Latest on the Bruins – August 24, 2016

by | Aug 24, 2016 | Rumors | 85 comments


Can the Boston Bruins improve their defense corps for 2016-17?

Can the Boston Bruins improve their defense corps for 2016-17?

Why the Boston Bruins defense still needs improvement, plus the five best available free agents who could help them.

NBC SPORTS: Joey Alfieri reports the Boston Bruins defense still needs some work. The Bruins’ front office has acknowledged since the end of last season the need to land a transitional defenseman. So far, however, their efforts to address that issue have been unsuccessful.

St. Louis Blues rearguard Kevin Shattenkirk was reportedly available via trade, but the Blues have hung onto him. Unless the Bruins can swing a deal soon, Alfieri believes they’ll start the season with their current corps. Captain Zdeno Chara is aging and no longer a dominant force, while Torey Krug is their only significant puck-moving defenseman. Alfieri suggests the Bruins blueline could struggle against the rest of the Atlantic Division.

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty lists forward Jiri Hudler, defenseman Kris Russell, Winnipeg Jets blueliner Jacob Trouba, forward Brandon Pirri and aging rearguard Marek Zidlicky as his five best free agents who could help the Bruins. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Bruins were believed among the suitors for Shattenkirk, but the Blues apparently set a very high asking price for him.  Blues GM Doug Armstrong has indicated he’s willing to start the season with Shattenkirk, so the Bruins will have to look elsewhere.

One possibility could be Cam Fowler of the Anaheim Ducks, as there’s speculation he could be shopped once the Ducks re-sign Hampus Lindholm. Fowler’s a left-handed shot, but I doubt the Bruins would pass over an opportunity to land him for a reasonable price. 

Of the two forwards listed by Haggerty, Hudler has a proven record and could be a decent short-term addition to provide depth on the wings. Pirri has size and some scoring potential, but he’s been plagued by inconsistency in his short NHL career.

As for the defensemen, Trouba is the best of the bunch, but he’s also a restricted free agent. The Bruins will have to pay big to pry him away from the Winnipeg Jets. They could go the offer sheet route, but Haggerty considers that unlikely. Russell is a fine shot-blocking defenseman with some puck-moving abilities, but he won’t address the Bruins need for a transitional d-man. Zidlicky is now past his prime and won’t help the Bruins. 


  1. Kyle Quincy is still a serviceable NHL defenceman and Janmes Wiesnewski is a pretty good puck mover powerplay guy. I would assume either or both would come at a fairly reasonable price dollarwise. Im not a Bruins fan so not really sure if they would be an upgrade over what is currently on tbe roster or in the minors. Shattenkirk is pretty good but not worth mortgaging the future for.

  2. I agree with Wiz, however, hes accepted a PTO with the Lightning.

    • I believe a player can sign an NHL contract with any team well signed to a PTO.

      • Yeah, sometimes a player does a PTO to prove to the entire league they still have some value. Often it ends up being another team than the one the have the PTO with that signs them

    • Thanks, wasnt aware of that or i forgot.

  3. Lyle. Boston doesn’t have their 2nd or 3rd round picks next season so the offer sheet route isn’t an option unless they can reacquire their own 2nd; NJ Stempniak trade, & 3rd; Philadelphia, Rinaldo trade, which is highly unlikely.

    That means the only possible RFA offer sheet scenario that Boston could meet in draft pick compensation would be the 9 mil+, 4 1st round picks? 7 years at 7 mil per would hit that threshold with the contract required to be divided by 5, the cap hit would be 9.8 for the purposes of determining draft pick compensation

    Boston isn’t giving up 4 1st round picks to secure the services of Trouba.

    • They have the oilers 2nd round pick

      • They need their own picks if intending to go the offer sheet route.

      • Needs to be their own pick

    • They aren’t going for trouba anyway…Jets will match most offers trouba gets anyway…trouba talk is idle chatter.

      • Agreed.

    • Why “with the contract required to be divided by 5”?

    • You sound like a manager

  4. Bost D is not as bad as Dallas Vancouver and quite a few others.

    • Hold on there!!! Vancouver has Sbisa and Edler!!!!


