The Search for a number 1 center

cshea

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Zegras is scary. A lot of flashing red lights on the dashboard. Sometimes hard to parse out how much is the player and how much is the situation but I'd steer well clear of him.

I don't really think the Bruins can be in the trade market for a high-end center. They don't have the assets.
 

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SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
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It's not as simple as just giving the player more power play time to boost his points back up. There's a reason Carolina decereased his ice time. He's bad defensively and his 5x5 results were not good. The Bruins are working with limited trade assets and would have to trade something to get him then give him a contract. That's too steep for me. I'm not a big Elias Lindholm fan but he would just cost money.
They decreased his ice time because they also have Sebastian Aho, and Seth Jarvis. The Canes literally had 3 C's who would have been the best C on the Bruins roster.

And yes, the Bruins would have to trade something to get him. Something Carolina needs. Something the Bruins also have in surplus. A goalie.

And yes, he needs a contract. The Bruins have cap space. As an RFA - he'd likely command less than someone you're advocating signing as a free agent in Lindholm. The same Lindholm who is 4 years older, and put up a whopping 15 goals this season. He's a much higher risk, at likely a higher contract, than Necas.

Literally this is what you trade Ullmark for. A young, proven player who still has upside with the right linemates.
 

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SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
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Also - where are you getting he's bad defensively?

Last season -

Lindholm - Corsi per 60 minutes at 5on5 = -0.2
Necas - Corsi per 60 minutes at 5on5 = 20.4
 

cshea

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I'm not advocating for signing Lindholm. I'd pass on both him and Necas. If I had to pick one or the other I'd go Lindholm since he just costs a contract.

Personally, I wouldn't force the issue at C. I don't really think Necas is a great player or fit and won't be worth the contract or trade assets. The Bruins have Coyle, Frederic, Geekie Zacha, Poitras, Boqvist and Beecher available at the position. Maybe Merkulov. I don't think the need is dire. They could use an upgrade, obviously, but I don't think they need to overspend to make it happen. I'd rather beef it up on the wings.
 

Jake Peavy's Demons

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Don't know much about the NHL cap, but honest question, how feasible is both Elias Lindholm and Martin Nečas?

According to CapFriendly, Nečas is a RFA, so I assume discussion for acquiring him is his rights for Ullmark.

Say he signs a 6-year/$42MM deal ($7MM AAV). Lindholm a 8-year/$72MM ($9MM AAV).

Also according to CapFriendly, we have $20.9MM available, and the embedded Tweet above in this thread says $22.5MM.

Could you do something like:

Marchand-Lindholm-Frederic
Zacha-Nečas-Pastrňák
Geekie-Poitras-Coyle
Heinen/Lauko-Beecher-Brazeau

There's some versatility there, as Lindholm, Nečas, Zacha, Poitras, Coyle, & Geekie could all centre lines.

If we really wanted JvR back, I'm sure he might take the same deal as last year? 1-year/$1MM. He can be depth. OTOH, Heinen probably receives a raise. Then you still have kids in Merkulov & Lysell. Maybe even Brett Harrison later in 2024 or 2025???

Nečas & Lindholm could help inject some much needed offence into the team.

With the surprise emergence of Wotherspoon & Lohrei looking good in the playoffs, those are some cheaper contracts that could help 'swallow' the new larger contracts. DeBrusk is a casualty, but we get stronger in skill up the middle.

Your main D-corp can still be:
McAvoy
H. Lindholm
Carlo
Lohrei
Wotherspoon
Peeke

I lurk heavily in RMPS (and really everywhere), and you guys are a lot more knowledgeable than me with this, so I'll hang up and listen.
 

TheRealness

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I would bet they still make a run at Lindholm. He has been better in the playoffs for Vancouver, and fits the mold of a two-way play driver (at least in their minds). He seems the most likely out of all the RFA/UFA class to come here, as he was connected multiple times to Boston (including him being shipped here after his initial trade to Vancouver). Smoke and fire and all that.

Necas would be fun. Pair him with Zacha and Pasta and go full Czech on that line. Zacha can also cover him on Faceoffs as well, something Necas is not very good at. However, Carolina may want futures, and I feel the Bruins are very much trying to not trade futures right now. Ullmark for Necas seems nice in theory, but I would imagine the Bruins have to supplement that and Sweeney seems resistant to that right now.
 

