Tag: Boston Bruins

Don Sweeney

B’s GM Sweeney a lightning rod for criticism


If you can say one thing about new general manager Don Sweeney it’s that he’s not afraid to make a trade. Plenty of analysts have chosen to say more though and much of it isn’t nice.

Boston acquired enforcer Zac Rinaldo from the Philadelphia Flyers this afternoon in exchange for a third round pick. That’s an awfully high pick to give for a player that averaged 8:55 minutes per game in 58 contests and has had discipline problems leading to suspensions and bad penalties.

It also might be seen as the straw that broke the camel’s back after his recent controversial trades involving Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic. So naturally the reaction wasn’t kind…

And the one that perhaps best summarizes the general consensus:

Joe Haggerty expanded on that sentiment for CSN New England:

One begins to wonder exactly what the master plan is from the Bruins front office over on Causeway Street after witnessing their scattershot method to constructing the Bruins roster over the last few days.

It also makes one wonder where the 31-year-old Max Talbot fits into the picture after he was brought in to be the fourth line center for the Black and Gold following his deal from the Colorado Avalanche at last spring’s trade deadline.

You could make the argument that this is also the first trade Sweeney that had very little to do with former GM Peter Chiarelli. With Hamilton and Lucic, even if you disagreed with the return or the need to move them, an argument could at least be made that Sweeney was responding to the difficult cap situation he inherited from Chiarelli. That’s not applicable to the Rinaldo deal.

All that being said, general managers are critiqued on the individual moves they make, but typically their employment is dependent on the record of their team. Sweeney might be drawing plenty of criticism right now and a lot of it might be justified, but if his version of the Bruins are successful next season, then that will be that.

Related: Sweeney vows to return ‘aggressiveness’ to Bruins

Report: Bruins ‘significant contract offer’ to Hamilton was six-years, $33 million

Dougie Hamilton

After trading defenseman Dougie Hamilton to the Calgary Flames, Bruins GM Don Sweeney insisted he made the restricted free agent a “very significant contract offer.” Now we might be able to put a number to that statement.

Boston offered the 22-year-old defenseman a six-year, $33 million contract, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman. Hamilton then countered with an offer that was around $2 million per year higher.

That’s obviously a big gap, but as Friedman noted:

Sometimes, we get caught up in initial proposals. Any good negotiator will tell you to exaggerate your opening position.

All the same, this is in contrast to an earlier report that claimed Hamilton was seeking $5.5 million annually. If that was instead Boston’s opening position and it was rejected, then it becomes a bit more apparent as to why the Bruins felt the need to move him given the team’s cap situation. It also offers insight as to what it might cost Calgary to lock him up.

All the same, losing Hamilton could prove to be a serious blow to the Bruins next season, especially given that Zdeno Chara will turn 39 years old before the 2015-16 campaign is over.

Related: Trade: Busy Bruins send Lucic to Kings

Winners and losers of the 2015 NHL Draft


Hindsight is 20/20, but what about when something is so close it’s directly in your blind spot?

The 2015 NHL Draft is over, and with the long-awaited wave of prospects behind us, it will be years before we can truly judge what just happened. It would be foolish to hand out grades on the same day the draft ended. Who would do that, right?

Well, uh … about that.

Here’s a stab at some of the winners and losers from this busy, busy weekend in the NHL. Feel free to add your own suggestions and counterarguments in the comments (preferably kindly).


Oilers: They will smile upon this weekend for Connor McDavid alone, but GM Peter Chiarelli also made some interesting trades to improve the team with the likes of Cam Talbot and Griffin Reinhart.

Sabres: In the same “No, duh” spirit as the Oilers grabbing McDavid, the Sabres probably would have come up winners if they merely grabbed Jack Eichel and went into cruise control with picks.

Instead, GM Tim Murray was as busy as his selection announcement for Eichel was brief. Robin Lehner is, at minimum, someone Murray believes in. Ryan O’Reilly is a legit find, setting up Buffalo to have a scary 1-2 punch down the middle with Eichel.

Flames: OK, this has more to do with what happened before the draft than what happened during it … but landing Dougie Hamilton for a package of picks could end up being one of those moves we remember for ages.

That said, getting Oliver Kylington about a round after many believed he would be drafted (60th overall) isn’t chopped liver, either.