      • @Ron Jull
        Yawn,the child strikes again.
        You’re secretly in love with the Canucks aren’t you Jethro.

      • Only repeating what is printed in The Province Jeff.

      • Vancouver sucks period..on offense, defense and between the pipes…cmon man..

    • I would take Van’s defence over Bruins any day!

      • Yikes. I wouldn’t. No true #1. Edler is a #2 although Vancouvers #1. Tanev a 3/4 currently & no other Canucks Dman is more than a #4 or worse.

        Tanev & Hutton still have allot more to give as they develop & Vancouver didn’t even draft the best Dman available this years draft. No slight to Juolevi. Montreal got the best Dman in Sergachev & several of the others selected much later may be better. Time will tell.

      • Time will tell who got the best D

    • Agreed.

    • Seems everybody needs defense

      • That’s so true. A friend in Nova Scotia who’s a Sens fan offered this suggestion via e-mail this morning for a plan to shore up Ottawa’s 5/6 pairing and provide some insurance if Methot goes down yet again:

        “Dorion ought to make Washington an offer of Ben Harper and Curtis Lazar for Karl Alzner. Trading Alzner would allow the Caps to re-sign Dimitri Orlov who they want to sign but don’t have sufficient cap space. They’ll likely need to free up at least $1.5 million in cap space because Orlov won’t sign for less than $4.0 million, possibly more. Alzner is a prototypical stay at home D who provides little in the way of offence. He currently makes $2.8M and will be free agent next year. But he would significantly upgrade the Sens 3rd pair. He (minus Lazar) would bring the Sens to just under $69 M in cap hits. Dorion needs to make it clear to Melnyk that Alzner or somebody like him is the cost of playing in the post season.”

        If they don’t do something like that they face going into the season with a 5/6 tandem of Borowiecki-Wideman (unless Chabot can crack the line-up in training camp). Not a great seasonal prospect.

      • Ben Harpur has little to no value. Few 4th round picks play in the NHL & other than being 6’6″ has little value.

        I know you don’t like Lazar but trading a player that just turned 21 in February coming out his ELC next summer for a Dman that will be a free agent next summer, an unrestricted 1 at that is bad asset management & Ottawa would have no hope of being able to afford. Nor would Washington make that deal.

        Lazar is going into his 3rd season playing as a 3rd line RW & should see a bump in points into the 35 point range, maybe 40 if everything falls into place perfectly for him, he still has a very bright NHL future. In 2017-18 following the expansion draft, Lazar should be ready to have his break through; 50 to 55 points, & should eventually be a decent #2 C or solid #3. If he has to stay at RW due to depth issues so be it but I don’t see Ottawa resigning Turris when he becomes a UFA in 2 seasons nor will Brown be ready for that role by then.

      • George O:
        Well, Alzner isn’t just a good stay at home defencemen, he is a great one with good offensive qualitys but is not played like that. That’s not his role. He is also caps best shutdown defencemen and a GREAT! pincher. I only see him losing a pinch to keep the attack going when caps are down a goal or two in the end of the game when you gamble more – and then he don’t lose them and create an odd-man rush either.
        Would be MUCH better too just keep Alzner and let Orlov go – he is way better than he is credited for. He might even be one of the most important players caps has.

  5. Bruins D isn’t the best but they have a couple of real good young guys not far away, they need a short term fix and when Chara retires they will have room to sign a stud.

    • Finally, someone who understands. We’ve got some real good up and coming young dmen, why trade the future when we can use Charas money too sign a 23-25 yr old proven dman next year.

      • Because 25 year old stud d men rarely hit fa. An offer sheet or a trade are essentially the only way to get one of those… Or develop internally.

  6. NJD and Car have very poor D as well. Tough landing one when 20% of the league are in desperate need. A novel idea is to draft the position ala Nashville. CLB is going to be stacked on the back end when Werenski makes the team.

    • CLB is in serious risk of loosing a quality D-man in expansion.

    • Carolina has one of the best young defenses in the NHL. Nothing poor about them.

