Bruins Offseason Thread

IdiotKicker

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  • Would not re-sign Reilly, Miller, Rask, Kuraly, Ritchie
  • Re-sign Krejci & Hall if you get their combined number under $11M - I think I’d be willing to walk away quicker on Krejci and hope Coyle elevates playing with better talent, but it’s kind of a tough one b/c of how inconsistent Coyle is
  • I don’t know what the fuck you do with Kase, but if you can get him for basically the QO and hope he stays healthy for more than 3 games, then I guess I do that
  • Studnicka fills one of your empty slots up front
  • Vaak fills one of your back-end slots
  • Sign Halak or similar level backup for $2-3M
  • Adam Larsson or David Savard for $4.5-5.5M
  • Palmieri or Jaden Schwartz at $5-5.5M, move your 2nd and 3rd line pieces around as needed because other than Hall and Krejci, there’s no one worth definitely keeping in their current spot
  • Fill in further depth spots as needed
I don’t think a full overhaul is needed. Just move on from guys who have either injury issues or who are fungible, grab either a C or RW to slot into your middle 6, and a 2nd-pair D and I think this team is in really good shape. They looked bad the last two nights, but they were so dominant against WAS and in the first 4 games of the NYI series.
 

LogansDad

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I can't add a lot to this thread yet, but I am sad that it is here. I had to tell my wife to leave me alone so I could just be sad and alone for a little bit. She's ordering me pizza. That's all I got.
 

durandal1707

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Whatever the hell happened to Charlie Coyle and Jake DeBrusk? I remember thinking Coyle would easily take over for Krejci at 2C, and that Jake DeBrusk was right around the corner from a breakout year. Now both just look like roster filler. It certainly feels like the time to trade DeBrusk was last season, and we're in a "year too late" scenario. I honestly don't know what this team should do with them. It's not like they're taking up spots of promising young prospects, so maybe hold on to them, hope they at least play well enough to be Stempniak-type trade targets (e.g. plugger for 2nd/3rd round draft pick)?

I'm right back to where I was before the trade deadline. There is not one FA signing or trade acquisition that is going to put this team in the same tier as Colorado, Vegas or Tampa Bay. I think it's time to build around the future of Pastrnak and McAvoy. I say goodbye to all the UFAs except maybe Hall and Reilly if the price is right with them. Need to figure out what this team truly has in its prospects (Studnicka, Vaak, Swayman, Vladar) and to restock the cupboard. Getting a GM who can draft for shit would also be nice.
 

jk333

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Re-sign Hall and another 2nd line forward.

I would not protect Carlo (based on injuries) and if chosen, would sign a second pair D to replace him. Insert Frederic into the bottom 6. Studnicka probably takes the 2C role.
 

kenneycb

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You don’t protect Carlo means you protect Clifton. Clifton doesn’t suck but he’s a guy I’m not crying over losing him. He might get to be a second pairing guy and would be closer to the 4 than the 3.
 

lexrageorge

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Carlo is not an easy guy to replace; he should be protected, and almost certainly will anyway.
 

kenneycb

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Fluto had an article in the Athletic today where the choice is basically Frederic or Ritchie for last spot. Given current play, contracts and UFA statuses, 6 forwards and 3 D are obvious protects. So it’s one of those or Clifton being taken. Big pile of meh.
 

jk333

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If youre ok letting go of Carlo, the play is to trade him, not leave him unprotected and lose him for nothing.
Carlo’s value is reduced in general now and most teams aren’t looking to take on D at this time. (as the expansion draft is meant to break them free for Seattle)

I guess if you could find a team with a spot you could get a 3rd or 4th round pick, maybe?

Edit: I’d target replacing with Larsson or Savard as an older player could pair well with all their young D, it’s true that it’s worse value
 
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lexrageorge

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Carlo’s value is reduced in general now and most teams aren’t looking to take on D at this time. (as the expansion draft is meant to break them free for Seattle)

I guess if you could find a team with a spot you could get a 3rd or 4th round pick, maybe?