The Napkin

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if we want to get whacky (and why wouldn't we?) you could always 3 way it to get some futures to Carolina, Necas to Boston, and Ullmark to ???
 

Murby

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Zegras is scary. A lot of flashing red lights on the dashboard. Sometimes hard to parse out how much is the player and how much is the situation but I'd steer well clear of him.

I don't really think the Bruins can be in the trade market for a high-end center. They don't have the assets.
Totally fair. Was just trying to pick someone could buy low on & he’s the best of the lot I could come up with. His compete isn’t the issue like with PLD.

I agree you shouldn’t force the C issue cuz then you end up overpaying.
 

sezwho

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If Ullmark stays he may be on the short end of a 60/40 rotation in a walk year so I can see him being very open at this point to going somewhere like Carolina where he can step in as the lead guy.
Short end during the regular season and nothing but splinters in the playoffs.
 

j44thor

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if we want to get whacky (and why wouldn't we?) you could always 3 way it to get some futures to Carolina, Necas to Boston, and Ullmark to ???
CAR has never valued the G position but after this last playoffs one has to wonder if they change their approach.
 

cshea

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CAR has never valued the G position but after this last playoffs one has to wonder if they change their approach.
They also have Andersen ($3.4 million for 1 year. NTC) and Kochetkov ($2 million for 3 years) signed, in addition to waiver claim Spencer Martin. They would have to move out a goalie or two to fit Ullmark in, or be willing to carry 3. It might be a minor note but at last check, Carolina doesn't have an AHL team so waive-and-stash is a bit more complicated for them.
 

Salem's Lot

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They also have Andersen ($3.4 million for 1 year. NTC) and Kochetkov ($2 million for 3 years) signed, in addition to waiver claim Spencer Martin. They would have to move out a goalie or two to fit Ullmark in, or be willing to carry 3. It might be a minor note but at last check, Carolina doesn't have an AHL team so waive-and-stash is a bit more complicated for them.
They actually just came an agreement on a 3 year affiliation deal with the Chicago Wolves on May 2nd, but your overall point stands. Carolina would have to move a goalie out to fit Ullmark.
 

cshea

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Some cross-posting from the season thread, but notes on the offseason from the FO:
  • Want to add more secondary scoring
  • Cam wants more speed and winning 50/50 battles
  • Sweeney said they were aggressive in trying to sign DeBrusk to an extension during the year. Still possible but "negotiations are a two-way street" (didn't hear his actual response but the tweets seem ominous)
  • Sounds like they want to bring Maroon back but "health" will be a factor
 

katnado

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Some cross-posting from the season thread, but notes on the offseason from the FO:
  • Want to add more secondary scoring
  • Cam wants more speed and winning 50/50 battles
  • Sweeney said they were aggressive in trying to sign DeBrusk to an extension during the year. Still possible but "negotiations are a two-way street" (didn't hear his actual response but the tweets seem ominous)
  • Sounds like they want to bring Maroon back but "health" will be a factor
Bullet point 4 doesn't match bullet point 2, which doesn't surprise me with the Bruins. Haha
 

Myt1

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Some cross-posting from the season thread, but notes on the offseason from the FO:
  • Want to add more secondary scoring
  • Cam wants more speed and winning 50/50 battles
  • Sweeney said they were aggressive in trying to sign DeBrusk to an extension during the year. Still possible but "negotiations are a two-way street" (didn't hear his actual response but the tweets seem ominous)
  • Sounds like they want to bring Maroon back but "health" will be a factor
Cam seemed really not all that happy about the 50-50 issue. “You gotta want it more than the other team,” is one of those overly-simplistic formulations that serves as a really serious criticism, IMHO. It’s not accidental.
 

cshea

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Cam seemed really not all that happy about the 50-50 issue. “You gotta want it more than the other team,” is one of those overly-simplistic formulations that serves as a really serious criticism, IMHO. It’s not accidental.
Agreed. I feel like Cam says he wants them to get faster every year. The battles one is pointed criticism.

It probably also explains the Maroon answer. I get that Maroon is slow, and it's a legitimate concern, but he is a moose in the corners and along the boards.
 

