VANCOUVER, BC - JUNE 15:  Brad Marchand #63 of the Boston Bruins celebrates with his teammates Zdeno Chara #33, Dennis Seidenberg #44 and Mark Recchi #28 after scoring a goal in the second period against Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks during Game Seven of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Arena on June 15, 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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Bruins to buy out Seidenberg, who helped them win a Cup

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One of the key pieces on Boston’s 2011 championship squad, defenseman Dennis Seidenberg is today on waivers for the purposes of being bought out, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

It’s a significant move, since Seidenberg has two years remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $4 million. Per General Fanager, a buyout will mean 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. They went into the summer looking to improve their defense, and while they haven’t done it yet, they’re expected to do so in free agency or via trade, or quite possibly both.

Seidenberg, 34, has been with the Bruins since 2010. As mentioned, he was a big part of their 2011 Stanley Cup run, when he skated with Zdeno Chara on the top pairing.

“They’ve been a great shutdown pair,” coach Claude Julien said at the time. “They’ve logged a lot of minutes. They’re obviously capable of logging those kinds of minutes. They’re both in great shape. They both have a lot of endurance. They’ve been a key reason why we’ve had success.”

But time marches on. Seidenberg appeared in 61 games last season (1G, 11A) and logged just 19:24 of ice time per contest, down significantly from the 22:06 he averaged in 2014-15.

Related: Shattenkirk’s agent calls a trade ‘inevitable’

Rumor mill: Bruins ponder Trouba offer sheet, Habs eye Perron

UNIONDALE, NY - OCTOBER 28: Jacob Trouba #8 of the Winnipeg Jets skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on October 28, 2014 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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To save you from going into a clicking frenzy, here are some interesting free agent rumors on Tuesday night.

(If these don’t satiate your appetite for scuttlebutt, there are also murmurs about Milan Lucic to the Edmonton Oilers …)

  • The Boston Bruins are one of the many teams who are desperate to improve on defense. How desperate? Apparently they might go all-in by sending an offer sheet to coveted Winnipeg Jets RFA blueliner Jacob Trouba.

CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty and ESPN’s Jimmy Murphy acknowledged the “chatter.”

If the Bruins even go as far as to send Trouba an offer sheet – a big if – teams almost always match such offers. The Columbus Blue Jackets claim they’d do so with Seth Jones, for example:

Maybe the B’s would send an offer that’s just too rich for Winnipeg’s taste, though?

Update: Haggerty goes into greater detail for CSNNE.com.

Now it appears the Bruins may be willing to put their money, and their assets, where their interest is, and come up with an offer sheet that totals a minimum of $47 million for Trouba’s services.

Part of that high total is crafting an offer that the Winnipeg Jets aren’t going to match, and part of that is the Bruins’ own doing while casually tossing away their own draft picks. Because they sent their 2017 third round pick to the Flyers for Zac Rinaldo and their 2017 second round pick to New Jersey for Lee Stempniak, the Bruins must put together an offer sheet with an average annual value (AAV) of at least $9.3 million that will require Boston to give up four consecutive first round picks as compensation.

Holy smokes.

  • There could very well be mutual interest between David Perron and the Montreal Canadiens:

Makes perfect sense considering his strong work once he was traded to the Anaheim Ducks and his Quebec roots.

  • Matt Martin is drawing rave reviews as an Islanders departure seems increasingly likely.

Pastrnak, Hayes ‘might have to step up’ for Bruins next season

SUNRISE, FL - MARCH 7: Jimmy Hayes #11 of the Boston Bruins skates prior to the game against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on March 7, 2016 in Sunrise, Florida. The Bruins defeated the Panthers 5-4 in overtime. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
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The Boston Bruins have been looking to add to their roster, but GM Don Sweeney decided to pass on a couple of trade offers that were just too rich for his blood. The Bruins may have to resort to making a splash in free agency.

If they can’t add a big name or two when the markets open on July 1st, they’ll need some of the young players on the roster to step up. With Loui Eriksson unlikely to re-sign before next Friday, forwards like David Pastrnak and Jimmy Hayes will need to contribute more in 2016-17.

“We have internal candidates that might have to step up, and David is a player like that…Jimmy is a player like that. There’s no question we’re not a complete team right now,” said Sweeney, per CSN New England. “So we’ll go to work now, and that could be through free agency, or through potential trade stuff. It could also be about the excitement if somebody pops from the development side of things.”