    • NJ yes, Carolina no. Carolina’s D played great last season & Faulk missed 18 games. Slavin & Pesce came out of no where & were solid. The addition of Hanafin as an 18 year was shocking. This year they get Fleury & Hainsey is a solid minute muncher playing hard minutes.

      Carolina gave up the 5th least shots on net per game & if not for below average goaltending wouldn’t have finished 18th for goals against. To have done so with 3 rookie Dman was amazing.

      NJ has the worst D in the NHL currently by a significant margin & it’s going to hurt them this season if not addressed.

      • Carolina gave up 5th lowest shots with that stunning d 27 per game Nj With their terrible D… Oh ya 8th lowest shots against with 28 against ethnic game..and have 1 of the best goalies in the league…

      • So still waiting to hear what the “significant margin” is…is it the extra shot a game that still puts them comfortably in the top 10 against? Or it’s it just being 8 th in the league for shots against? Which one made them significantly worse? No answer?

    • Another option is to have less teams! Who cares if Carolina even exists let alone gets a defense man! I guess there are not enough quality defensemen to fill 30 (and counting) rosters. The posts here seem to give leverage to those who argue the league is watered down! I would love to see a 24 team NHL!

      • Never happening. More than enough talent being produced to stock 31 teams. the growth of hockey in the US is staggering. The fruits of decades of work by the NHL is just starting to bare fruit. Kids in the US are starting to choose hockey over baseball, basketball & football. Austin Matthews being an example. A kid from Arizona who had to travel extensively to become the player he has. 100’s & 100’s are coming fast that even 10 years ago would never even have considered hockey as an option.

        By the time Carolina’s lease is up Seattle should actually be in a position to want a team. 5 years from now Carolina’s buy out of their lease will be palatable. It doesn’t actually expire till like 2023?

      • The US has come a LONG way for developing quality players. But let’s not get carried away. Football and baseball are and always will be king over hockey. Most southern US cities don’t even have an ice rink . Or at least not one that’s convenient. Baseball, football, and basketball are played in every single junior HS and HS in the US. Hockey not so much. And when I say not so much, I’m being kind.

      • Nah Striker wouldn’t get carried away now would he? Surely he is right when he says American kids are choosing hockey over their own national past times….I’m sure if you look at statistics it would show that Auston Mathews is no fluke and hockey is probably really close to basketball football and baseball… Jeezus lol seriously man just stop

  7. Hudler signs in Dallas

    • Ill wait to see if this is true. I read the article but have seen no verification from any of the big sports networks or teams.

      • They’ve already got him listed on their roster at their website so it’s a good possibility.

    • Nikushkin out?

      • Only 1 year 2 mill so I doubt it

    • They don’t need him. They need a goalie, and oh yeah just another team in need of defense!

  8. As of right now if you want a top notch dman you have to over pay to get him. The bruins imo at present don’t have a all round dman. They got transitional (krug, Liles, Morrow, C.Miller) defensive (Mcquaid, K.Miller)all round (Chara). I believe Boston defense will be better this year. Krug will get over 10 gaols this year, he be between 12 and 15,Colin Miler will next the next step next this year and play a full season. Liles is a good short term addition and will help with moving the puck forward. The bruins have several good quality dman prospects and unless they want to give up McAvoy and Krug for Trouba, stay the course and don’t mortgage the future. The jets have a lot of good prospects up front and if trading Trouba they need a dman in return because they’re not that deep on the back end.

    • There is merit in that. No one wants to have a poor season but if a D isn’t available at good value the best thing Boston can do is wait for their prospects or a better deal emerges.

  9. Bruins have a bunch of young defenseman in the pipeline.
    Carlo might be ready.
    I agree with others stay the course have a plan to contend in a couple years. Not winning the cup this year. Top priority should be signing Marchand.

    • Stay the course is right! Just look at Toronto! I for one am happiest as a hockey when Canadian and original six franchises are competitive

  10. I think liles is that stop gap player for this year. He will be a serviceable 2nd line guy next to K Miller to provide a balance of grit and speed/ transitional game. I think many people will be surprised with K Miller’s I performance this year.

