…for ANY significant move by the Boston Bruins this summer.
Wait, why the hell are we talking about the Bruins in August?
The Red Sox are done…and we’ve covered them more than enough based on that fact alone. The Celtics have done absolutely nothing of note since we last wrote about them about a month ago. We chatted about the Patriots last week, but what more is to say about a team one week into the preseason schedule? Nothing. Well, Danny Etling just got released. Guess he isn’t the next Julian Edelman. Whatever…
And if you want me to comment on Tom Brady’s contract “extension” then you came to the wrong place. Go hit the local radio airwaves if you want non-stop chatter about that. Who cares if he is selling his house? Furthermore, do people realize that going into next season Brady will be 43 YEARS OLD?!
Listen, the guy is a legend and likely the greatest NFL player of all time. But if you are asking me to worry about a 43-year-old QB, you came to the wrong place. I love the guy as much as anyone. But we really don’t know how much he has left. He could plummet as soon as this year. After all, Bill Belichick has seemingly “loaded up” on the running game, defense and has like 10 mediocre (ie: “blocking”) tight ends in camp now. Oh, and not many receivers either. Looks like he may be thinking ahead about Brady regressing, no?
In any event, SHOULDN’T you go “year to year” with a guy like that? Yup. And if he is pissed, well, I am sorry. He could’ve battled the Pats harder over the years to get more money if that is the underlying issue. And maybe he absolutely should have. But since he didn’t, why are we talking about it now?
Some of the greats finished their careers on other teams. Maybe Brady does too. I really don’t think he will be going anywhere. Highly doubt it. But I am not sure the topic is even worth discussing at this point. Let’s see how this season plays out at age 42 and then take it from there.
Ugh…I know, I just got caught up in it…
As for the B’s…well, despite the run to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals last season, as far as I am concerned, there is a great reason to be well, concerned.
I will tell you. Did you think otherwise??!!
Here’s the first reason(s): Maxime Lagace, Brendan Gaunce, Brett Ritchie, Par Lindholm, Pavel Shen…
These guys are the free agents brought in by the team since the start of the signing period.
You may be like, “well, they only lost Noel Acciari (replaceable) and Marcus Johansson (oft-injured and expensive)”, so they are basically bringing the whole team back that came within a game of winning the whole thing!”
And I will retort, “it was a huge f’ng mistake to bring back basically the entire team after actual championships for the 2019 Boston Red Sox and 2012 Boston Bruins, did we forget?? Complacency, fatigue, all that crap??”
But that isn’t even the biggest issue.
The B’s still have 2 kind of huge restricted free agents sitting out there in Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo.
Ok, nevermind. The re-signing of Steven Kampfer and Connor Clifton should offset that.
HAHAHAHAHAHA…just kidding my friends!!
I’m still not even sure why they re-signed Kampfer. To a TWO year deal, to boot. Assuming the two aforementioned d-men come back in the fold, Kampfer will then be at least the eighth defenseman. Well, I guess ninth, now that they re-signed Clifton too? Then they have some kids in Providence that seem to be on the cusp of the NHL, such as Urho Vaakanainen? Maybe Jeremy Lauzon too, but perhaps not Jakub Zboril…
I don’t get it.
Maybe that means they are dangling some of the “top seven”? McAvoy, I would doubt. Carlo too. No one wants John Moore’s contract. Or Kevan Millar’s injury history. Someone would take Zdeno Chara, despite his age, but he is going nowhere. Matty Grzelcyk? Sure. But what happens if Torey Krug leaves after the upcoming season as a free agent? Gryz may be a natural replacement…and far cheaper.
Trade Krug before he walks away for nothing? Something I would strongly consider. But all indications are that the team has no interest in that. And Krug wants to be here. So maybe he signs a “team-friendly” extension at some point.
There are a lot of capable D-men signed. And let’s face it, Carlo and McAvoy will eventually sign as well. Their options seem to be kind of limited. I just read where Chaz can’t even sign an offer sheet with anyone. Had no idea about that. In any event, it’s nice to have depth. But 10-11 deep? I don’t know. And please don’t give me, “well they used 12 defensemen last year…” That has to be an aberration. Plus, Urho and Zboril only played 2 games apiece, so really it was 10.