Hayes finished the season with 13 goals and 29 points in 75 games, but he went point-less in the final 16 games of the year. He also had a stretch of one point in 15 games in late-November to early-December.

“I think Jimmy had a pretty start to the year, but he really tailed off when the team needed him most,” added Sweeney. “He should take some responsibility for that. We had a pretty frank discussion about that to challenge him to take his game to another level, and be able to help out a younger player.”

Pastrnak put up a career-high 15 goals despite missing 31 games in 2015-16. A foot injury forced him to miss 25 games between Nov. 3 and Dec. 27. A healthy Pastrnak would go a long way in helping Boston make it back to the postseason next year.

The Bruins still haven’t added that ‘transitional’ defenseman they wanted

of the meets with the media following the NHL General managers Meetings at the Bellagio Las Vegas on June 23, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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If there was one thing the Boston Bruins were going to do this offseason, it was upgrade their blue line.

“We know that it’s an area that we need to improve upon,” team president Cam Neely said in April. “That’s probably at the top of the list.”

But the Bruins’ blue line hasn’t changed one bit since then. Their search for a “transitional” defenseman lost another candidate this morning when the Panthers traded Dmitry Kulikov to Buffalo. Keith Yandle and Alex Goligoski have already been snapped up.

The Blues still haven’t traded Kevin Shattenkirk, but the price for d-men of his caliber is extremely high, according to Boston GM Don Sweeney.

“In all honesty it would have taken both first rounders and then some…the acquisition cost was high. We want to continue to improve our hockey club with whatever we have to do, but it’s not unlike last year when it would have taken all three first rounders [to get a deal done]. There’s a balancing act there,” Sweeney said Friday, per CSN New England. “There was not a lot that moved around today. People have been laying foundation [for trades] for quite some time, but there are players that we’re just not comfortable putting into deals. I’m going to defend that. I’ll be honest with you that I just am.”

It may be that Sweeney’s hoping the Blues lower their price on Shattenkirk, who’s only got a year left on his contract before he can become an unrestricted free agent. Or maybe he targets Winnipeg’s Jacob Trouba or Anaheim’s Cam Fowler. But they won’t be any cheaper.

If the prices are too high in the trade market, options in free agency include Brian Campbell (but he’s 37), Dan Hamhuis (he’s not particularly young either), and Jason Demers (arguably the best right-shot UFA d-man, but in no danger of winning the Norris).

“We’ve taken a position where we’re going to build this the right way,” said Sweeney. “We want to be competitive and improve our team, and we’ll be active in the free agent market to fill holes while allowing our young players to push through. But I wasn’t trading David Pastrnak. We’ve been criticized, and rightfully so at times, for being impatient with our younger, skilled players. This represents a good opportunity that we don’t want to do that.”

Related: Jack Edwards says the Bruins’ blue line ‘is in a crisis right now’

Bruins GM Don Sweeney isn’t interested in trading David Pastrnak

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 31: David Pastrnak #88 of the Boston Bruins celebrates a goal against the Florida Panthers at the TD Garden on March 31, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
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The Boston Bruins are in the market for an established puck-moving defenseman. Don Sweeney tried to land one during the first round of Friday night’s draft, but the prices were steep.

Several reports had the Bruins linked to Blues blueliner Kevin Shattenkirk, who still hasn’t been traded. There’s a chance the Bruins could still land Shattenkirk (or someone else), but they aren’t willing to sacrifice a youngster like David Pastrnak in the process.

“In all honesty it would have taken both first rounders and then some…the acquisition cost was high,” said Bruins GM Don Sweeney, per CSN New England. We want to continue to improve our hockey club with whatever we have to do, but it’s not unlike last year when it would have taken all three first rounders [to get a deal done]. There’s a balancing act there.

“We’ve taken a position where we’re going to build this the right way. We want to be competitive and improve our team, and we’ll be active in the free agent market to fill holes while allowing our young players to push through. But I wasn’t trading David Pastrnak. We’ve been criticized, and rightfully so at times, for being impatient with our younger, skilled players. This represents a good opportunity that we don’t want to do that.”

After dealing Dougie Hamilton to Calgary last year, it’s no surprise that Sweeney is a lot more cautious about shipping young assets out of town.

Not only did the Bruins keep Pastrnak, they also kept their two first round picks in 2016. They selected Boston University defenseman Charlie McAvoy 14th overall and center Trent Frederic 29th overall.