    Chara Krug
    Liles K Miller
    McQuaid C Miller/morrow

    Evaluate the improvement of Morrow and Chiller and perhaps there will be no need for Liles next year. Groom our own for the time being. Resign our forwards with the extra cap space next season. Unless a trade can be made that involves shipping out Mcquaid + mid level prospect and a pick, we can’t just acquire a new dman. There will be no room to play any of the kids.

    Likes was Sweeney’s answer.

    • I agree with most of you. I have supported Boston’s roster position & D development & have advicated to stay the course unless it can be addresses via UFA market. I had hoped Boston would have signed Goligoski or Yandle in that order.

      I don’t like the Liles signing, coupled with the Seidenberg buyout it made no sense to me. Not the same players but their combined monies are hitting the cap at 3,166,667 this year & eating up icetime I would prefer to see go to C.Miller & Morrow.

      Now Boston is on the hook for 1,166,667 in 3 of the next 4 years & 2,166,667 next season. Why mot just have kept Seidenberg for 1 more year slotting him in at the #5 spot & look to trade when a team needs a Dman due to injury or bought out next season.

      I have the Bruins D as.

      Chara, K. Miller.
      McQuad, Krug.
      Liles, C. Miller.

      Morrow will sub in for C. Miller playing a similiar # of games.

  11. Bruins ….hello is anyone running this team? Hudler who would have been a perfect fit and upgrade over Vesey signed with ummmm who? Thats right Dallas for dirt cheap. 2 million. Less than the bonuses for Vesey. All I can is wonder and ask if anyone is home? James Wiz on PTO to Tampa? Why not sign him for a mill. Hes dynamic and has great upside, surely hes better than Kevin Miller. Ooh wait again no one is home.

    • I love what Sweeney has done. In a little over a year he has gutted the payroll & restocked the prospect pipeline.

      In case you missed the memo. The Bruins are in a rebuild. They dressed 11 players last season that had 2 years or less of NHL experience, the majority less, in significant roles last season. Vatrano & Griffith will be added this season.

      The Liles signing was bad enough Boston doesn’t need to add Hudler 32 year old Hudler. Continue the rebuild & let the kids play.

      Marchand, Bergeron, Backes.
      Belesky, Krejci, Pastrnak.
      Vatrano, Spooner, Hayes.
      Griffith, Acciari, Nash.

      Move the wingers around anyway you like but Marchand who is a fixture with Bergeron. Backes will play C until Krejci is ready to return & back up to full speed after major hip surgery & then I assume have to play RW baring trade or injury.

      There are rumors circulating that Boston loves this Danton Heinen kid coming out of 2 years at the University of Denver & he will be given every opportunity to earn a spot if ready.

      • Sweeney hasn’t done very well and has STATED we are not in a rebuild striker you are the only person saying this! No one signs backes for that contract and gives liles one yr rather than let a cheaper and just as good younger player during a rebuild just doesn’t happen it’s only your mind that thinks they’re in a rebuild

      • Bigbear is right. The Bruins are not in a rebuild. They are in no mans land, stuck between not being bad enough to consider a full rebuild and not good enough to get by the 1st rd of the playoffs.
        The Leafs sat here for years before finally doing something. I believe they are in a re-tool mode, trying to rebuild while staying competitive.Like the Red Wings. Both teams are trying to infuse young players into their lineup. Problem is the young guys are not quite good enough to help the aging vets become a better team and vice versa.
        I like the addition of vets like Backes, he’s the type of player you need for leadership to help the young guys grow. Look at Edmonton. They could not grow as their vets were and are not leaders.
        I haven’t seen retooling work yet but I believe Boston has a better handle on it then teams like the Leafs or Oilers ever did.
        I’d be as bit more patient and see if they get better.

      • Yankee is ” bigbear” a flashback from your days on the smack? Or you still on it? A team with chara and Bergeron do not need an overpaid declining backes for leadership that’s just a dumb comment?

      • Hockey related ? It’s okay bigbear you’re right and Sweeney should be fired. Your the tranny for the job.
        You really like drug references don’t you.

      • Not as much as you like doing them judging by your comments you must be an addict? ?

  12. Teams will want to keep some cash available if and when O.E.L comes a UFA. Coyotes will want to lock him up but if he hits the market some team will open there wallet maybe Boston.