Islanders: Over the years, GM Garth Snow has steadily earned a reputation as one of the NHL’s sneaky-shrewdest executives. The 2015 NHL Draft will only strengthen those arguments.

Flyers: Are we prepared for a brave new world in which the Philadelphia Flyers are sober-minded and clever like this? Forgive reheating a joke from last night, but:


Bruins: Yes, the Bruins’ salary cap is slimmer, and they definitely nailed the draft from a “quantity” standpoint.

Still, they moved mountains to get picks 13-15, but the grades for their picks generally range from “not very sexy” to “huge reach.” Time will ultimately be new GM Don Sweeney’s judge, but right now, he’s probably not the most popular fellow among B’s fans.

Penguins: Actually, consider this grade more of an “Incomplete” than an “F.” Sometimes no splashy moves are better than reckless ones … still, Pittsburgh fans might be a little antsy.

Canucks: That’s a disappointing haul for Eddie Lack, but GM Jim Benning’s biggest mistake might have been forgetting to get an intern to tell him when the camera was on him:

Talk about a caption contest waiting to happen.


Again, the Bruins could very well end up laughing at all of us after making bold moves in the middle of the first round. Chances are, there are gems buried in later rounds that will drastically change how we view 2015.

Still, winners and losers lists are fun, so enjoy yourselves in the comments.

Just be nice.

Julien ‘pretty impressed’ with Sweeney’s moves


Claude Julien has a weaker roster today than he did entering the draft. Gone in separate trades are Milan Lucic and Dougie Hamilton, in return for prospects.

But the Bruins’ head coach struck a supportive tone late Friday when asked about his rookie general manager, Don Sweeney.

“First of all, I think you’ve got to give Don a lot of credit,” Julien said, per the Bruins’ website. “He’s come into this in this role and there was a lot on his plate, and a lot going on, and there were some tough decisions to be made, and personally, I’m pretty impressed with how he’s handled it.

“And that’s not to say that I’m happy that Dougie Hamilton and Milan Lucic are gone – we just lost two pretty good players, but those are moves that probably had to be made, obviously with the situation we’re in with the cap and everything else and the future.”

The decision to trade Hamilton was the most surprising. Sweeney offered a cryptic response when asked yesterday for an explanation.

“I think everyone considers Dougie as a foundational-type player,” said Sweeney, “and it was indicated to us that that might not be the case going forward in Boston.”

Regardless of why Hamilton left, the Bruins’ defense, a group that struggled last season to make up for the loss of Johnny Boychuk, will now have to try and make up for another big loss.

Sweeney called it “a great opportunity” for some of the “kids” on Boston’s defense — a sentiment with which his coach agreed.

“I can’t go into the year saying it’s going to be tough, I need to be optimistic, I need to believe,” said Julien. “We have guys who can skate, the Joe Morrows are down there, the [Zach] Trotmans, and there’s some more time here to maybe add if we need to.”

Boston becomes first team in 47 years to make three straight 1st-round picks

Don Sweeney

SUNRISE — Boston Bruins fans won’t soon forget the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.

In addition to dealing away prized young defenseman Dougie Hamilton and power forward Milan Lucic, the Bruins also made some history on Friday night, becoming the first team to make three consecutive first-round picks since the Montreal Canadiens did it in 1968.

With the 13th selection, acquired from Los Angeles in the Lucic trade, Boston took QMJHL Saint John defenseman Jakub Zboril. The Czech-born skater finished third among d-men in Quebec league scoring this year, and is regarded as a good offensive blueline prospect.

With the 14th pick, a familiar name — Jake DeBrusk, son of former NHLer Louie DeBrusk. The 19th-ranked North American skater, DeBrusk is coming off a terrific offensive campaign with WHL Swift Current and finished tied for sixth in the league in goalscoring, with 42.

Pick 15 (acquired from Calgary) was something of a surprise, as the B’s selected Zachary Senyshyn from OHL Sault Ste Marie. The 38th-ranked North American skater — up from 56 at the midterm — Senyshyn wasn’t on a lot of first-round mock drafts but did finish second among Ontario Hockey League rookies in goals (26) and points (45) before being named to the League’s Second All-Rookie Team this year.

All told, the Bruins replenished their prospect pool in a major way. Zboril, DeBrusk and Senyshyn will join a group that includes last year’s impressive rookie, David Pastrnak, Swedish d-man Linus Arnesson and ’12 first-rounder Malcolm Subban.