All that being said, they can keep all these D-men if they want. It won’t hurt them, no question.
In net, expect a regression from Tuukka Rask. Bet on it. But at least he and Jaroslav Halak should form a pretty good one-two punch in goal…at least for the regular season.
Me? This would appear to be a GREAT time to trade Tuuks (would be even better if the Bruins won the Cup, but alas…). But we already know that ain’t happening.
Forwards? Ugh…this is where the issues lie.
As noted above, the B’s signed a bunch of 4th liners/Providence type dudes. Not scintillating to any degree.
Oh, and they made sure they gave Danton Heinen 2.8 per for the next 2 years. Why? You got me. They love the guy though. I guess he plays awesome defense. Because he is less than mediocre on offense. At least last year he was…and he got some run on the Patrice Bergeron/Brad Marchand line. Not good.
So we still have that Bergy/Marchy/David Pastrnak line. All well and good.
But here we go with the second line issues again. David Krejci centering Jake DeBrusk and…who? I guess the leader in the clubhouse would have to be Karson Kuhlman. Kid showed some flashes. But are we ready to anoint him?
I think we can assume Charlie Coyle and Danton Heinen make up 2/3 of the 3rd line. With Sean Kuraly, Chris Wagner and Joakim Nordstrom starting out as the 4th line. In my eyes anyway.
So who gets that last spot on the third line?
Would you believe David Backes and his 6 mil per year are still around? I am absolutely astonished at this fact. He should have been bought out the first day that was possible. At this point, is a buyout still even an option? The front office has led us to believe that he will not be bought out. Why is this?
So Backes HAS to get that spot, no? What, are they going to waive him (of course he will clear) and send him to Providence? Healthy scratch every night? No and no.
This absolutely pains me. I understand that General Manager Don Sweeney probably doesn’t want to eat 3 mil the next two years against the cap (half of Backes’ salary, which is what I think would be the case on the buyout…but maybe I’m wrong). And I get it, as they already have a smidge over 3 mil in dead cap money for the upcoming season tied to former greats Matt Beleskey and Dennis Seidenberg. Actually, Seids was pretty good. I just thought this wording was smooth! And Beleskey did suck badly. Anyway…
Then all these other guys apparently are out of luck. Ritchie, Lindholm, Shen, Anders Bjork, Peter Cehlarik, Trent Frederic, blah, blah, blah…I guess we don’t really care unless Bjork or Cehlarik or a guy like Jake Studnicka (a new “name” that has picked up some steam recently) can, you know, actually play.
I don’t know man…I would have loved to have seen a little turnover in the forward group. A little more turnover overall actually. There is limited cap room to sign McAvoy and Carlo. Not only should Backes be gone, but one would figure there would be other trades to free up room.
But nothing…yet. And I don’t feel like that other proverbial “shoe to drop” is going to happen. I was absolutely convinced it would in June. Doesn’t seem that way now.
It has been eerily quiet over there, however. Does that mean that this could be a calm before the storm? I truly do not think so. But something has to give with those two D-men needing to re-up.
There is still some offseason left. I won’t completely lambaste the front office at this point. But it’s clear I am leaning that way.
Hope I’m wrong. Goes without saying, I guess…
…moving on from the Celtics to the Red Sox, as we still struggle with accepting the Bruins’ Game 7 Stanley Cup Final loss. We will at some point and of course have plenty to say when we get there.
But for now, let’s start a running tally of random Sox thoughts that have been bouncing around the old noggin’ for a few weeks now. Some of them are perhaps outdated. But so be it. Again, in no particular order.
*I’m still OUT. Exactly halfway through the season, the Red Sox lie at 44-37. Third place in the American League East, 8 games behind their archrival, the New York Yankees, but still in the wild card mix.
Sure, a season after winning the World Series should we really complain?
Damn right we should! From a team with the highest payroll and full of All-Stars? Absolutely.