Haunted

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Maroon is incredibly slow but he was also just coming off back surgery, which doesn't tend to speed people up. "Peak Performance" Pat Maroon is still slow, but I'm pretty sure he has more speed in him once fully recovered.
 

cshea

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To pour some gas on the hot stove, Friedman says he believes the Bruins and Hurricanes talked Ullmark at the deadline. Doens't know if Necas was involved, but FWIW.
 

Murby

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To pour some gas on the hot stove, Friedman says he believes the Bruins and Hurricanes talked Ullmark at the deadline. Doens't know if Necas was involved, but FWIW.
Especially now that there is a new GM:


BREAKING NEWS:
Don Waddell has officially stepped down as #CauseChoas general manager. Eric Tulsky will replace him on an interim basis, while a search for a full-time replacement is conducted.

https://x.com/siriusxmnhl/status/1794036996186439708?s=12
 

burstnbloom

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I'm not advocating for signing Lindholm. I'd pass on both him and Necas. If I had to pick one or the other I'd go Lindholm since he just costs a contract.

Personally, I wouldn't force the issue at C. I don't really think Necas is a great player or fit and won't be worth the contract or trade assets. The Bruins have Coyle, Frederic, Geekie Zacha, Poitras, Boqvist and Beecher available at the position. Maybe Merkulov. I don't think the need is dire. They could use an upgrade, obviously, but I don't think they need to overspend to make it happen. I'd rather beef it up on the wings.
I agree. The chances of "solving" the #1 C problem with cap space or trades is almost zero. The vast majority of those players in the league are top 10 picks, and most of the rest are later guys who hit at an unexpected level (Sebastian Aho, Roope Hintz etc). Jack Eichel and John Tavares are the only "real" number 1 centers who have changed hands in the last 6 or 7 years. I think spending money on Lindholm might make them a little better but we are talking about a guy who had 6G and 6 primary assists in 1000 5v5 minutes this year. He paired those putrid numbers with a 44.6% xG.

Necas could be a center but Carolina has been desperate for a second line center for years and just never played him there. It looks like much of the difference in his point production between this year and last is ineffectiveness on the power play. He played less there, but I think it's more because he was ineffective when he was out there. He scored goals at a decent rate on the PP but he didn't facilitate much. His total assists/60 among players with 150 power play minutes was 146th in the league. Lindholm, Ironically was 153rd. I wouldn't hate adding him at RW, especially if they aren't signing Jake. They need more scoring punch in the top 6 and I think he's probably fine. I wouldn't expect him to be a super effective center at this point.

I think they already have a couple of "ok" top 6 centers but really need more elite players overall, and there are potentially more opportunities to add there in UFA, and wings are easier to find in general.
 

RedOctober3829

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I agree. The chances of "solving" the #1 C problem with cap space or trades is almost zero. The vast majority of those players in the league are top 10 picks, and most of the rest are later guys who hit at an unexpected level (Sebastian Aho, Roope Hintz etc). Jack Eichel and John Tavares are the only "real" number 1 centers who have changed hands in the last 6 or 7 years. I think spending money on Lindholm might make them a little better but we are talking about a guy who had 6G and 6 primary assists in 1000 5v5 minutes this year. He paired those putrid numbers with a 44.6% xG.

Necas could be a center but Carolina has been desperate for a second line center for years and just never played him there. It looks like much of the difference in his point production between this year and last is ineffectiveness on the power play. He played less there, but I think it's more because he was ineffective when he was out there. He scored goals at a decent rate on the PP but he didn't facilitate much. His total assists/60 among players with 150 power play minutes was 146th in the league. Lindholm, Ironically was 153rd. I wouldn't hate adding him at RW, especially if they aren't signing Jake. They need more scoring punch in the top 6 and I think he's probably fine. I wouldn't expect him to be a super effective center at this point.

