If Peter Chiarelli was more like the Chicago Blackhawks’ Stan Bowman, perhaps he would still be the Boston Bruins general manager.
Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs thinks Chiarelli has “a great hockey mind,” but ultimately Boston found itself in a difficult situation.
“It’s a cap environment we find ourselves in here, and you’ve got to look to the future,” Jacobs told CSN New England. “If you watch the success of the Chicago team, and I do admire them quite a bit, they dealt with their high-priced players early on and kept creating room. Every year, there was a change, not too unlike the change we see here (this year). We see some great players going elsewhere. Even to this year, you see very successful teams have met that problem.
“We didn’t deal with it in a timely enough manner and we found ourselves in a cap position that wasn’t attractive for us.”
As Jacobs alluded to, new Bruins GM Don Sweeney traded away Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic this summer in moves that improved the Bruins’ cap situation. Although Jacobs said that the decision to fire Chiarelli was ultimately made by his son, Charlie, and team president Cam Neely, the Bruins owner does feel that Chiarelli “wasn’t prepared to make the changes that needed to be made.”
Of course, a willingness to trade good players to avoid getting into cap problems isn’t everything. Sweeney’s era with Boston will ultimately be dictated in large part based on the return on those deals as well as Boston’s success in the draft because the thing about maintaining a high level of play as Chicago has is that you’ll need capable replacements for those you were forced to part ways with.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Jonathan Quick wrote a great piece on the strengths of some of the league’s biggest offensive threats. (The Players’ Tribune)
Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno feels the Brandon Saad acquisition is “a big statement.” (Bluejackets.nhl.com)
Speaking of Saad, he used his day with the Stanley Cup to bring it to the 911th Airlift Wing. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
The upcoming 2016 Winter Classic will be particularly special for Mass. natives Brian Flynn and Jimmy Hayes. (NHL.com)
By signing Sean Couturier to a six-year, $26 million, the Philadelphia Flyers are betting that he’ll grow his game offensively. (CSN Philly)
Former NHL forward Sergei Berezin and his wife have been arrested in Palm Beach County and are facing allegations of Medicaid and food stamp fraud following an undercover investigation, per WPBF 25 News.
Florida’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit believes the couple contacted the American Advisory Associates to get benefits they weren’t eligible for. From there the American Advisory Associates allegedly bribed DCF workers, resulting in Berezin receiving $67,000 in billed benefits from Jan. 2010 through Dec. 2013.
Berezin was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1994 and made his NHL debut during the 1996-97 campaign. He went on to play in 502 NHL contests with Toronto, the Phoenix Coyotes, Montreal Canadiens, Chicago Blackhawks, and Washington Capitals.
With his playing career behind him, Berezin told an informant that he earns $100,000 by training hockey players and through rental properties.
(H/T Postmedia Network)
Arizona’s prospect pool is somewhat light when it comes to solid goaltenders, so why not experiment with a young netminder that’s excelled in Europe?
The Coyotes announced that they have inked Niklas Treutle to a one-year, entry-level contract. The 24-year-old is coming off of a strong season with the German League’s EHC München where he posted a 2.06 GAA and .920 save percentage in 30 games.
He was never drafted by an NHL squad and this will be his first attempt to transition to North American, but if he ends up playing for Arizona’s AHL affiliate in Springfield then he likely won’t be the only former German League goalie on the squad.
That’s because Springfield signed goaltender Tyler Beskorowany back in June. Beskorowany was originally selected by the Stars in the second round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, but he was never able to work his way up to Dallas and instead ended up spending last season with Duesseldorf EG where he recorded a 2.53 GAA and .923 in 42 contests.
Arizona is expected to start the season with Mike Smith and Anders Lindback as its top two goaltenders.
Marcus Johansson had his arbitration hearing today and whatever ruling gets handed down by Friday afternoon, it’s likely to be a substantial boost from his 2014-15 salary of roughly $2.2 million, but will he earn his next sum?
That’s open for debate and it doesn’t have as much to do with Johansson as it does with the changing makeup of the Capitals as Chuck Gormley argued for CSN Washington:
With Ovechkin and Andre Burakovsky slotted as the Caps’ first- and second-line left wings, and T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams slotted as their first- and second-line right wings, Johansson figures to start the season as a third-line left wing with centers Brooks Laich or Jay Beagle and right wing Tom Wilson.
His power-play time (2:55 per game last season, fourth on the club) could also dip because of the additions of Oshie and Williams.
And yet Johansson did record 20 goals and 47 points last season after finishing with 44 points in his previous campaign, so he could very well get somewhat close to his asking price from the arbitrator. Given that, Gormley wondered if the Capitals might end up walking away from Johansson’s contract. They would have the option of doing so provided that the arbitrator’s assigned salary is more than $3.8 million.
Keep in mind that Washington only has about $5 million worth of cap space to begin with and that’s excluding Justin Peters, who will presumably start the 2014-15 campaign in the minors, so the financial flexibility gained from a walk-away would be noteworthy.
At the same time, ending up with nothing in return for Johansson would be a tough pill to swallow. While a contract in the neighbor of $4 million isn’t ideal for someone playing on the third line, he would still have value to Washington in that role.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that Johansson and the Capitals can still agree to terms on their own before the arbitrator’s ruling.
Related: Arbitration looms, but Johansson not worried about future with Caps