Edit: I’d target replacing with Larsson or Savard as an older player could pair well with all their young D, it’s true that it’s worse value
In that case, it would be far better to keep Carlo until after the expansion draft. His value will be far higher than a 4th round pick after then. Anyway, I don't see the point in dumping him; bad asset management is not what this team needs.
 

burstnbloom

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This is not a thread that I wanted to see but it is what it is. This is an important offseason for the future of this franchise. They are staring down the barrel of a multi year rebuild right as their two best players under 30 are in their prime. They desperately need to find some young centers and don’t really have many valuable trade assets. It’s pretty scary, frankly.

there isn’t much help on the UFA market either. Hall is the best ufa winger, krejci the best ufa center and rask the best ufa goaltender. Slim pickings.

I think the move is to re-sign everyone to short term, reasonable deals and see what happens. They will need to get an extension in place for mcavoy after next season and pasta the season after. I hope Sweeney is more creative than I am but he hasn’t really shown that in his tenure.

I think we get one last kick at the can with this group next year and then we head to the bottom of the Atlantic until we can develop some young players. Sucks.
 

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Some UFA's I'd be interested in:

Phillip Danault, C.

Danault had a bit of a down year, which may suppress his contract value. However. If you lose Krejci - Danault is a good two way center who could see an offensive increase playing with more talented wingers (Hall?). He's also young enough that a 3-4 year deal isn't going to be bad on the back end.

Jamie Oleksiak, D.

Who knows how the Bruins D is going to shake out - but with Miller a UFA and totally unreliable, Reilly a UFA, and the high odds we lose a D to the expansion draft - Oleksiak is a solid, BIG (6'7) defensemen who is actually pretty mobile. He would be a great add to a back end that could use some stability and size.

Brandon Montour, D.

Same as above - if instead of heavy and defensive, you want to go a bit more offensive for a right D man.


Zach Hyman, LW

Ship Nick Ritchie to mars. Consider breaking up the Bergeron line. Re-sign Hall. Go Marchand/Bergeron/Hyman (if healthy) and Hall/Krejci(Danault)/Pasta. That's two deep scoring lines with complimentary pieces - that will also be incredibly sound defensively.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Are the RFA included in the cap hits? Seems likely some money will be saved by replacing Ritchie and/or Kase with a bag of pucks.

I know opinions vary but this makes the Rask decision very easy, IMO, barring a very team-friendly deal. The talent level of the team is far more dependent on improving the forward group first and foremost. Some mix of good FA work and seeing what Frederic/Studnicka can do on the cheap? Shrug, the seeds of this offseason were planted 6 years ago so it’s not like there is magic overnight solution.
 
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nolasoxfan

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Some UFA's I'd be interested in:

Phillip Danault, C.

Danault had a bit of a down year, which may suppress his contract value. However. If you lose Krejci - Danault is a good two way center who could see an offensive increase playing with more talented wingers (Hall?). He's also young enough that a 3-4 year deal isn't going to be bad on the back end.

Jamie Oleksiak, D.

Who knows how the Bruins D is going to shake out - but with Miller a UFA and totally unreliable, Reilly a UFA, and the high odds we lose a D to the expansion draft - Oleksiak is a solid, BIG (6'7) defensemen who is actually pretty mobile. He would be a great add to a back end that could use some stability and size.

Brandon Montour, D.

Same as above - if instead of heavy and defensive, you want to go a bit more offensive for a right D man.


Zach Hyman, LW

Ship Nick Ritchie to mars. Consider breaking up the Bergeron line. Re-sign Hall. Go Marchand/Bergeron/Hyman (if healthy) and Hall/Krejci(Danault)/Pasta. That's two deep scoring lines with complimentary pieces - that will also be incredibly sound defensively.
Isn’t Hyman a born and bred Torontoan (Torontoer?)? I love the idea, but question the likelihood.
 

cshea

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Are the RFA included in the cap hits? Seems likely some money will be saved by replacing Ritchie and/or Kase with a bag of pucks.

I know opinions vary but this makes the Rask decision very easy, IMO, barring a very team-friendly deal. The talent level of the team is far more dependent on improving the forward group first and foremost. Some mix of good FA work and seeing what Frederic/Studnicka can do on the cheap? Shrug, the seeds of this offseason were planted 6 years ago so it’s not like there is magic overnight solution.
The $58.6 million in that tweet includes what that person is estimating for the RFA's, Ritchie, Kase, Frederic and Carlo. The poster gave Ritchie a $500K bump, left Kase at $2.6 million, bumped Carlo by about $750K to $3.5 million and gave Frederic a $100K bump to $874,000.