I think they already have a couple of "ok" top 6 centers but really need more elite players overall, and there are potentially more opportunities to add there in UFA, and wings are easier to find in general.
Would I like a “number 1” center? Sure. But give me more goal scoring no matter what position. If it means upgrading on the wings before C, do it.
 

cshea

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Aggregating some of the Ullmark rumors out there:
  • Servalli's trade board lists Ullmark at #2. He's the first to report officially that the Bruins and Kings agreed to terms on a deal at the deadline that Ullmark nixed.
  • Friedman reported in his podcast that the Bruins and Hurricans talked Ullmark at the trade deadline.
  • Ty Anderson links to a Bruce Garrioch report out of Ottawa that states the Sens might be in the mix. That report quotes a league exec saying the Bruins ask from Ottawa would be Chychrun, 1st and another pick which seems preposterous.
I'm not sure when Ullmark's no-trade resets, typically it's 7/1, but it is probably safe to assume the Kings will remain on it since he only drops 1 team. Also, it seems like this one will happen at or around the draft prior to the new list being submitted anyway. Maybe he is more open to LA over the summer, they are probably best set up to acquire a goalie. They only have David Rittich under contract for next year.

Carolina is interesting. Back at the deadline Andersen was out and they didn't have a timeframe for him to return. Andersen did eventually return and was so/so. Under contract for next year. They also have Kochetkov under contract so some moving parts on their end. They have pick #27 in the first round if the Bruins are looking at getting draft capital back, however Carolina has historically been reluctant to deal first round picks. The last one they traded for a player was in 2020 for Brady Skjei.

Ottawa has Korpisalo under contract long term and Anton Forsberg under contract for next year. So kinda similar to Carolina. They do have an extra pick in the first round this year, #25 which is actually the Bruins original pick (Traded to DET for Bertuzzi then DET traded to OTT for DeBrincat).
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Ottawa had dreadful goaltending last year and would be most in need of a true franchise goalie, but they're far enough away from being truly competitive that I doubt they make a big deal for Ullmark.

Carolina is more interesting. They are closer than Ottawa, in fact they were pretty good except that Andersen was very, very meh. With a good goalie they might fully expect to make a deep playoff run, meaning they may well be more apt to swing a trade for Linus.
 

Ferm Sheller

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I wonder whether teams might be hesitant to trade for Ullmark (or at least pay too much for him) given that the Bs have one of the best goaltending coaches in the world. That is, how much does Ullmark owe his stellar play to Bob Essensa?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I wonder whether teams might be hesitant to trade for Ullmark (or at least pay too much for him) given that the Bs have one of the best goaltending coaches in the world. That is, how much does Ullmark owe his stellar play to Bob Essensa?
.905, .915, .917, .917, .938, .915

Those are Ullmark's save% since becoming a full time NHL player. He came to the Bruins after the first .917 year.

He's always been good. He's not truly .938 good, but he was very, very good in Buffalo despite having a dogshit team in front of him. He's had one standout year well above the rest but even at a .917 level he's a very good keeper regardless of the Goalie Bob effect.
 

BaseballJones

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Who does Boston have as their #2 goaltender should they successfully trade Ullmark? Swayman has become a beast in net, which is awesome, but in the grind of a full season, they need to have at least a competent backup.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Who does Boston have as their #2 goaltender should they successfully trade Ullmark? Swayman has become a beast in net, which is awesome, but in the grind of a full season, they need to have at least a competent backup.
Well they have Bussi, although I don't know if he's ready yet. I suppose a trade with either Ottawa or Carolina might bring back a goalie as part of the return.
 

Ferm Sheller

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Who does Boston have as their #2 goaltender should they successfully trade Ullmark? Swayman has become a beast in net, which is awesome, but in the grind of a full season, they need to have at least a competent backup.
Presumably, they'd give the job to Brandon Bussi, who's played well in Providence.
 

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SoSH's Doug Neidermeyer
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Who does Boston have as their #2 goaltender should they successfully trade Ullmark? Swayman has become a beast in net, which is awesome, but in the grind of a full season, they need to have at least a competent backup.
In my ideal world, Anderson (who would be a perfectly fine backup to Swayman) comes back from Carolina, which allows the Bruins to get a little more out of Carolina.
 

cshea

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I think they will sign a cheap veteran JAG, similar to when they signed Keith Kinkaid a few years ago. There will then be a camp competition between Bussi, DiPietro and the veteran. Winner stays, losers to Providence.

Worth noting for Bussi and DiPietro, neither are waivers exempt.
 

cshea

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In my ideal world, Anderson (who would be a perfectly fine backup to Swayman) comes back from Carolina, which allows the Bruins to get a little more out of Carolina.
Andersen has a 15-team no-trade so that could be a problem.

