Bruins Assertive on First Day of Free Agency

by | Jul 2, 2016

Bruins Assertive on First Day of Free Agency

by | Jul 2, 2016

When we awoke on Friday, July 1, we had a feeling that it was going to be a good day. Sure, shortened workdays and an extended holiday weekend helps with that cause. However, the primary reason for this “power of positivity” was that free agency arrived in the National Hockey League.

In an effort to keep pace with the rest of the league, the Boston Bruins were a busy bunch on this day as they made a variety of signings to bolster the roster for this coming year.

The Bruins signed American-born center David Backes to a five-year contract worth $30 million. The 6’3″, 221 lbs. forward has already played 700 plus games in the NHL and is a proven durable player. His rugged and intense style (along with his ability to score) will fit well here in Boston.

The Backes signing came soon after word came that the B’s lost Loui Eriksson to the Vancouver Canucks to a deal believed to be worth $36 million over six years.

The Bruins are now absolutely stacked down the middle of the ice with Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and Ryan Spooner. With Backes in the mix, not one of those players is a guy that belongs on the fourth line.

The solution? Trade Krejci. And the potential suitor? Why not St. Louis?

The arrival of the former St. Louis Blues captain here in Boston leaves a gaping hole at center for that team. In relation, the Bruins are still coveting defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. A trade between both sides involving those two players will solve the problem for both teams. Spooner could handle that increased role if necessary and the Bruins would have improved their team without circulating the entire NHL to do so.

If the Bruins decide to keep all four centers, Backes can play right wing as well. However, he should not be playing the wing with the amount of money he is going to be making starting next season.

In addition to Backes, who scored 21 goals and 45 points in 79 games last season, the Bruins also inked backup goaltender Anton Khudobin to a two-year, $2.4 million deal and re-signed defenseman John-Michael Liles to a one-year, $2 million contract after arriving at the trade deadline last spring.

Khudobin spent parts of two seasons with the Bruins, racking up 15 starts during that span. He spent last season with the Anaheim Ducks, posting a .909 save percentage and 2.70 goals-against average in nine games.

As for Liles, this deal is extremely team friendly and that would allow the B’s to scratch him on a regular basis if the team decides to remain active in replenishing the blue line.

In addition to those signings, the Bruins inked forward Riley Nash to a two-year contract. The 27-year-old has played all 242 games with the Carolina Hurricanes after originally being drafted by the Edmonton Oilers. He posted nine goals and 13 assists in 64 games last season for the Hurricanes. Like Backes, Nash can play the wing as well. At 6’1″, he is deceptively quick and can contribute at both ends of the ice. Nash will be a solid depth forward to fill out the bottom two lines.

We certainly rip B’s general manager Don Sweeney for a lack of trade activity, and rightfully so. As for free agent signings? He has been as aggressive as any other general manager in the NHL.

Is anyone else wiped out yet? We are just 24 hours into free agency. Things are just getting started.

Long-Term Deals and the Importance of Surplus Value

Long-Term Deals and the Importance of Surplus Value

Yesterday, the Dallas Stars signed forward Roope Hintz to an eight-year, $67.6 million contract. The 26-year-old Hintz, one of the team’s leading scorers with 24 points in 22 games, is now locked up in Dallas through the 2030-31 season. Was the contract a good idea for the Stars? The answer is more complex than you might realize.

read more
NHL rookie rankings: Two-player race for the top spot?

Matty Beniers continues to excel for the red-hot Kraken. But can Vegas' Logan Thompson make it a race for the Calder? How do the best NHL rookies stack up? [...]

793 goals and counting: The Alex Ovechkin chase to 800 tracker

The Washington Capitals star is projected to reach the 800-goal mark this season. Follow along as he chases down this accomplishment. [...]

Marner nets 2, sets Maple Leafs record in OT loss

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner set a franchise record and extended the league's longest active point streak to 19 games Saturday night with two goals in a 4-3 overtime… [...]

Wings' Bertuzzi out 6 weeks after hand surgery

Red Wings forward Tyler Bertuzzi will miss six weeks after undergoing hand surgery, the team announced Friday. [...]

'Pretty awesome': TB's Stamkos hits 1K points

Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos became the 95th player in NHL history to reach 1,000 points and the second member of the Lightning. [...]

Kings loan Petersen to AHL after clearing waivers

Cal Petersen has been loaned to the Los Angeles Kings' American Hockey League affiliate after he cleared waivers. [...]

Lightning's Maroon mocked, donates to charity

Lightning forward Pat Maroon makes charitable gesture after being mocked by NESN broadcaster Jack Edwards. [...]

Pens' Letang out indefinitely after having stroke

Penguins defenseman Kris Letang is out indefinitely after the second stroke of his NHL career. [...]

Kraken outlast Kings 9-8 in OT: 'Messed-up night'

Andre Burakovsky had two goals, including the winner in overtime, and the Kraken defeated the Kings 9-8 on Tuesday night in the highest-scoring NHL game this season. [...]

Why this is the golden era of NYC-area NHL hockey

This could be the fourth time in history that the Rangers, Islanders and Devils make the playoffs -- and all three have legitimate cases as serious Stanley Cup contenders. [...]

Ever wonder what it would be like if your everyday car was a ZAMBONI?!?!?

Wonder no longer…

Check out The Zambonis' latest hit, "Slow Whip"!