Tag: Don Sweeney

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Can the Bruins’ defense get up to speed?


It sounds like the Boston Bruins were taking notes when they watched mobile defensemen Duncan Keith and Victor Hedman square off in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.

GM Don Sweeney isn’t asking his group to impersonate Bobby Orr next season, but it sounds like he’s asking for a more active approach, as the Boston Globe’s Fluto Shinzawa reports in this interesting piece.

Most obviously, he wants defensemen to skate a bit more with the puck in transition, easing things on the Bruins’ forwards.

“I think they have to,” Sweeney said. “At times, we probably got a little bit too stationary on our breakouts. We need to be in motion a little bit. That means our forwards will be in motion a little bit, because teams were able to smother the walls, pinch, and pre-pinch.”

Shinzawa provides a few additional sensory details about how such a modified scheme might work, at least ideally:

The tweaks are meant to shift the danger level away from the net. Defensemen will be more active, perhaps up the ice and closer to the walls. Forwards will not have to retreat as far to funnel pucks into favorable real estate. There will be greater challenges to zone entries, similar to how MBTA police close down on fare evaders. The goal, as Sweeney likes to say, is to create anxiety for opponents up the ice.

Let’s be honest, though: it’s reasonable to wonder if the Bruins really boast the personnel to make such a modernization work.

(This idea also turns the knife in a little deeper when it comes to losing Dougie Hamilton.)

Looking at the structure of this team, is it better to try to keep up with the Joneses or merely try to do what you do best? After all, there’s always the possibility that Claude Julien, Zdeno Chara and David Krejci will see better days after a bumpy season (which featured serious injury issues for Chara and Krejci).

Striving for a more modern approach is understandable, but sometimes sports teams lose their identity and gain little in return by trying to dance to the beat of someone else’s drum.

Either way, it’s an intriguing development to ponder in 2015-16. The full article is well worth a read, by the way.

(H/T to Kukla’s Korner)

Report: Bruins won’t re-sign Carl Soderberg


With as many as five pending unrestricted free agents on the roster, rookie Bruins’ GM Don Sweeney has decisions to make.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, at least one of those decisions has already been made.

Boston will not bring back center Carl Soderberg Friedman reports. The club is currently focused on re-signing restricted free agent defenseman Dougie Hamilton.

The Bruins have informed Soderberg that it’s “very unlikely” they’ll re-sign him.

Soderberg spent the past three seasons in Boston scoring 13 goals and 44 points in 82 games during the 2014-15 season.

The 29-year-old’s three-year, $3.025 million deal is set to expire next month.

Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille, Adam McQuaid and Matt Bartkowski are also in the final year of their respective contracts and set to become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

Bruins confirm McIntyre will leave university

2015 NCAA Division I Men's Hockey Championships - Semifinals

Boston Bruins’ GM Don Sweeney confirmed Zane McIntyre will leave the University of North Dakota.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman first hinted McIntyre may leave school last week.

McIntyre, who was this year’s Mike Richter Award winner as the top NCAA goalie, had a 29-10-3 record this season to go along with 2.05 G.A.A. and a .929 save percentage.

The 22-year-old was also finalist for the Hobey Baker award this season.

McIntyre was the Bruins sixth-round selection (165th overall) at the 2010 NHL Draft.

Related: Sweeney vows to return ‘aggressiveness’ to Bruins

Have the Capitals already zeroed in on their next GM?

Ted Leonsis

The Washington Capitals reportedly are close to locking down former Nashville Predators coach Barry Trotz as their new bench boss, but the team still doesn’t have a new general manager.

As these types of situations go, hiring a new coach before a new GM is in place would be a rare move, but as Elliotte Friedman of CBC points out, the Capitals and owner Ted Leonsis have their field narrowed down and may have their man right under their nose.

The Capitals have talked to or interviewed around 10 people for the position including former GMs Craig Button, Jay Feaster, and Darcy Regier as well as Preds assistant GM Paul Fenton and Bruins assistant GM Don Sweeney.

The most curious one is Capitals assistant GM Brian MacLellan and he’s the guy Friedman hints could be the top choice.

“According to several sources, the current assistant GM was involved in the Trotz interviews and helped show him around the U.S. capital. It is unlikely someone on the way out would be so heavily involved. When this process started, his hiring would be a surprise. Not anymore.”

Promoting MacLellan, who was former GM George McPhee’s assistant, would be a curious move. After 17 years with the Caps, McPhee was fired along with coach Adam Oates on April 26. One advantage MacLellan has going for him right away, as Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com points out, is he has history with Trotz.

After names like Ray Shero and Mike Gillis have also popped up in the discussion, keeping the hiring in-house like this would raise some questions as to what kind of change will come about  in trying to make the Caps a Stanley Cup contender. With a big hiring like this, the Caps can’t afford a misstep.