McQuaid camp ‘holding out hope’ to re-sign with Bruins

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New Bruins GM Don Sweeney has some decisions to make on the blue line.

As of now, the B’s only have four of their defensemen from the past season under contract: Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, Torey Krug, and Kevan Miller. They have one big restricted free agent to sign in Dougie Hamilton, but that’s expected to get done somehow.

One of their unrestricted free agents is Adam McQuaid. The 28-year-old said last month he “can’t picture” moving on from Boston. But that may not be his call.

“We’re holding out hope [to get something done],” McQuaid’s agent, Paul Krepelka, tells CSNNE.com. “He’s a good fit here [in Boston].”

The other UFA on defense is Matt Bartkowski, who just so happened to be the subject of a speculative piece in today’s Vancouver Province. (The Canucks are, of course, led by GM Jim Benning, who knows Bartkowski well from his time in Boston.)

But it’s McQuaid that has the larger history with the B’s. He was a young depth defenseman on the 2011 Stanley Cup champion team, providing size and toughness behind an excellent top four of Chara, Seidenberg, Johnny Boychuk, and Andrew Ference. He played a similar role in 2013, when the B’s lost to Chicago in the final.

McQuaid is the kind of player that would seem to match the Bruins’ plans to get back to their aggressive ways. On the other hand, after being asked to play a larger role this season following the departure of Boychuk, he definitely had his struggles.

It begs the question — if the B’s choose to bring him back, what role do they envision him playing? Because the top four may be too big of an ask.

“I guess time will tell,” McQuaid said in April. “I’ll wait and see if it comes to [hitting free agency], and then obviously you have to go down that avenue.”

Bruins new GM Sweeney won’t make ‘impetuous’ decision on Julien’s future

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Now that the Boston Bruins have their new general manager, attention will now turn to the future of head coach Claude Julien.

Two years removed from a berth in the Stanley Cup Final, the Bruins missed the playoffs this season, with the fallout including the firing of GM Peter Chiarelli. Don Sweeney, hired as the new GM earlier this week, pledged in his opening media availability that there would be change to personnel and staff.

In a later discussion with Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com, Sweeney made it clear, however, that the decision on Julien will not be rushed.

“We’re a good cycling team, but we’re going to need to get to the interior of the ice. It’s not fun to go there, but they have to play there. Those are daily habits. We’ve done it in the past, and part of the conversations with Claude will be whether it’s just personnel, or is it an implementation of the message we need to get across,” Sweeney told CSNNE.com.

“And how do we go about doing that? Those will be part of the discussions. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Claude. He’s had a tremendous amount of success, and it would be foolhardy of me to make an impetuous decision. I need to make the right decision.”

Bruins confirm McIntyre will leave university

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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

Sweeney vows to return ‘aggressiveness’ to Bruins

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Cam Neely spoke last month about the big, bad “identity” of the Boston Bruins, and how getting away from that identity had made them not as “tough to play against as we’d like to be.”

And so it was no surprise when new general manager Don Sweeney, flanked by Neely, spoke today about getting back to that identity, in hopes of returning to the playoffs and competing for a Stanley Cup.

“We’re not as far away as people may think,” Sweeney said. “We have to get back, a little bit, the aggressiveness that was lost in our group.”

Sweeney suggested that the Bruins, having won the Stanley Cup in 2011 and gone to the finals in 2013, had grown “stagnant” or overly “comfortable” with their mix.

Not anymore, he promised.

“There will be some changes going forward,” he said. “There will be personnel changes. There will be staff member changes.”

On that note, Sweeney did not commit to keeping head coach Claude Julien.

“I have some things that I want to sit down with Claude and go through in a very orderly fashion, as to where I think things need to change, and what direction we need to change as a group,” said Sweeney.

“So it’s just about lining up philosophical approaches that I believe in, that he believes in, and that we can move the group forward.”

Sweeney, the longtime Bruins defenseman who’s been in the front office since 2006, was asked about the importance of returning to the “style” that people have come to expect from the organization.

“I think it’s incredibly important,” he said. “It’s one thing to throw the words ‘culture’ and ‘identity’ around, it’s another to live it, breathe it, and teach it.”

Of course, it’s still another thing to assemble the players to be successful with that style.

Or any style, really.

Because the Bruins did not win the Stanley Cup in 2011 by aggression alone. To suggest they did would be to ignore the actual hockey-playing performances they received from the likes of Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Dennis Seidenberg, Johnny Boychuk, Nathan Horton, Mark Recchi, and the list goes on.

That team, big and bad as it was, had a lot more than toughness going for it. An elite goalie. An elite defenseman, still in his prime. An elite two-way center. A scoring center. Depth on defense. Four lines that all contributed. Energetic youngsters. Veteran leaders. And on top of all that, the Bruins stayed relatively healthy through 25 hard-fought playoff games.

The 2014-15 roster still had some of those things. But it did not have all of those things.

Conceded Sweeney: “I think it would’ve taken a lot of things to fall our way for us to be in a position to challenge this year.”

So…a lot of things on Sweeney’s plate.

That includes throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at tonight’s Boston Red Sox game.

Welcome to the spotlight.

Related: Bruins fire Chiarelli after missing playoffs

Bruins name Don Sweeney as new general manager

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The Boston Bruins looked inward to replace Peter Chiarelli as Don Sweeney has been announced as the team’s new general manager.

Sweeney, 48, is a former NHL defenseman that spent the vast majority of his 1,115-game career with Boston. He also has nine seasons worth of experience within the Bruins’ front office, including his service as an assistant general manager for the last six years. Before that he served as the team’s Director of Player Development and then Director of Hockey Operations.

Among his duties as an assistant general manager was overseeing the development of the Bruins’ prospects at every level. In 2014 he also took over as the general manager of AHL Providence.

”Don has excelled in every role he has been in with the Bruins organization and has a comprehensive understanding of every aspect of our hockey operations department,” said Bruins president Cam Neely. “His commitment and drive to bring a championship caliber team to the Boston fans was evident every step of the way through this search process, and I am confident that his leadership of our hockey operations department will lead to success.”

Before selecting Sweeney, the Bruins reportedly considered former Capitals GM George McPhee. They also had interest in Rangers assistant GM Jeff Gorton, but Glen Sather wouldn’t give permission for any to interview him during New York’s playoff run. At one point Ray Shero was linked to the Bruins as well, but he became the New Jersey Devils’ general manager.