…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…
…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?
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…