Those all seem reasonable to me but we'll see. Kase is a little interesting. In order to retain his rights they have to qualify him at $2.6 million. They could non-QO him and try to bring him back cheaper but they'd be running the risk of him walking in free agency. I'd really like to know the full story behind the 1 game return at the end of the year.
 

Jordu

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  • Would not re-sign Reilly, Miller, Rask, Kuraly, Ritchie
  • Re-sign Krejci & Hall if you get their combined number under $11M - I think I’d be willing to walk away quicker on Krejci and hope Coyle elevates playing with better talent, but it’s kind of a tough one b/c of how inconsistent Coyle is
  • I don’t know what the fuck you do with Kase, but if you can get him for basically the QO and hope he stays healthy for more than 3 games, then I guess I do that
  • Studnicka fills one of your empty slots up front
  • Vaak fills one of your back-end slots
  • Sign Halak or similar level backup for $2-3M
  • Adam Larsson or David Savard for $4.5-5.5M
  • Palmieri or Jaden Schwartz at $5-5.5M, move your 2nd and 3rd line pieces around as needed because other than Hall and Krejci, there’s no one worth definitely keeping in their current spot
  • Fill in further depth spots as needed
I don’t think a full overhaul is needed. Just move on from guys who have either injury issues or who are fungible, grab either a C or RW to slot into your middle 6, and a 2nd-pair D and I think this team is in really good shape. They looked bad the last two nights, but they were so dominant against WAS and in the first 4 games of the NYI series.
I’m curious why you say right up front you wouldn’t sign Reilly. He was one of the Bruins whose playoff performance topped his regular season performance, and he was very good with Carlo as a 2nd pair D man. Counting stat: Reilly was +3 in the 11 games of the playoffs. Every other defenseman was even or minus.

After these two series, I’m not hopeful that Coyle will ever elevate his game as a center. He had a mediocre regular season and was a -8 for the playoffs, by far the worst +/- on the team. He is not a good defensive center. I’d move him to RW on the third line, put DeBrusk (if he stays) back on his natural LW side and put Studnicka at center.

I’m not worried about Hall. In his 11 seasons in the league before this year he had played in 14 playoff games. The playoff speed and intensity were new to him, and the Islanders made sure they kept someone inside his sweater the whole series.

I assume Craig Smith is hurt. He was noticeably slower in the Islanders series. I hope whatever is ailing him is easily fixed.

Overall, I agree that a full overhaul isn’t needed if the Bruins can re-sign Krejci and if Rask wants to play another couple of years in Boston, splitting 82 games with Swayman.
 

TFP

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He was one of the Bruins whose playoff performance topped his regular season performance,
Wait, what? He was awful in the 2nd round, frequently out of gas and immobile. I'm guessing he was very likely hurt, there were times it looked like he could barely pivot out there. He's not an automatic re-sign to me, I bet they can do better for the money.
 

kenneycb

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Yeah I really liked Reilly after the Capitals series. He looked lost against the Isles. If he comes back on the cheap to be a fring-ish 2nd pairing guy, sure, but I'm not losing sleep over him going elsewhere. He's a 28 year-old journeyman defenseman and I imagine he is what he is at this point.
 

cshea

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FWIW, on Krejci and Rask. Sweeney has not given out a multi-year contract to a player older than 33 (Halak). Backes was 32 and he gave him 5-years. He seems to have learned from that mess. The only 35+ contracts he' ever signed are one year deals for Chara (twice), Halak , JM Liles, Dom Moore and then the end of year cameos from Lee Stempniak and Brian Gionta.

Krejci is 35. Rask is 34.

We'll see. I kind of think they have to bring these guys (and Hall) back and try to take one more run at it next year. I'd sign them for short term, then put all the picks and prospects on the table for improvements. We don't have much, but what we do have should be shoved in for one last run.
 

