The Boston Bruins are apparently exploring ways to keep defenseman Adam McQuaid, a pending unrestricted free agent.
GM Don Sweeney hinted at it this morning, saying on a conference call that he’s had talks with teams that may allow the Bruins to re-sign one of their UFAs.
Now, according to Joe Haggerty, “multiple league sources have indicated to CSNNE.com that Adam McQuaid is the player Boston would like to re-sign.”
McQuaid would very much like to be back. The physical 28-year-old is coming off a challenging season, one in which the departure of Johnny Boychuk forced him into a bigger role with the B’s. But he’s also the kind of player that would seem to match Sweeney’s plans for the franchise to get back to its aggressive ways.
What’s uncertain is how Sweeney plans to make room for McQuaid. Loui Eriksson and Milan Lucic have both had their names floated in trade rumors. Chris Kelly’s $3 million cap hit stands out, but he’d be tough to move.
Related: ‘Highly unlikely’ Soderberg back in Boston
Claude Julien is on the same page with his general manager.
Julien spoke to reporters today for the first time since new GM Don Sweeney confirmed the Bruins’ coach would be back next season. And like Sweeney, Julien believes there are things the B’s can do to get the puck moving a bit quicker out of their end.
“Teams’ forechecking has changed a lot, so there are things we feel we can do with our transition game that we feel we can do a lot better with creating some speed,” said Julien, per the Boston Herald. “We had already kind of addressed that and we’re going to introduce that into camp like we do every year. To me, those aren’t changes. Those are adjustments like we do every year.”
The Bruins finished 2014-15 with the 22nd-ranked offense, their lack of goal-scoring a big reason they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
Of course, it should be noted that, in 2013-14, the B’s had the third-ranked offense. So some of the drop-off in scoring has to be attributed to personnel. Boston lost both Jarome Iginla (to free agency) and Johnny Boychuk (via trade), while David Krejci missed almost half the season due to injury.
Julien also said today that he understands why Sweeney’s decision to retain his services took a bit longer than some felt was necessary.
“He’s got to feel comfortable, too,” said Julien.
Related: Sweeney vows to return ‘aggressiveness’ to Bruins
Noel Acciari was a significant part of the Providence College team that won the 2015 NCAA title. The Boston Bruins hope that he can help them win some big games, too.
The team made it official that they signed the 23-year-old forward to an entry-level contract on Monday. Specifics regarding terms and money were not shared, although ESPN’s John Buccigross indicated that it’s for two years a few days ago.
CSNNE.com passed along the views of a scout that certainly point to a player who could be well-liked in Boston.
Here’s what one NHL scout from a Western Conference team had to say about Acciari after multiple viewings of the player: “High energy, hard-working 2-way center. The kids motor never stops. Average size but gets his nose dirty and plays really hard. Will need some time in AHL, but he has 4th line/checking upside, and is smart. Think Antoine Roussel minus the fighting and agitating, or a Derek McKenzie type. Just loves to play.”
Roussel without the fighting and agitating? That’s kind of tough to imagine.
Acciari may be able to mix some decent scoring touch in with his energy game, too, it seems. Acciari scored 15 goals and 32 points for Providence College in 2014-15. He gained accolades such as Hockey East Defensive PLayer of the Year this pas season.
Sounds like a decent depth pickup for the Bruins all around.
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.
It’s official: No changes to the Boston Bruins coaching staff. Claude Julien is back, as is his staff.
The faces behind the bench remain the same, but talk of philosophical change — and maybe more personnel changes — to how the Bruins play continues, especially when it comes to transitioning to the attack. You’ll recall recently hired general manager Don Sweeney making it quite clear when he took the job that he wants his team to play with an aggressive style.
On Friday, Sweeney lauded his coaching staff when it comes to the defensive side of things.
The Bruins were eighth in the NHL during the regular season at 2.45 goals-against-per-game. By comparison, the Chicago Blackhawks, playing in the Stanley Cup Final once again, were second in the league at 2.27.
Scoring goals, however, was an issue. The Bruins, despite decent puck possession numbers at five on five, were 22nd in the league in goals-for-per-game. None of the teams below them in that category qualified for the playoffs.
“I love the structure and accountability that [the coaches] bring to our table defensively. We’re not going to abandon that as a hockey club,” said Sweeney, as per the Bruins’ website.
“I think our forwards work extremely hard; I just want to be able to get into the flow of the offensive game a little quicker. And again, some of it is going to be personnel, and some is going to be system stuff that we have to address and utilize to the best of our ability.”