The Boston Bruins have already made it clear that unrestricted free agent forwards forwards Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell won’t be re-signed. Another pending UFA, 28-year-old defenseman Adam McQuaid, might be able to extend his tenure with the Bruins though.
If nothing else, he certainly hopes to stick around.
“Obviously I want to be back. I’ve had so many great memories here with this group and this organization. I guess it goes without saying…I don’t know, I can’t picture not being here,” said McQuaid, per CSN New England. “It’s a different situation for me this year with some uncertainty. I guess we’ll see how things play out. My priority, my goal would be to come back here. I don’t know if that’s realistic or not. I guess time will tell. I’ll wait and see if it comes to [hitting free agency], and then obviously you have to go down that avenue.
“But this is where I want to be.”
Although the Bruins are in a difficult cap position to begin with, they still might end up re-signing McQuaid. He doesn’t do much offensively, but he did have 141 hits and 91 blocked shots in 63 contests in 2014-15. He also averaged 1:54 minutes of ice time per game in shorthanded situations, which was good for fourth on the team.
McQuaid came with a cap hit of roughly $1.6 million in 2014-15 and given the Bruins’ situation, his future with the team might be determined by whether or not he’s willing to take a hometown discount.
Paille, 30, has been with the Bruins since 2009 and achieved some good success, emerging as a useful contributor during the 2011 Stanley Cup victory and the ’13 Finals appearance (Paille scored four goals and nine points during that latter run, averaging 12:32 TOI per night.)
Campbell, 31, spent the last five years in Boston. A gritty checking forward, he forever etched himself in Bruins lore with this shift against Pittsburgh in the ’13 Eastern Conference Final — in which he played on a broken leg:
This year, though, Campbell and Paille struggled. They were two of the club’s worst forwards in terms of possession (click here) and neither produced much offensively; Campbell scored just six goals in 70 games while Paille had six in 71.
In the wake of Boston missing the playoffs for the first time in eight years, Paille and Campbell aren’t expected to be the only changes — but their departures are still significant. Aside from being the first (and, speediest) moves by Chiarelli this offseason, the two veterans contributed largely to Boston’s identity over the last five years.
Brad Marchand knows there will be “consequences” if the Boston Bruins miss the playoffs.
“This is a team where we’re expected to win every year. It’s been that way for a while. There’s a lot of pressure on this group,” Marchand said, per CSN New England. “But with that comes pressure that you need to live up to it, and if not you’re forced to deal with the consequences.
“We understand that this is a big situation. If we don’t pull together then this is going to be a much different group next year, I’m sure. I don’t think anybody wants that. Hopefully we realize that, come together and allow this group to stay together.”
The Bruins have a handful of pending unrestricted free agents, including three members of the 2010-11 Stanley Cup champion roster, Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell, and Adam McQuaid. All three veterans have had their struggles this season.
It’s even been speculated that Milan Lucic, under contract for one more season before he can become unrestricted, could be traded.