OTTAWA, ON - MARCH 10: Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins prepares for a faceoff against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on March 10, 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
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Extension talks between Bruins, Marchand have begun


The Boston Bruins wanted to begin contract extension talks with Brad Marchand and now it sounds like the two sides have started talking, according to Bruins GM Don Sweeney.

“We have identified [Marchand] as a core guy and we want to continue down that path,” said Sweeney, per “Obviously it takes two sides to make a deal. I would envision that he’d like to be a part of this organization for what could arguably be his whole career. Brad has a say in this as well. But that’s as far as talking about contract-wise, that’s probably as far as I’d go in that regard.”

Marchand is in the final year of a four-year, $18 million contract ($4.5 million AAV). Like his 2015-16 totals, the numbers on his contract should be rising. Marchand scored a career-high 37 goals and 61 points in 77 games. The 28-year-old has scored 20 goals or more five times in his career and that doesn’t include the 18 goals he scored during the lockout-shortened year.

The re-signing of Marchand may cause some salary cap problems for the Bruins, as they already have a good chunk of money committed to their top forwards. David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, David Backes and Matt Beleskey combine to make $23.925 million on the cap.

Marchand’s been one of the best value players (goals versus salary) in the NHL over the last few years.

The Bruins are on Vesey’s short list, but who else might he be willing to talk to?


Jimmy Vesey isn’t a free agent yet, but in just over a month he will be. Several teams will make a hard push to sign him  including the Buffalo Sabres, who currently own his negotiating rights. Unfortunately for Buffalo, Vesey has his sights set on Aug. 15 (the day he’ll become a free agent).

The 23-year-old isn’t interested in meeting with every NHL team, but he and his camp are in the process of coming up with a short list of teams he’s willing to visit. One thing is for sure, his favorite team growing up, the Boston Bruins, will be on the list.

“I was a huge Joe Thornton fan growing up,” Vesey told CSN New England. “He wore No. 19. I wear No. 19. He was my favorite player. I got to know Torey Krug a little bit through playing with him at the world championships last year.  So it would be really cool to play with Torey and put on the Bruins jersey. It’s the team that I’ve watched for my whole life.”

Vesey is conscious of the pressures of playing at home. There’s no doubt that suiting up for the Bruins will come with a little more pressure, but Vesey isn’t concerned about that because playing in Boston means he’d be surrounded by family and friends.

A homecoming seems to make a lot sense, but Boston isn’t the only team chasing him. Although Vesey hasn’t announced what his final list of teams looks like, CSN’s Joe Haggerty believes the Bruins, Sabres, Maple Leafs, Devils and Penguins could all be possibilities for the former Harvard forward.

“I think it would be a little crazy to meet with all 29 teams. We have a little bit of a short list going that I’ve worked on with my agents and my family. We’re going to narrow it down as best as we can, and get through it as quickly as we can on Aug. 15.”

The Bruins, Sabres, Maple Leafs and Devils all missed the playoffs last season, so you have to believe that Vesey will have a good chance at cracking each team’s top two lines.

Boston lost Loui Eriksson to Vancouver in free agency, so there’s definitely an opening there. Toronto will likely have Auston Matthews on their roster this fall. Adding another winger wouldn’t hurt. The Sabres may have added Kyle Okposo, but there’s no doubt that they could use another scorer. The same could be said for New Jersey. They acquired Taylor Hall from Edmonton and they could use another offensive-minded option. As for Pittsburgh, playing with Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin might be intriguing to say the least.

Now, we wait for Aug. 15.

PHT Morning Skate: The Bruins are going to China

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 08:  Matt Beleskey #39 of the Boston Bruins, right, meets with teammates to congratulate David Pastrnak #88 after he scored against the Winnipeg Jets during the third period at TD Garden on October 8, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Jets defeat the Bruins 6-2.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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.

From the B’s: The Boston Bruins, in partnership with O.R.G. Packaging, will make the team’s first-ever official visit to China when they tour Beijing and Shanghai during “Bruins Global: China 2016” from July 11-23. Current Bruins players Matt Beleskey and David Pastrnak along with Bruins Alumni Andrew Raycroft, Bob Sweeney and members of the Boston Bruins Youth Hockey Development Team will host several youth hockey clinics in Beijing and Shanghai.

