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Draft Musings…

…NBA AND NHL!  Nice…although is there really a ton of interest in the NHL draft?  I don’t know…

But since the NBA draft is like an hour away, let’s start there.

The Boston Celtics have the 27th pick.  Quite a change from previous years where they had the #3, #3 and #6 picks in three of the last four years.  #16 in the other still is better than #27.  The players?  Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier, respectively, in the order of the above list.  Not a bad haul.

#27 doesn’t really excite me…or anyone else really.  But hey, Kyle Kuzma went #27 last year.  So maybe there is hope.

In any event, what do I expect “Trader Danny” Ainge to do?

Actually, nothing.

I know, there have been a gazillion rumors out there the past couple of weeks.  Ranging from Danny moving up in the draft by “only” giving up Rozier, Marcus Morris and all 4 (potential) first round picks in 2019.  To involving Jaylen Brown in a trade to move up.  To moving Brown as part of a package to San Antonio for Kawhi Leonard.  To trading Kyrie Irving to just about anywhere because of questions of Kyrie’s commitment to re-signing in Boston after next season.  And many more.

So I expect the C’s to stand pat at #27, or even possibly trade down and get more picks.  Gotta love second rounders!!

BUT…what do I WANT them to do?  Not exactly sure.  We here at the Blowhard love a good “splash”.  But I don’t want that “splash” to involve Tatum, Brown or Gordon Hayward.  Although, despite Danny’s reputation on trading anyone if the deal is right, I wouldn’t expect him to do so with Hayward regardless.  Gordo signed here the last offseason as a free agent, more than likely in large part due to his college coach, Brad Stevens, being in charge here.  Then he plays 5 minutes the whole year while suffering a major injury and then Ainge deals him?  I doubt it.  Then again, Danny traded Isaiah Thomas with his bum hip, after IT helped breathe some life back into basketball in the city and had a LARGE fan base.  Though…different circumstances, I will allow.

I would be ecstatic if someone overpaid for Rozier.  I like the guy, but we’ve been through this before.  I look at Terry as no more than a third guard.  He probably looks at himself as a max contract player.  This will eventually be a problem.  Not to mention that if Kyrie does indeed play for the C’s next season and then Smart also comes back, how many minutes is Rozier going to get?  That could be a problem as well.  Trade him while the value is high…and maybe highest it will ever be.  Here, for sure anyway.

I wouldn’t mind trading Morris either.  Not sure you will get much for him.  And although he will be cheap next year at 5.375 mil, what happens when he doesn’t get his minutes next season as well?  This guy is liable to go off the deep end.  Never know with him.

Now, I am not packaging Morris and Rozier to move up from #27 to say, #15.  But I am sure Ainge has investigated some options.

And I don’t necessarily want to trade them regardless either.  Especially since Rozier is cheap too, at a shade over 3 mil for next season.  But I am investigating realistic options for trades.  And also considering that these two players are going into the last season of their respective contracts.  And if everyone comes back, their minutes (and therefore, their value) will markedly decrease.  And you ain’t re-signing either after next year to a fat contract that they will likely demand…unless some things change (ie:  Kyrie actually does leave).

That being said, I am not opposed to bringing the whole gang back next season.  With everyone healthy, can they compete for a title?  I think so, while also adding a few minor bench tweaks.

The problem is, I strongly believe there is another shoe to drop with Ainge.  I really do think he has one more big move up his sleeve.  It may not be tonight.  But I believe it is coming.

Kyrie?  Sure, if he says he is taking off somewhere after this season.  Absolutely in that case.  We all understand why he isn’t re-upping this offseason.  But he is noncommittal on his future.  Now, that could be because he has a few screws loose (the Earth is flat?).  No one knows what he is saying privately.  Hopefully, Danny does know.

Kawhi?  I don’t know.  He has the one year left on his contract too.  How last year went down with him individually seems a little mysterious.  I doubt he would re-sign here, but I guess I don’t know.  Worth the risk?  Not sure for me.

As usual, I think Danny’s big move will come out of nowhere.  Guess we just have to wait.

So please stay tuned…

As for the Boston Bruins, not sure the draft is anything exciting to talk about.  I mean, they don’t have a first-round pick.  And who knows anything about hockey first rounders anyway?

It’s not like the B’s have the #13, #14 & #15 picks like they had in the 2015 NHL draft.  Where they took D Jakub Zboril, LW Jake DeBrusk and RW Zachary Senyshyn.  Although DeBrusk may become a stud, that haul may end up being somewhat underwhelming.  Ok, the other two are still developing.  But let’s consider they are 2 of only 3 first rounders from that year that have yet to log a single minute of NHL action.  Let’s also consider that the dude that went #16, Mathew Barzal, just won the Calder Trophy last night as NHL Rookie of the Year.  Sigh…

In any event, rumors are that Don Sweeney wants to perhaps trade back up into the first round.  I don’t know.  They have enough kids in the pipeline, do they need to give up assets to get another?  Maybe if that prospect is in the top-5 and is a potential first pairing defenseman.  But otherwise, I am not sure it’s worth it.  And I don’t even think that the above scenario is realistic anyway.  Allegedly, the B’s had tried to trade those aforementioned 2015 picks into the top-5 that year and nab defenseman Noah Hanifan.  That clearly didn’t work.

What can Donnie Hockey do?  He can certainly trade some veteran assets, as discussed in the last Blowhard piece.  But good luck with that.  They all have some sort of no movement clauses it appears.

Heard a great rumor today.  Unload David Krejci and David Backes.  Then sign John Tavares to a mega deal.  And either Ilya Kovalchuk or Rick Nash to a shorter, but likely still lucrative, deal.

