Morning Free Association: The Bruins Exciting Free Agency

Bear
It’s everybody’s favorite time of the year again – NHL Free Agency!

Free agency is the time period where hundreds of player contracts all end at once and the players are scattered about the league randomly like so many Scrabble tiles.

There are about 345 UFAs out there of which 16 were on the Bruins payroll as of last week. Those Bruin free agents fall into the following groups:
Group 2 (RFAs): Peter Cehlarik, Jake DeBrusk, Matt Grzelcyk, Karson Kuhlman, Zach Senyshyn, Jakub Zboril.
Group 3 UFAs: Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug, Maxime Lagace, Kevan Miller, Joakim Nordstrom, Alexander Petrovic.
Group 6 UFAs: Ryan Fitzgerald.
UFAs (No qualifying offer): Brendan Gaunce, Brett Ritchie, Wiley Sherman.

On the market were many exciting players including Taylor Hall, Alex Petrangelo, Tyler Toffoli, and Mike Hoffman. Surely the Bruins could land one of these big fish, right?

Well… so far, the Bruins have signed one free agent – Craig Smith, a forward, formerly of the Nashville Predators signed a 3-year contract with with the Bruins for an AAV of $3.1 million dollars.

Surely that could not be the only news so far, right?

Well it isn’t. The Bruins lost a player to free agency. Maxime LaGace, the 2nd goaltender for the 2019-2020Providence Bruins has signed a 1 year contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins, for $700,000.
I know, you’re all upset about losing a player with whom fans felt like they had such a personal relationship.
Don’t remember him? Well, he was a late acquisition, a pretty solid net minder who competed with Dan Vladek for goaltending minutes. A decent player who was probably never on track to play for the big club.

Also, Torey Krug left.

The diminutive defenseman signed a 7-year contract with the St. Louis Blues for $45.5 million which would count for an AAV of $6.5M/yr. A $6.5 million cap hit for a power-play captain is not such a bad value, but by the 2026-27 season, $6.5 million is likely to be well above the on-ice value that he will provide. Time will tell, but as of now, Krug is a pretty valuable puck moving D-man, and has been a critical part of one of the league’s best power plays.

So what you’ve been waiting for finally happened – THE BRUINS SIGNED KEVAN MILLER! Yes, for some reason, the Bruins decided to re-sign Kevan Miller – the defenseman who disappeared from the lineup in early 2019 due to injury and was continually week-to-week to return, having several setbacks, and never skating with the team for the 2020 season. The defenseman whose NHL career we all thought was finished. He’s now back, for 1 year, with a $1.25 million dollar cap hit, though Pierre LeBrun reported that it may be worth as much as $2 million with incentive bonuses.
Why would the Bruins sign a player who hasn’t played a meaningful game or even practiced with NHL players in nearly two years?
Well, it’s not entirely clear. However there are a few factors worth noting. First, when Miller was last healthy, he was a large, physical player, a prototypical stay-at-home defenseman who was good a blocking shots and was running a +/- of +15 to +20 per season. The Bruins also anticipated letting Torey Krug leave the team in free agency, saving millions of dollars in cap space and opening a defensive spot on the roster (though not a 1:1 spot, since Krug is a left shot and Miller a righty)

So as far as the first few days have gone, the Bruins have not done much and are not a stronger team. We are early into Free agency so this could change dramatically.

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About IntentionallyWidenberg

Position: Power Forward. Occupation: I am the Egg Man. Contrary to popular belief, I am not the Walrus.

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Satan 81's Sister
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Satan 81's Sister

So I just got an alert on GM that I have a message from Satan81. How much we all wanna bet the message is “Fuck Taylor Hall.” lol

the german hammer
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the german hammer

ha ha ha, that’s his new thing

Satan 81's Sister
Editor
Satan 81's Sister

Morning all. Nugget wasn’t thrilled with having Vana over for the day. No incidents but Nugget did make it clear Vana wasn’t welcome in the bedroom.

the german hammer
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the german hammer

“No Vana Allowed” by Management (Nugget)

Stripes
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Stripes

Hey All!
I feel like Smith will be a very good acquisition for the Bruins. A guy who scores goals from right around the crease is just what the doctor ordered. Good price, too.
I hope Kevan Miller is healthy again. He was skating well and hitting hard before his assortment of woes set in. Maybe he can return to form. The team still needs a left hand d man. A puck mover. Bulimic!!
Beautiful weekend in the north woods. Said good bye to a lot of boaters that we won’t see til spring.

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

That must’ve been bittersweet. Who knows what world we’ll be living in come the spring. Hey, let’s stay positive – might be a much better one!

Did you mean to say Bulimic?

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Ah yes, Radko Bulimic – Czech player, the scouting reports just write themselves:
“Vomits the puck up the ice with surprising regularity”
“Has his finger down the throat of opposing forwards”

Seriously, I hope that’s a typo – because that would be a super depressing surname to be shackled with.

Quaider4everwash
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Quaider4everwash

Radko Bulimic! I love it! How do we get his info into the Central Scouting Reports??? I believe that’s your department, Eye Dub!

Quaider4everwash
Guest
Quaider4everwash

Kulikov…. How autofotch, which is turned off, made bulimic out of it \_0_/

The London Bear
Member
The London Bear

Hi all,

Should we be concerned about the apparent lack of goalies in the system? Harsh to judge Vladar on his one appearance I guess. Lots of goalie moves already around the league! Glad Tuukka is staying put.