IdiotKicker

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I’m curious why you say right up front you wouldn’t sign Reilly. He was one of the Bruins whose playoff performance topped his regular season performance, and he was very good with Carlo as a 2nd pair D man. Counting stat: Reilly was +3 in the 11 games of the playoffs. Every other defenseman was even or minus.
I thought he was easily pushed around in his own end and on offense, he lacked the space to operate effectively as he did in the regular season. I could see some team looking at his regular season numbers and the stats you mention in the postseason and giving him a contract bigger than I think the Bruins should pay for him. If they could pay him like a 3rd pair guy, I'd be fine, but I have a feeling someone is going to offer him $3.5-4M and I just don't think he's worth that kind of money when there are other holes to fill and I think you could get better players with more of a physical presence on D for similar money. I don't think he's a terrible player, just one that I don't think would be worth the contract it would take to sign him.

I also think if the Bruins come to the same conclusion as you that Coyle is a 3rd line RW, then I think they need to move him because you don't pay $5.25M for that role, and that cash could be better deployed improving elsewhere.
 

Jordu

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Thanks, IdiotKicker and TheNapkin. I may be over-valuing Reilly. I’ve been thinking more and more the Bruins need to get bigger on D.
 

TFP

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The Bruins don't need a top 4D, they need a top 2 D to pair with McAvoy. Grzelcyk just isn't good enough for top pairing minutes, and lol at anyone (not necessarily here) suggesting he was replacing Krug's production this year. He tops out maybe as Carlo's partner on the 2nd pair imo.

He had more assists to the Islanders in Game 6 than he had points for the Bruins in the whole series.
 

burstnbloom

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Yeah, Reilly as a cheap 3rd pair/depth guy is fine. Reilly as a top 4 is trouble.
Reilly as the 3rd pair LHD is an ideal scenario, in my opinion. He's a pretty good player with a good first past. The problem is they really need a better 2nd paid LHD and I don't really see that on the market. I re-sign everyone to the best possible deals and go for it next year knowing what a mess its going to be after that. I don't see any way Ekholm doesn't end up in Seattle, but if he doesn't, he is someone to target. 31, pending UFA - perfect for loading up for a run and would make that second pair extremely good and no long term commitment going into the 2022 UFA period where we find out if the bruins are going to be ok or suck for 5 + years .

Gryz - McAvoy
Ekholm - Carlo
Reilly - ???/

I guess they need another RHD too. I'm all set with the Lauzon, Clifton, Zboril group. They are fine for depth but if you're going for it you need better D.
 

NYCSox

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The Bruins don't need a top 4D, they need a top 2 D to pair with McAvoy. Grzelcyk just isn't good enough for top pairing minutes, and lol at anyone (not necessarily here) suggesting he was replacing Krug's production this year. He tops out maybe as Carlo's partner on the 2nd pair imo.

He had more assists to the Islanders in Game 6 than he had points for the Bruins in the whole series.
Yeah he is what he is. Neither Z nor Krug were up to it so no hand-wringing about losing them either.

Honestly they need two LD to bump Gryz since he is best suited on the third pair but can be stretched out to second pair in the absence of that.
 

RIFan

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I'd start by seeing if I can move Coyle and Debrusk. I don't think you can get full value, but there is too much salary tied up in guys you can't rely on every night. I hate the old way of thinking that you have to add "grit", but we've seen over the last few years that the Bruins are built to be a regular season juggernaut with the forward group, but are lacking the right personality for the playoffs. They need to dig around and find the Chris Kelley 2 way types that give some leadership to the bottom 6. I give Lauko a long look in camp. He's probably not ready, but I think he can help them by the end of the year. I'm worried Studnicka is a 4A player. Hopefully he builds some strength and grabs a spot. Frederick should be a regular on the grinding line. I'd quickly figure out if Krejci and Hall really want to come back and if they are willing to step back on salary to help build out the rest of the team. You try to hold the combined hit to around $12M. That is definitely a hometown discount, but I think there is a good chance they want to stay enough to offer up the discount. If they don't you feel out Nugent-Hopkins and see if what it would take. It's a long shot because someone will probably offer him $10M+, which is a cap killer with the holes the B's got to fill. I don't think I QO Kase. They obviously have his medicals and can make a more informed decision, but there seems to be too much risk to tie up a spot and dollars with him.