Pipe dream?  I think so.  Who is going to take Backes’ and Krejci’s salaries?  And they have no-movements.  They can be convinced to waive those?  Maybe there are certain teams they can be moved to, I honestly don’t know the details.  But getting rid of those two contracts would seem to be far-fetched.

Another popular one is now moving Torey Krug because the team just re-signed Matt Grzelcyk to a new deal and the two of them have similar skill sets.  Let’s not forget Krug has a full no-trade clause.  So how is that all going to work?

Sweeney should do something…even involving the draft.  But I simply do not see how he can pull it off.  We’ve been through all this in detail before too.

I’d be shocked to see anything come of certainly draft night for the B’s.  And even through free agency, other than losing some pieces and signing some small pieces to replace those players.

But then again, I don’t work in the front office for the B’s…there’s probably a good reason for that, I guess…

We were not all wrong…

…about the Boston Bruins lack of activity at the trade deadline.  Referencing the title of a post here from roughly a month ago of course, where right after the deadline the Bruins had won 2 of 3.  Had some people, including myself, questioning whether we were mistaken in our belief that the team should have made more moves for the future.  Instead of them making a couple of moves for THIS year.

Well, it made me question things for like a millisecond.  I still had believed that the B’s were better off not trying to add to make a run this year, but to keep building up for next year and beyond.  Absolutely trading Loui Eriksson was the no-brainer move.  For me and…most others probably.

Turns out my initial thoughts are probably correct.  Ssssooo…a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while, I know what you are thinking.  Regardless, the team is 5-8 since that particular “2 of 3”.  The “2 of 3” ended up being actually a pretty impressive “4 of 5”.  But then that makes the 3-8 record since then even worse.  Nice way to limp into the playoffs.  Oh wait…

Playoffs?  Ummmmmm…we will see about that.  3 games left…Carolina, Detroit & Ottawa…all at home.  Home is good, right?  Yup, normally something to be viewed as a positive.  But the home record stands at 16-17-5.  So maybe it’s not a positive?

Carolina and Ottawa have been eliminated.  Good too, right?  But the Bruins just lost to a team that was eliminated also in New Jersey.  Then they beat a very good St. Louis team on the road, by scoring 6 goals.  St. Louis had given up 1 goal TOTAL in their previous 5 games.  So go figure…no one knows what the hell they are going to get from this team on a nightly basis.

Today against Chicago was positively disgusting.  No other way to describe it.  I’m sure the Bruins apologists will come out and say, “well, they fought back and made it close at 6-4 after they got down 6-0!!  Love the fight in this team!!”

Nonsense.  Garbage.  Ridiculous.  Use any of those terms.  And then some others.

I admit, I had an engagement today which did not permit me to watch the game live.  Even if I had recorded it, I’d have been hard pressed to watch it later in the day after hearing the summary.  That all being said, I have to imagine part of the “fight” back was due to Chicago relaxing…with that 6 goal lead and all.  Especially with the two Bruin goals at the very end of the 2nd period.  Seemed to me the Blackhawks let their guard down a little there.  Who wouldn’t?

Maybe the “fight” was because the team didn’t want to lose 10-0?  Maybe it was legit.  Any way you slice it, do you really have any idea which team is going to show up Tuesday night against Carolina?  I don’t.  The coaches and team probably don’t either.

This then also poses the question on what Bruins team do people expect to show up for the playoffs…if they make it?  Who the F knows?  The real answer is that whatever team does show up, it won’t be a Stanley Cup-winning team.  Not even close.  Based on the uneven performance throughout the year, management/ownership/coaches/everyone should have seen this.

Therefore, the lack of activity at the deadline remains a mistake.  Simple as that.

Playoffs or no playoffs, this will be a big offseason for the Boston Bruins.  I suppose especially so if they miss the playoffs for the 2nd consecutive year.  We;ve been through that all.  Will be through it again some more in the coming weeks.  In summary, Cam Neely has to be on the hot seat.  Claude Julien may be gone either way, barring another lengthy run in the playoffs.  And of course, there needs to be some significant player movement, specifically on the blue line.

General Manager Don Sweeney had his ups and downs in Year One.  He made some decent moves last summer (ie:  getting a decent haul for one year of Milan Lucic).  And some head scratchers (Dougie Hamilton for 3 draft picks).  He overpaid on the deals at this trade deadline.  But then he recently signed a few highly touted college kids.

I suppose the jury is still out on Donnie Hockey.  I thought they should have gone out of the organization for the GM job last summer, instead of just hiring Neely’s buddy already sitting down the hall.  But I’ll give him some more time.  One year is never enough to judge.

However, and this is painful, I will admit that I am hoping the Bruins do not make the playoffs.  I just don’t think this team is lasting more than a round.  I suppose with their “up and down” nature, anything is possible.  But I have to believe a second year in a row without the Jacobs’ getting any playoff gates will spur major changes in the offseason.  Since that is what they need still, I have to kind of root against them.

Again, painful.  And quite possibly blasphemous.  The Stanley Cup playoffs are outstanding overall.  Even better when the home team is in the mix.  Just think it’s better for the organization, specifically in order to bring them back to consistently challenging for the Cup.  Instead of hoping for a deep run with an average roster.  Hoping that a goalie gets hot and they can ride him  Hoping for a miracle.  Etc.

Now watch.  The B’s go 3-0 this week and sneak into the playoffs.  Then go all the way to the Finals.  Then Chris Kelly miraculously comes back and pots the game-winner in Game 7 of the Finals.

Then can I say I fueled the run with negative press?  Yeah, didn’t think so…




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