Neely was ‘surprised’ that Hamilton didn’t want to sign with Bruins

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Yesterday, Dougie Hamilton didn’t want to talk about his reasons for wanting out of Boston.

“For me, I’m just going to keep on saying how excited I am to be a Flame and looking forward to the future and everything,” he said. “What’s in the past is in the past and I think I’m just looking forward to being a Flame to moving to Calgary and seeing the city and the fans.”

But it’s clear he no longer wanted to be a Bruin.

It’s been speculated that the 22-year-old defenseman didn’t get along with coach Claude Julien. There was also talk at the draft in Florida that he felt bullied by Boston’s veteran players. And that may mesh with the report that Hamilton wasn’t the most popular figure in the Bruins’ room.

The whole thing is somewhat reminiscent of Evander Kane’s departure from Winnipeg, minus the clothes in the shower.

Whatever led to Hamilton’s unwillingness to sign long-term with the Bruins, it took club president Cam Neely by surprise.

“I really didn’t get any indications of anything negative in exit meetings,” Neely told the Boston Globe. “So I was surprised.”

Neely told the newspaper that the Bruins made three separate offers — one for four years, another for five, and a third for six. The salary, according to Neely, was not far off what Hamilton agreed to be paid in Calgary.

“We wanted Dougie,” Neely said.

But he didn’t want them.

Related: Sweeney explains Hamilton trade: ‘We extended Dougie a very significant contract offer’

Sharks get Jones from Bruins for first-round pick and unsigned prospect

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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.

Bruins are talking to teams about Savard, but not Rask

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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.

Trade: Flyers send Rinaldo to Bruins for 2017 third-rounder

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The Boston Bruins continued their baffling offseason by adding some brute force, sending their 2017 third-round pick to the Philadelphia Flyers for rough winger Zac Rinaldo.

Fans of the Bruins’ “big, bad” side may like this move, as Rinaldo certainly throws his body (and fists) around. Others probably aren’t so happy, as it continues a trend of puzzling moves by new Bruins GM Don Sweeney (while Flyers GM Ron Hextall looks more and more like a maestro).

Of course, the beauty of the trade is ultimately in the eye of the beholder, as some will cringe and others will shrug their shoulders at a far-off third-rounder being the price.

Rinaldo, 25, carries both a salary and a cap hit of $850K in 2015-16 and 2016-17, so even detractors shouldn’t be too concerned about the financial impact (if nothing else). He obviously brings grit and hustle to the table, so again, there are likely to be some proponents of the move.

Rinaldo scored six points and generated 102 PIM in 58 games last season. During his NHL career, he has 24 points and 572 PIM in 223 regular season contests.

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

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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