  13. no chance boston will pick up anything more than an aging vet

  14. Boston needs to sell it off and rebuild they are not a playoff team and are going to bleed goals this year. That defense is awful with that corpse that used to be Chara and 2 throwback era goons as their top 3. Kreci can’t stay healthy. Rask is in full decline. They will be lucky to finish 12th in the east this year.

    • Will they finish ahead of the Leafs?

    • 12th? So Rask has one not great season, and you’re ready to say he’s in full decline? It just sounds like you just flat out hate the Bruins, and will say anything to trash them

    • Lol harsh

  15. The reason Boston hasn’t gotten a top defenseman is because of the cost. I’m glad he didn’t trade two first round picks and Pasta for Shattenkirk. Prices too high. Still think Chia made a horrible trade moving Hall.

    • Still very positive for that trade towards oilers. I really think they will be a force this year. You can’t look at it as losing Hall for a lesser star. It also adressed the need for defence and a capcut making the Lucic signing possible. It was a good hockeytrade for the Oilers.

      • A “force?” We’ve been hearing that for 5 years now. Better probably – couldn’t be a whole lot worse – but far from being a “force.”

      • From the guy who traded Seguin for practically nothing.
        Lucic is tough but he’s no Hall.

      • I don’t think anyone thinks Lucic is a Hall but Mcdavid will certainly turn him into one.

      • Most would rather have lucic and larsson rather than just hall

      • According to a phone poll you did?

      • Just common sense………oh wait nvm it’s you ?

      • Well, not just because of the trade with Hall. But hopefully McDavid will play full season and with the other prospects coming along and all. When I look at the names on this years roster I’m stunned they havn’t been in the playoffs already.

      • Adoe,

        Nice to see someone else who understands this deal. I have been saying the same thing all along. I think Larsson certainly has something to prove this year.

  16. Edmonton is playoff bound. At the very least just falling out of the wild card spot. But I think they finally make it.

    • I think we had this conversation 2 years ago. I’ll believe it when I see it. I can’t see losing Hall adding Larsson and Lucic as what finally sends the soaring up the standings.

      • That’s what gets me as well is the attitude that Lucic and Larsson are what turned this thing around (if it happens), if it does happen I’d be more inclined to believe it’s due to McDavid Nurse Klefbolm Draisitil for a full year another year developed under decent coaching…. all these things I think probably outweigh the other 2 by quite a bit, but you know if there is improvement it’s going to be because of these “great moves” by management lol

      • Agreed. And if I hear ” well it was Hall for Larsson and Lucic “one more time I swear I’ll puke!

      • well since 2 years ago they did a little more than just add Larsson and Lucic. They added Mcdavid who in his rookie season broke his collar bone and from serious injury came back and was points per game the third best player in the league. That’s insane for a rookie. if he stays healthy can’t imagine what he’ll do this season. should be incredible. Also Klefbom was injured most of last season. Changed some hockey operations staff. also may be adding Puljajarvi to the line up who in most analysts opinions is as good as Mathews or Laine and toronto and Winnipeg are considering those to players to be franchise players. If everyone stays healthy whether they make the playoff or not…it should be very fun hockey to watch

  17. Bruins will be fine a long way from a rebuild way to many quality guys. There’s lots of options just sit back and enjoy the show.

    • Thank you obe they are not in a rebuild

  18. The Bruins defense is not among the worst in the nhl but will have problems when one or two D are injured. Don’t forget most teams will use at least 10 Dmen during the whole season.

    • And that’s exactly what has me worried about Ottawa this year as well. You just KNOW Methot is going to go down from yet another injury which means the shuffle will include one of the 5/6 pairing of Wideman or Borowiecki moving up the scale – and I already don’t think they can become a bona-fide playoff contender with those two playing 8-10 minutes a game in the 5/6 role.

  19. What baffles me about Boston is they let Boychuk and Hamilton walk really as the trades were for picks.Then say they need puck moving defence.But kept Seidenberg and McQuaid.Then let Ericsson go and find a winger to replace him bad management .If they lose Marchand they are screwed.