I think a better way to maximize value out of Ullmark is for the Bruins to retain salary. It would increase the return for the Bruins but keeps the roster spot open. Andersen also has an NMC so he can't be bought out or waived.
 

katnado

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Andersen has a 15-team no-trade so that could be a problem.

I think a better way to maximize value out of Ullmark is for the Bruins to retain salary. It would increase the return for the Bruins but keeps the roster spot open. Andersen also has an NMC so he can't be bought out or waived.
Unless I'm misunderstanding what you're saying. Isn't one of the reasons to trade Ully is to clear more cap space to help solve the actual issues with this team up front? Wouldn't it just be better to keep Ully this year then trading him and retaining say 2‐3 million? 5 million for a goalie who's going to play 41 games is still a good deal. I get he walks in the off-season for free because they can't afford to pay him value and Swayman the 7-8 million he might get obviously.

I guess I'm in the keep Ully if there's salary retention and run with the tandem one more year with some hopeful improvements up front. That being said I haven't dug into the FA list for next season yet, aside from Lindholm who I don't think solves the center issue at all
 

cshea

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Unless I'm misunderstanding what you're saying. Isn't one of the reasons to trade Ully is to clear more cap space to help solve the actual issues with this team up front? Wouldn't it just be better to keep Ully this year then trading him and retaining say 2‐3 million? 5 million for a goalie who's going to play 41 games is still a good deal. I get he walks in the off-season for free because they can't afford to pay him value and Swayman the 7-8 million he might get obviously.

I guess I'm in the keep Ully if there's salary retention and run with the tandem one more year with some hopeful improvements up front. That being said I haven't dug into the FA list for next season yet, aside from Lindholm who I don't think solves the center issue at all
They don’t really *need* cap space. They’ve got $21 million. The point of trading Ullmark is more that they have to pay Swayman ~$8 million. It’s kinda hard to have an $8 million goalie in a 50/50 time share, particularly when the other guy makes $5 million. That’s a lot of cap space on the bench every night.

They don’t need to retain on Ullmark but if it bought them another asset, I’d be all ears. They have cap space but are limited in assets. This would be one way to leverage that.
 

katnado

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They don’t really *need* cap space. They’ve got $21 million. The point of trading Ullmark is more that they have to pay Swayman ~$8 million. It’s kinda hard to have an $8 million goalie in a 50/50 time share, particularly when the other guy makes $5 million. That’s a lot of cap space on the bench every night.

They don’t need to retain on Ullmark but if it bought them another asset, I’d be all ears. They have cap space but are limited in assets. This would be one way to leverage that.
Looks like the average cap hit for team goalies is 11.5 million. So Bruins would be on the hook for 13 million. Granted the asset spread is different and there's probably a better use for that 1.5 million. (Also possible I did the math wrong on the average. Wouldn't be the first time) but I guess to me I'd rather start to give Swayman a full workload and move Ully at the deadline if he can handle it but have the fall back if he can't then hope he can and rely on Bussi/DiPietro to back him up.

Mainly because this teams biggest strength is the tandem, and in general Goalies don't get teams much back in trade. BUT you might be able to leverage more at the deadline for a team with an injury or looking for consistent goaltending, and Ully should be more willing to move if his playing time is reduced because Swayman was playing well with a starters workload.
 

bosox33

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The only reason to trade Ully is if you are set on Bussi making the team, or at the very least you are okay with one of DiPietro or Bussi beating the other out for the backup job to start the season. I've seen a few people assuming that if we trade Ully, then the next move is to hand over a 2 or 3 million dollar contract to a veteran to serve as the backup, but personally I just don't see why you'd do that. I like the idea of adding a veteran on a minimum deal to compete with Bussi and DiPietro, with the hope that if he gets beaten out by one of them then you can either trade him or sneak him through waivers. I'd rather keep Ully if the intention is to burn 3/5s of his contract on someone who may or may not even be any good.
Looks like the average cap hit for team goalies is 11.5 million. So Bruins would be on the hook for 13 million. Granted the asset spread is different and there's probably a better use for that 1.5 million. (Also possible I did the math wrong on the average. Wouldn't be the first time) but I guess to me I'd rather start to give Swayman a full workload and move Ully at the deadline if he can handle it but have the fall back if he can't then hope he can and rely on Bussi/DiPietro to back him up.

