I don’t like starting the week with craptastic news but a report filed this weekend on the official website of the National Hockey League has twisted my stomach just as it may yours.
Speaking with the press, Cam Neely stated that he expects that the top two RD of the Bruins may miss the start of training camp. While they each have a couple of years under their respective belts, this is not good news. Still, we shouldn’t panic just yet because it sounds like Donny and crew are trying to get these two players signed.
“We do have to plan and prepare for these players to not be at camp opening day,” Neely said in remarks published Friday. “But we have five, six weeks hopefully to get something done. We feel like we should be able to get something done with both of those guys at numbers that make sense for us, and hopefully makes sense for them. I think we’ve done a really good job of kind of managing the [NHL salary cap] and making sure that we’re OK to get these guys done.”
It’s obvious that Charlie’s injury history is a matter of record and possibly playing into the contract discussions. Perhaps this is the same for Carlo, who’s had two concussions that have kept him from playing along withe bad luck of breaking a leg late in the spring of 2018.
“You look at a player that’s had some health issues two years in a row at a young age,” Neely said. “You look at that and say, ‘OK, is that going to stay the same or is it just bad luck?’ We all can see what Charlie is capable of doing. You’d like to see a bigger sample size, obviously. Since the cap has come into effect, we’ve all seen deals that have been signed where three years down the road you say it’s not as good as you anticipated it would be.
“Charlie has had three playoff years and two full seasons where he hasn’t been healthy. A lot of times obviously that’s not his fault, but it’s nice to have a better sample size of where a player is going to go. You see the skill set that [McAvoy] has. We want both Charlie and Brandon to be Bruins for their whole career, but we also have to do what’s right for the organization.”
Of course, looking at the Bruins cap situation, a contract needs to move to provide some space. Even placing John Moore (shoulder/ humerus; likely out until November) and Kevan Miller (multiple knee injuries; return unknown) on LTIR won’t solve the cap situation since LTIR is complicated. Best leave that to the accountants and not me struggling to write something at 1am. (Seriously though, I love Calculus especially when it involves integrals with three variables. That stuff is the shit. I mean you are trying to figure out the volume of an known or unknown shape. How cool is that?)
So, were training camp to start today, we would have Zdeno Chara (LD), Torey Krug (LD), Matt Grzelcyk (mostly LD), and Steven Kampfer (RD) as our veteran D corps. Connor Clifton, entering his second professional season would be our lone RD likely to make the team out of camp. The other three young defenseman on the roster (Jeremy Lauzon, Urho Vaakanainen, and Jakub Zboril) are all left shooting D. Just in case you didn’t know, signing Carlo and McAvoy is pretty important.
Don’t mess this up, Donny and Cam. We’re counting on you.