A pair of veteran blueliners will hit the open market tomorrow.
Matt Bartkowski, who’s played in 131 games over the last five years with Boston, has been told he won’t be re-signed by the club while Rangers rearguard Matt Hunwick, a veteran of nearly 350 NHL contests, will also go to market after New York passed on an extension.
Hunwick, 30, scored 11 points in 55 games for the Rangers last year and made six playoff appearances. The former Bruin and Avalanche played on a one-year, $600,000 deal in ’14-15 and could net a similar contract in free agency after what was, all things considered, not a bad effort in his lone year as a Blueshirt.
Bartkowski, 27, played last year on a $1.25 million deal but struggled to impress, scoring just four points in 47 games. He was briefly floated as a trade candidate at the deadline but, with no takers, he was left to play out the string with Boston.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of traction Bartkowski gets on the open market. He’s still relatively young and, in ’13-14, he scored a career-high 18 points in 64 games and made eight playoff appearances for the Bruins.
Martin Jones is headed back to the Pacific Division.
Less than a week after he was acquired by the Boston Bruins in the Milan Lucic trade, the 25-year-old goalie has been flipped to San Jose, where he’ll form a netminding tandem with Alex Stalock.
As first reported by ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the return to Boston is a first-round draft pick in 2016 plus unsigned prospect Sean Kuraly, a forward at Miami University.
“Martin was at the top of our list of players that we had targeted,” said Sharks GM Doug Wilson, per CSN Bay Area. “We’re extremely excited to have him on board.”
The undrafted Jones has a .923 career save percentage in the NHL, which is good. However, he’s only started 29 games total, and his save percentage was just .906 last season for the Kings.
In other words, the Sharks — a team that professes to have a “win right now” mentality — are rolling the dice on a pretty inexperienced goalie. Actually, make that two inexperienced goalies, given Stalock only has 37 career starts to his name.
The Bruins are now without a backup goalie.
Don’t be surprised if Marc Savard’s contract is traded, a la Chris Pronger to Arizona.
Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed today that he’s spoken to a few teams about a transaction that would clear Savard’s $4 million cap hit (through 2016-17) off Boston’s books, and put it on a team that could perhaps use it.
No longer able to play due to concussion issues, Savard has an actual salary of just $575,000 in the final two years of his contract.
Dealing Savard would help the B’s in that they wouldn’t be as prone to the bonus-related overage issues that have plagued them recently. On that note, Sweeney suggested the Bruins intend to keep spending to the cap, and that they’re dealing with a current overage of approximately $1 million.
The challenge for Sweeney in trading Savard is that, after Pronger was dealt to Arizona, there isn’t really a team that’s in serious jeopardy of not reaching the $52.8 million cap floor for next season.
Sweeney also took the opportunity to insist that goalie Tuukka Rask is “absolutely…not on the market,” despite the speculation.
Not long after the inevitable “Dougie Hamilton was disliked!” stories came out of Boston, Hamilton’s new boss — Flames GM Brad Treliving — shot down any notion the young d-man was arriving in Calgary with character concerns.
From the Sun:
“I’m not going to comment on any anonymous people out there, but we’ve done our homework — thorough homework — both on the player and the person, and we are over-the-moon excited about the player and the person that we’re getting,” Treliving said. “We think he’s going to fit like a glove — on and off the ice — with us.
“This type of player doesn’t come around very often at this age. You’re talking about a very intelligent kid. He’s a 98% student. He won the scholastic award (in the Ontario Hockey League in 2011). I like that he’s a very cerebral kid. Smart. Intelligent.
“This doesn’t keep me awake at night. Since the day we got Dougie Hamilton, I’ve had the best sleeps of the past few years. I’ve slept like a baby.”
As if to further hammer home his point, Treliving began negotiating a contract extension with Hamilton’s agent, J.P. Barry, before the club made its perfunctory qualifying offer on Monday. If you’re wondering what the figures might look like, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that Boston’s offer to Hamilton was for $33 million over six years — a $5.5M annual cap hit — while the counter was “about $2M per year higher.”
In that light, it’ll be really curious to see what number Calgary settles on — especially given what else the club needs to do this summer.
Treliving’s on record saying his biggest priority of the offseason was an extension with another key defenseman, team captain Mark Giordano, and early rumblings suggest the Giordano camp has opened negotiations with an eye-popping ask of $9 million per season.
Could be a spendy July in Calgary.
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.
As impressive as the 2015 Hockey Hall of Fame class is, there were still some noteworthy snubs. Here’s the argument in favor of Eric Lindros. (Sporting News)
Patrick Kane serenaded a crowd with his rendition of Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’. It’s safe to say that if at any point in his life he was debating between a hockey and singing career, he made the right choice. (CSN Chicago)
Wally Stanowski, who won the Stanley Cup with the Toronto Maple Leafs four times in the 1940s, has passed away at the age of 96. (Toronto Star)
Now with the Buffalo Sabres, Ryan O’Reilly doesn’t think there’s anything he would have done differently when it comes to his past contract negotiations with the Colorado Avalanche. (Denver Post)
Ottawa hasn’t given up on re-signing Erik Condra. (Ottawa Sun)
Max Talbot took to Twitter to shoot down the rumor that he wants to be traded. (CSN New England)