I may also be out on an island here, but I have some discussions with Seattle about Gryz. Make him available if Seattle can pickup some players in the draft the the Bruins would like in return. I certainly don't hesitate to move him if they get a good offer. Replace him with some more size and durability. I target Oleksiak on D. They desperately need some presence in front of the net. Alec Martinez is an option if he'll sign for short term. Reilly will come down to cost. He hasn't hit on a big contract yet and this will be his chance. Someone may throw $4-$5M/year at him for 3 or 4 years. If they get Reilly on a good contract they will probably go with a combo of Gryz, Lauzon, Zboril and Reilly on the left and focus on RD to add some size for the 3rd pairing. I like what Reilly brought to the team, but I think in the end he's gone and we hope for Lauzon and Zboril to be better with the experience they got this year. Adam Larsson has been durable even if an underachiever. He'll probably be too expensive for a 3rd pair RD. Luke Schenn or Erik Gudbranson would probably be a better fit with some veteran presence to go with Lauzon or Zboril. I've been a Kevan Miller fan since his P-Bruins days, but I only consider resigning him for the minimum to be a 7th or 8th D. They can't put themselves in position to count on him to play a role when his availability is always going to be questionable.

I sit down with Rask and figure out what he wants and find a way to make it work out. If he is serious about only wanting to play in Boston and wants to be on a winning team, I try to get him to sign for $5.5 X 2 to free up some money. I'm nowhere near ready to hand over the net to Swayman and Vladar with the minimal number of games played under their belt.
 

NickEsasky

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The problem is if you move Coyle there is even less depth at C. You can see if Krejci comes back on a short deal for decent money, but trading Coyle just opens another hole in the middle.
 

Haunted

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I'm not ready to give up on Coyle, and as has been said they're already light on C depth.

I think the #2 defenseman need is glaring, as is a #3/4. Gryz has been a mess in the #2 role and with Carlo's bad luck injury history I feel like you need a really solid second defensive pair (not just "Carlo plus Gryz", in other words) to account for the inevitable Carlo injury. This pushes Gryz back to the third pair where he really belongs, and I think a rotation of Lauzon/Clifton/Zboril makes sense for the last spot. I'd take Reilly back only if he was open to a short term (please don't repeat the Moore fiasco).

I know that's a lot to ask for, but to me that's the difference between a 1st/2nd round team and a Cup contender.


edit: I'll add that I have zero faith in Miller and don't think we should be making plans that include him. He's made of of porcelain.
 

durandal1707

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My wish-list for this team:

1. A true first-pairing, "complete package" LD to go with McAvoy. Agreeing pretty much with everyone above, the Bruins have a lot of decent second-pairing or good third-pairing type defensemen. I like Grz a lot but he is not cut out to be a 1B defenseman. They need someone like McAvoy that can defend and move the puck well, and who has good offensive instincts (still a WIP for McAvoy).
2. A Lucic-type power forward that can camp out in front of the opposing goaltender, win rebounds, and deposit the puck in the back of the net. This is where I agree with folks asking for "grit" - it's way too easy to box this team out of the dangerous areas of the ice, and having a big forward who can skate well enough to punish people on the forecheck is another need. Ritchie, despite looking the part, sure as hell ain't it.
3. A 2nd line or better center of the future. I admire everything Krejci has done for the team, but he's no longer this and is far too old to be getting any kind of lengthy contract at this point. It would be risky to hold out for Barkov, but he's exactly the type of player this team should be going for.

Adding any one of those three would be a great step forward for this team as is, and two or more could get them back to being legit Cup contenders. As it's extremely unlikely that any of these will emerge from their prospect pool, they'll need some big FA signings or deft trades to make this happen. The first step IMO is to clean house of the middle-to-bottom parts of the roster and start amassing cap space and picks to work with.
 

mcpickl

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Still got John Moore under contract for two more years.

That's pretty sweet.
 

cshea

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I haven't really scoured the league for trade targets. Best chance is finding a team getting pinched by the expansion draft. Not sure who that is. The only real rumors at this point is the Eichel stuff.