Mainly because this teams biggest strength is the tandem, and in general Goalies don't get teams much back in trade. BUT you might be able to leverage more at the deadline for a team with an injury or looking for consistent goaltending, and Ully should be more willing to move if his playing time is reduced because Swayman was playing well with a starters workload.
They tried to move Ully at the last deadline and his 16 team no trade made that go by the wayside. He's more willing to move in the off season when it's easier to uproot your family, so for both his best interest and the best return it seems that moving him over the summer is going to be the best option. Preferably they move him after they sign Swayman's extension and before the draft, but ultimately that will depend on Swayman and his camp.
 

katnado

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They tried to move Ully at the last deadline and his 16 team no trade made that go by the wayside. He's more willing to move in the off season when it's easier to uproot your family, so for both his best interest and the best return it seems that moving him over the summer is going to be the best option. Preferably they move him after they sign Swayman's extension and before the draft, but ultimately that will depend on Swayman and his camp.
The assumption is he didn't want to uproot his family. It could have been as simple as he didn't want to play for the Kings or go to the west coast. As we don't know what teams are on his list everyone is guessing why he nixed the trade. I completely agree for him it would be easier to move in the off-season. To me moving him just to move him isn't a great choice. He's 1/2 of the reason the team is competitive. Obviously him and Swayman can't co-exist when Swayman gets his well deserved pay day long term unfortunately. But trading him in the off-season and hoping for a good return (which isn't common in goalie deals) vs moving him at the deadline once you know Swayman can handle the load for say 65-70% of the games seems to be the better call. Plus the team should know by now what he's willing to do and where he'd go. I'd also think if it's to a contender at the deadline with a goalie issue you might squeeze a better return.

But honestly I'm mostly wishcasting because watching this tandem reminds me of the Moog/Lemelin days, and well it's fun. Logical me knows he needs to get dealt to help rebuild the offense. Haha
 

cshea

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Looks like the average cap hit for team goalies is 11.5 million. So Bruins would be on the hook for 13 million. Granted the asset spread is different and there's probably a better use for that 1.5 million. (Also possible I did the math wrong on the average. Wouldn't be the first time) but I guess to me I'd rather start to give Swayman a full workload and move Ully at the deadline if he can handle it but have the fall back if he can't then hope he can and rely on Bussi/DiPietro to back him up.

Mainly because this teams biggest strength is the tandem, and in general Goalies don't get teams much back in trade. BUT you might be able to leverage more at the deadline for a team with an injury or looking for consistent goaltending, and Ully should be more willing to move if his playing time is reduced because Swayman was playing well with a starters workload.
Not sure where you are getting to $11.5 million as the average cap space allocated to goalies. For the 22 teams with multiple goalies signed for 24-25, it is $6.9 million right now. The high is Florida at $14.5 million and there are only 2 other teams above $10 million (Tampa and the Islanders). It'll bump up a little as players get signed but the average isn't going to get to $11 million.

I think they'd actually get more back in a trade now. Goalies don't move at the deadline often.
 

katnado

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Alaska
Not sure where you are getting to $11.5 million as the average cap space allocated to goalies. For the 22 teams with multiple goalies signed for 24-25, it is $6.9 million right now. The high is Florida at $14.5 million and there are only 2 other teams above $10 million (Tampa and the Islanders). It'll bump up a little as players get signed but the average isn't going to get to $11 million.

I think they'd actually get more back in a trade now. Goalies don't move at the deadline often.
I went off last years numbers. I did say it was possible I calculated wrong. Math is definitely not my strong suit. Haha
 

cshea

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 15, 2006
36,857
306, row 14
Didn't run the math for the league but the Bruins $8.475 million allocated to goalies last year was the 7th highest in the league. $11 million wasn't the average.
 

katnado

New Member
Aug 14, 2016
1,800
Alaska
Didn't run the math for the league but the Bruins $8.475 million allocated to goalies last year was the 7th highest in the league. $11 million wasn't the average.
I found my math error, like I said. Not my strong suit. Hahaha I didn't change the drop down from "all signed years" to "single season" I thought I had, evidently not so much. That threw off the numbers and where I got my average. Yep that basically changes everything. I'll shut up and color now. Haha