Morning Free Association, July 1 – NHL Free Agency 12:00 ET

It’s the calm before the storm of NHL free agency. At 12:00 ET today, teams are allowed to sign UFAs and offer sheet RFAs. Will the Bruins re-sign Loui? Will they sign Jimmy Vesey? Will they finally acquire some defense? Please? I mean, like, y’know, the good ones? Strap on your helmets and get your drinks ready!

Last year, the Bruins charted a new course in dramatic fashion by moving Milan Lucic and Dougie Hamilton. In the days leading up to the start of free agency today, the Bruins were much less dramatic but the moves they made were still very significant. They started by buying out Dennis Seidenberg. Next year’s expansion draft for the Las Vegas team likely factored into the decision, as Seidenberg’s NMC/NTC might have forced the Bruins to protect him.

The Bruins followed up with signing Scorey Krug to a 4-year, $5.25mil/year extension. Krug is still recovering from shoulder surgery, but he’s hopeful about being ready for Opening Night.

Talks between the Bruins and Loui Eriksson remain at an impasse, as the Bruins aren’t budging from a 4-year offer and Loui isn’t budging from a 6-year request. Sweeney said that he had “productive” talks with John-Michael Liles. Lee Stempniak expressed interest in returning to Boston. Jimmy Vesey will test the UFA market despite the Buffalo Sabres trading a 3rd-round pick to the Predators for his negotiation rights. The Bruins are in the mix for Vesey, along with Toronto and Buffalo. With $19 million in cap space and a bunch of roster spots to fill, the Bruins should be active in the UFA market today.

TSN released their list of Top 50 free agents. Milan Lucic tops the list, and he may end up getting a 7-year, $7mil/yr deal. Suitors apparently include Edmonton, Vancouver, Dallas, and…hahaha…the Habs.

Should be a fun day, folks! What’s on tap?

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David Krejci has a full no-movement clause.
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