Don Sweeney has a lot of things to juggle right now: the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, unrestricted free agents, laughing at how Garth Snow got canned by Lou Lamoriello, Twitter burner accounts, disenfranchised players whose NHL rights he controls, and restricted free agents. Like I said, that’s a lot. Today, we’re going to take a look at a few of these things.
Unrestricted Free Agents:
Restricted Free Agents:
While Rick Nash has expressed interest in remaining with the Bruins at this point in his career, it’s uncertain whether or not Nash will want a deal that will work under the frame of the salary cap. While the salary cap is being raised to $80 million next season, the Bruins will be carrying dead space/ salary of $3.09 million due to continuing buyouts of Dennis Seidenberg and Jimmy Hayes and the retention of half of Matt Beleskey’s salary through the end of his contract in 2020. While his time on Krejci’s wing looked promising, it will depend upon how much salary and term the 33 year-old winger will demand.
Riley Nash and Tim Schaller had career years. Nash finally found his spot anchoring the third line and proved that he could fill in admirably for Patrice Bergeron when the latter was out of the lineup with a broken foot. While it would be wonderful if he stayed, it’s common knowledge that he outplayed teh Bruins ability to afford him. With Austin Czarnik in the mix, Riley Nash could be replaced by a piece within the system, that is if Sweeney can retain him. Tim Schaller spent most of his time between the fourth and third lines, scoring 12 goals with 10 assists. Schaller will likely command slightly more money and term which may price the Bruins out.
Tommy Wingels and Nick Holden, with pickups at the trade deadline, could be back for depth. Neither was impressive enough to fight for a roster spot but both did fill in as needed. Both will likely be cheap enough to come back o one-year deals.
Don Sweeney had some things to say about Wingels and Schaller:
“Haven’t decided on Tommy,” said Sweeney. “We’re trying to figure out – that’s another right shot, so where they all fit together. But again, in a depth role, in a situation – in the right situation – he could.”
Sweeney noted that Schaller is in a similar position, while he may garner interest from around the league.
“Tim Schaller follows the same category in terms of what he may feel internally versus externally for opportunities for him,” said Sweeney.
Whatever happens to Schaller and Riley Nash, two fan favorites, we’ll remember them fondly in the Black and Gold.
Both Sean Kuraly and Matt Grzelcyk are arbitration eligible and Sweeney hopes to get the deals done before it comes to that.
Word came this week that Don Sweeney and Alexander Khokhlachev have spoken about a return to the Bruins. The discussion happened in Moscow during the season. Koko has interest in returning because Bruce Cassidy, the former P-Bruins head coach, is now the permanent coach for the Boston Bruins. Cassidy played a key role in developing Koko, who played well under Cassidy in Providence. If he’s ever going to have a real chance at the Boston lineup, it will likely happen soon. However, not this season; Koko has to fulfill his contract in the KHL this season.