquired with 1st round picks. I will go through the cup winners later and see if these trades of rentals for first round picks are more productive for them.

In the Cup season, they got Peverley at the cost of Wheeler. At this point, that’s worth more than a 1st.
Off the top of my head, Hossa was probably the closest we've seen to a rental legitimately putting a team over the top. He was a beast in those playoffs despite the loss. And even then, the Penguins made more of an effort to re-sign him than is typical and didn't consider him a pure rental.

Seidenberg is roughly the ideal here—an under the radar player who was more easily attainable (a 2nd and fringe pieces) and re-signable even if he was technically a rental at the time. Forget the big ticket items. Find the guys who are maybe underutilized in another system or would be boosted by playing on a certain line or in a certain pairing. Recchi and a 2nd (I think the one that was eventually moved for Seids) for Karsums and Lashoff was certainly no slouch of a deal either.

I remember Montreal having at least one savvy move in that era, when they grabbed Wisniewski a month or two before the deadline and didn't have to pay anything close to what the Bruins gave up for Kaberle.

This is all certainly easier said than done. You have to have great pro scouts, and be able to scout your own young talent to know who's going to make it and who you can let go, not to mention having a sense of the type of talent you might be able to draft in June with any picks you're thinking of trading away.
 
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RedOctober3829

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Sometimes too, the rental moves are a sign that the front office believes in the direction of the team that particular year and wants to help the group out. It's a gesture of good faith by a FO that will be received well by the players and the coaches.
 

joe dokes

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Krejci has had two hip surgeries and he’ll never be player he was in his 20s. But he’s still got skills and vision, and he’s still a superior playmaker. He and DeBrusk played well together, but no one Cassidy out with them at RW produced.

It’s too soon to write off Backes. He got ill and had surgery and missed a third of the season. Yeah, he’s a plodder in a game that’s gotten faster, but he brings a heaviness to the Bruins’ game in a way no other forward on the top three lines can.

The Bruins don’t just need a left-shot defenseman, they need forwards who can put up points in the regular season *and* the playoffs. That’s lot to ask of rookies. (The good news is that DeBrusk and Heinen now have some playoff experience.)
I seem to recall coaches always talking in pairs as much as lines. So Bergeron and Marchand stayed together no matter what else was going on with the other wing. I *think* Krejci and DeBrusk reached that point, too. And while I seem to find myself saying, "If they could only find the correct wings for Krejci....." a bit too much, he's probably not going anywhere, and he is still skilled enough to be a 60-pt player if he could play 70-75 games.

I agree on Backes. I'd like to see what he does as a healthy, more or less permanent 3rd line wing. He's overpaid for that expectation, but its a sunk cost and he does bring some value if he can play.

And the playoffs *are* different for almost all rookies.. I think McAvoy was a unique situation and the rest of the quality big-leaguers (like DeBrusk and Heinen) will be better.
 

Haunted

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I can't remember, can Donato play on the right? If so, could he slot in with Krejci and DeBrusk? That might be a decent scoring line.

Then again, having Donato on a third line with Backes there to provide a little defensive cover (plus whoever centers them) might not be a terrible idea either.
 

Jordu

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Disagree very much on the Krug=Grzelcyk takes. (KPD had one today also). They are both undersized defensemen, but their games are very different.

At almost every level, Krug has been a scorer, Grzelcyk hasn't. [snip to Dave space] They aren't comparable defensive players, either. Mostly going by eye test here, but Krug isn't in Grzelcyk's league. Also, Krug, for a small guy, isn't and has never been particularly fast, while Grzelcyk is fast and he excels at getting back and retrieving the puck ahead of the forecheck.

Two very different players.
All good points. Grzelcyk may be able to develop as a scorer, but even if he does he won’t be the scorer Krug is.

There were times during the season and in the playoffs that nobody on the Bruins back line could get the puck up and out like Grzelcyk. You’re absolutely right.
 

AMcGhie

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Grz is a tiny, defensive defenseman. Krug is a tiny, offensive defenseman.

Grz's deal at BU was that he had such good eyes that his positioning was always so spot on that it compensated for his size. He's having to adapt his game for the NHL level.

I still want both on this team.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Grz is a tiny, defensive defenseman. Krug is a tiny, offensive defenseman.

Grz's deal at BU was that he had such good eyes that his positioning was always so spot on that it compensated for his size. He's having to adapt his game for the NHL level.

I still want both on this team.
Agree.

I like most of their defensemen: Chara, McAvoy, Krug, Grzelcyk, Miller. Carlo has the tools to be better than what he has been, but he's still young and learning. The guy I don't have a ton of use for is McQuaid. I'd like to find an alternative to him.