— Montreal Canadiens goalie coach Stephane Waite has been added to Team Canada’s staff for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. (Hockey Canada)

— There are rumblings out of Switzerland that Kris Versteeg is close to signing with National League A side Biel. (Swiss Hockey News)

— Exciting times at Philly’s development camp, where prized prospects Travis Konecny and Ivan Provorov are gunning to make the Flyers. (

— After missing extensive time last year with a concussion, Blues prospect Tommy Vanelli is back in the mix at Blues development camp. (STL Today)

— Former Oilers coach Dallas Eakins says that Edmonton “deserves some winning hockey. (Sportsnet)

Report: Bruins are ‘kicking the tires’ on a Kris Russell deal

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 19:  Kris Russell #4 of the Calgary Flames looks on beforoe a face off against the New Jersey Devils on January 19,2016 at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

With Loui Eriksson gone, David Backes in the mix and the potential for even more changes via trades, the Boston Bruins are already primed to look very different in 2016-17.

Will they go the extra mile to improve their blueline, though?

There’s no denying their hunger for a “transitional defenseman” on top of those tweaks down the middle, and’s Joe Haggerty reports that the Bruins are “kicking the tires” on a possible deal with Kris Russell.

Bruins GM Don Sweeney addressed being unable to find the “right fit for those players at this point in time” during a press conference on Friday, so maybe the “right fit” isn’t so far away?

In discussing bringing back John-Michael Liles, Sweeney ticked some of the boxes that would also be in favor of Russell: the “sort of guys that are able to defend and be hard but also having guys that can transition, get up and down the ice, get back on pucks and move pucks.”

There’s no denying that Russell has his strengths and weaknesses, but you could probably sell Sweeney on his credentials in those areas.

(See more about the pros and cons of Russell in this UFA of the Day post.)

Speaking of selling, the bidding war might end up being a lot for the Bruins and other teams to stomach.

This post breaks down the variety of reports and rumors, with a $5 million cap hit being a possible price tag.


If Russell draws a contract that meets or exceeds those rumors, it would be difficult to call the team who lands him a “winner.”

The Bruins appear to be involved in that auction, at least to some extent.

Seidenberg shocked by Bruins buyout

Boston Bruins v Colorado Avalanche
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Dennis Seidenberg‘s time in Boston ended unceremoniously.

And to hear Seidenberg explain it, surprisingly as well.

“It’s a shock,” Seidenberg told the Boston Herald, one day after the B’s bought out the final two years of his contract. “[Bruins general manager] Donnie [Sweeney] called me and he said it was a tough call to make, but he had to buy me out, that they were going with the kids.

“Told me I was a great guy, and that was it.”

It seems Seidenberg’s shock isn’t from the actual buyout, but the timing of it. The 34-year-old acknowledged earlier this offseason he could be a buyout candidate but, given that the window closed on Thursday, he figured he’d be safe.

Turns out it wasn’t the case.

The timing was pretty unfortunate for Seidenberg. Had Boston bought him out earlier in the process, he could’ve participated in the free agency interview period, which happened right after the draft. But because he was B’s property during that time, he entered Friday’s UFA frenzy at a disadvantage, having failed to speak with any potential suitors.

Boston can hardly be blamed for making the move, however.

For a team facing a potential cap crunch, the relief Seidenberg’s buyout provided was key. Per General Fanager, a buyout means a cap hit of $1.17 million next season, $2.17 million in 2017-18 and $1.17 million in both 2018-19 and 2019-20.

So the Bruins will gain almost $3 million in cap space for next season.

Some of that was used almost immediately, as the B’s signed RFA blueliner Torey Krug to a four-year, $21 million extension, then made a big splash in free agency by inking ex-Blues captain David Backes to a five-year, $30 million deal.

As for Seidenberg, chances are he’ll catch on somewhere. Despite a down ’15-16 campaign he still averaged just under 20 minutes per night in 61 games, notching 12 points.