Most of the guys look fairly uninterested. Maybe it’s me. But it sure seems like it. We will talk more about specific players later. But we will also look at the manager. I wouldn’t say Alex Cora is disinterested. But there are more head-scratchers this year than last, I can tell you that much.
In any event, I certainly didn’t get excited about the team recently taking 2 out of 3 from the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins. Because they then lost 2 out of 3 to the rebuilding Toronto Blue Jays. And haven’t exactly put away the very average Chicago White Sox over the last 2 games.
So the question is, when will I buy in? I would guess it won’t be on or about 8/4. The Sox play 14 games in 15 days. ONLY against the Yankees (8) and the Tampa Bay Rays (6). The trading deadline is right in the middle of that, on July 31st.
Ask me where I stand on August 5th.
*Speaking of the Rays, Major League Baseball has given the organization permission to investigate playing some of their home games in future seasons in Tampa and some in…Montreal?
What kind of nonsense is this?
No one goes to games in Tampa…besides opposing teams’ fans, that is. And baseball left Montreal in 2004 because of, well, they couldn’t build a new ballpark in the city, for one. But after revisiting the specifics of that whole fiasco, there were all sorts of other stuff going on…too much to recount here.
But one thing we did not remember was in the last couple of years, the Expos played some games in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
So that worked out well, no?
Seems like the Montreal/Tampa Bay thing should too, right?
*Don’t even get me started on the Sox and Yanks actually traveling to play in London this weekend.
Honestly, what is the point? To satisfy owner John Henry’s Fenway Sports Group? Ugh…
*Crickets on the David Ortiz “investigation” these days, eh?
It sucks that Big Papi got shot, no doubt about it. How can this happen to a legend in his own country? Well, I suppose it can happen anywhere.
It would suck even more if Ortiz was actually involved in some nefarious activities. It doesn’t sound like he was, just some bad judgment if you believe the rumors.
But the legal process? Certainly laughable. First, it was an assassination attempt. Then it was mistaken identity? I don’t think so.
Payoffs are happening for sure. What if Ortiz is part of that machine, covering up whatever he needs to be covering up to save his reputation?
Far fetched? Perhaps. But how can we rule anything out? Especially when it doesn’t seem anyone is really chasing the truth…in the Dominican…or the United States.
*As opposed to the silence on Ortiz, I think we can all be thankful about the recent silence surrounding Dustin Pedroia. The day to day updates on Pedey trying to come back from his knee injury. The continuous setbacks. Basically, everyone dancing around the fact that he is done. Including Pedroia himself.
If the knee problems truly started when he was slid into by Manny Machado a few years back, then sure, that isn’t great. But let’s face it, Pedroia had that kind of frame where he was bound to flame out quickly as he got older. While his “leadership” left a lot to be desired (except for when you ask him and other Red Sox apologists), he did play the game with reckless abandon. There was a pretty good chance he was going to break down a lot earlier than other players.
So Pedroia has stepped away from the club to ponder his future. You would have to think that he knows this is the end of the line. He always played hard, so I will celebrate his play on the field when the time officially comes. I’ll try to forget some of the ridiculous words and actions that came from him over the past few years as well.
I will also guarantee you this: He will be activated in September when rosters expand. Probably DH once or twice (or however long it takes him to say goodbye with a hit). Hell, the Sox may be out of it then, so they can do that for sure. Will he be eating up a 40-man roster spot in place of someone else that could be useful for a playoff push? Or a young kid they need to keep but isn’t ready for the majors? Unlikely, as I can list of about 8-10 guys on the 40-man that are borderline useless now.
So he will get one more MLB at-bat, maybe more, to get that last hit. Probably in a home game. Then he can get pinch run for and leave the field to a standing O.
I can live with that.
*The Yankees picked up slugger Edwin Encarnacion recently for…nothing? Just what they need, another big bat. Sure, their starting pitching has been questionable. But who doesn’t think that they make a huge move for a starter or two before the trade deadline? They have plenty of young talent. They have plenty of money…well, they always have plenty of money, but their payroll is even more flexible these days.
Get ready for that to happen. And then any moves they make there will probably put the division out of reach. Guess that’s why you play the games though…
To be continued…