The real problem with trades is the Bruins don't have anything of value to offer. The farm system is bottom 5 in the NHL and most of the prospects that are regarded as our top prospects regressed/took a step back this year. Studnicka was given a chance but couldn't stick and wasn't great in Providence. Zboril fell down the depth chart and was a health scratch post deadline. Vaakanainen never made it up the depth chart and the team preferred emergency, scrap-heap waiver claim Jarred Tinordi to him. That doesn't bode well. John Beecher didn't produce much, got Covid prior to the WJC, returned to Michigan and blew out his shoulder and wrapped up his year by undergoing surgery. Lauko and Ahcan had a decent year but won't crack a top 100 prospect list. The best performers were Lohrei , Schmaltz and the goalies. In Lohrei and Schmaltz's case they had nice years but I don't think we'll get a true idea of their development until they play in the NCAA next season. Swayman and Vladar were probably the best performing prospects we have but goalies don't really hold a ton of value. Plus we have a 35 and 34 year old UFA's as the veteran options so moving a young goalie could have a serious long term impact. On the draft pick side, we've already spent our 2nd this year and 3rd in 2022 and our picks will be in the mid 20's again.

On the roster, aside from McAvoy and Pasta, I'm not sure who on the team holds real value. Marchand and Bergeron have NMC's. Coyle has an 8-teamer but is coming off a shitty year and has an onerous contract so his value is sunk. Smith's a good player on a reasonable contract but you're not getting much for a 32 year-old winger. DeBrusk makes $3.675 million for 2 more years and will be arb eligible at the end. His production has plummeted over the last year and a half. Teams will take him, but at a discount. I don't see the Bruins coming out ahead on a DeBrusk trade. Grzelyck likely has good value but if you trade Grz your left D becomes Lauzon, Zboril, Vaakanainen, Moore. Yikes. It's hard to see them wheeling Grz and improving. Carlo's has limited upside, is getting more expensive and has injury red flags.

It's just hard to see them make some sort of an impact trade with the assets they have. If they shopped a 1st and Studnicka around today, what could they actually get in return? A 2nd pair D? Top-6 winger?

I think i'd bring Krejci, Hall and Rask back on short term deals no longer than 3-years, preferably a 1-year deal with Krejci and Rask. They should be able to sign them and have some cap space left over. See where you are at the deadline next year. Hopefully a few guys rebound at both the NHL level (DeBrusk, Kase not dying) and prospects (Studnicka, Vaakanainen). At the deadline next year shove it all in. All the picks, all the prospects for the players that put them over the top. Hopefully some of these guys re-establish some of their value and the Bruins can get something good. Spend it all now. The coming rebuild when the Bergeron window closes is going to be a painful one anyways. It may have already closed but I'd roll the dice on 1 more year.
 

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I know it's a pipe dream. But fuck it, I need something to take my mind off the Bruins choking in game 6.

Imagine the Bruins with Eichel? It's not impossible. Just improbable.

If they don't bring back Krejci. If they don't bring back Ritchie. If Tuukka retires. They have the cap space. This is where Don Sweeney has actually excelled. Reasonable contracts for Pasta, and Marchand, and Bergeron have given the Bruins a pretty favorable cap situation.

Also, I don't think the package for Eichel is going to be insane. 1.) He's injured. 2.) Everyone knows he wants out.

Pasta / Bergeron / Marchand
Hall / Eichel / Smith
Frederick / Coyle / Kase
Kuhlman / Wagner / ???

I'm assuming DeBrusk gets dealt. Maybe in the Eichel deal. Maybe for a 4th line RWer who can bring something a little different. But I imagine Buffalo is going to want both NHL ready now players, and futures. So sending DeBrusk, maybe Studnicka or Steen or Beecher or Lohrei, maybe Vaak, and a couple of 1sts or a 1st and 2nd.

Again, it's a pipe dream. But damn if that team doesn't immediately become a Cup favorite over night.
 

cshea

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I'd love him, but as you note, it's it's a pipe dream.

Even if we use the Seguin trade as a template, the Bruins don't currently have a Loui Eriksson or Reilly Smith to offer. We do have a bunch of Matt Fraser and Joe Morrow's though.
 

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Between here and everywhere.
I'd love him, but as you note, it's it's a pipe dream.

Even if we use the Seguin trade as a template, the Bruins don't currently have a Loui Eriksson or Reilly Smith to offer. We do have a bunch of Matt Fraser and Joe Morrow's though.
Would they accept a Craig Smith? Same same. But different.