What Next for the Bruins and Sharks?

by | May 7, 2018 | Rumors | 49 comments

Latest on the Boston Bruins and San Jose Sharks in your NHL rumor mill.

ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski recommends the Boston Bruins look at adding a veteran power forward for David Krejci’s line and a veteran center during the offseason. He praised their mix of veteran talent and promising youth and believes they’re close to Stanley Cup contender status.

While acknowledging bringing in Rick Nash didn’t work, Wyshynski feels adding a power forward for the Krejci line “should be paramount for the Bruins.” Adding a veteran option at center could also enable them to compete with clubs such as the Tampa Bay Lightning.

NBC SPORTS PRO HOCKEY TALK: James O’Brien also recommends the Bruins target a suitable replacement for Nash. Several intriguing options could be available via free agency, including San Jose’s Evander Kane, Toronto’s James van Riemsdyk, Vegas’ James Neal and David Perron and Winnipeg’s Paul Stastny. Cheaper, short-term options include New Jersey’s Patrick Maroon and Michael Grabner and Columbus’ Thomas Vanek.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As per Cap Friendly, the Bruins have over $65 million invested in 17 players with all of their core players under contract for next season.

While a winger such as Kane, van Riemsdyk, Neal or Perron could be a good addition to the Bruins, those players will seek expensive long-term contracts. Having had to dig his way out of a salary-cap conundrum left by his predecessor, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney could be reluctant to go down that path. Sweeney signed David Backes to a lucrative long-term contract but the veteran winger’s declining production could make the Bruins GM gun-shy this time around.

Will the San Jose Sharks re-sign Evander Kane, or could he be of interest to the Boston Bruins? (Photo via NHL Images)

With the good young players on the roster and in their system, Sweeney might prefer affordable short-term options. He could also go the trade route to address his needs. 

ESPN.COM: Greg Wyshynski believes the San Jose Sharks should go after New York Islanders center John Tavares via free agency, re-sign Evander Kane if the price is right and keep infusing the roster with young players. He notes Tavares was linked to the Sharks earlier this season in the rumor mill and points out they have the salary-cap space to bid competitively for his services if the center hits the open market in July. 

SPECTOR’S NOTE: With over $60 million invested in 20 players, the Sharks have the cap space to sign both players. Perhaps a first line with Tavares and Kane could provide the Sharks with that extra offensive punch needed to take another run at the Stanley Cup.  

Wyshynski admitted signing Tavares could complicate efforts to re-sign Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski, who are both eligible in 2019 to become unrestricted free agents. It could also cost over $6 million annually to re-sign Kane, but he meshed well with the Sharks following his trade from Buffalo and could be worth retaining on a long-term deal.

Sharks GM Doug Wilson must also decide if he’s bringing back aging Joe Thornton for one more season. While still a great playmaker, Thornton’s suffered knee injuries in consecutive seasons. Twenty years of NHL hockey could be finally catching up with the 38-year-old center. Still, if the Sharks fail to bring in an upgrade like Tavares at center, perhaps they’ll give Thornton another one-year, bonus-laden contract.

The Sharks also reportedly contacted the Ottawa Senators prior to the trade deadline to explore the cost of acquiring superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson. Whatever the reason behind Wilson’s rumored interest in the Senators captain, it reminds us that he’s willing to make bold moves to improve his club. The Sharks GM could be a busy man this summer. 

 








49 Comments

  1. Lyle, have you heard anything about Lou Lamoriello going to work for Isles? Wonder what impact that could have in Tavares situation.

    • From Bob McKenzie last night:

      “Take this for the proverbial FWIW, because it’s not what I would term a “report” as much as it is anecdotal — there seems to be a decided uptick in the Lou Lamoriello-to-NYI talk within the NHL community. @DarrenDreger noticed it today in DEN; my sense here in NA is the same.”

      https://twitter.com/TSNBobMcKenzie/status/993342217505959937

    • I don’t get the love of Lou. The man is a dinosaur! He never really understood how to work in the cap era. He slowly drove the NJ devils into the ground.

      So he traded Kessel, I’d say the return was okay, but held salary in the process. And moved Phaneuf for a bunch of dead cap space back. Mathews fell in his lap. So no brilliant move to grab the best player in that draft… 30 other GMs were taking him 1st overall as well.

      I don’t see why the Islanders should even show luke warm interest.

      • Lou didn’t make the Kessel deal, and I think the Phaneuf deal looks especially good now considering what Ottawa had to do to move him later.

        Lou’s strongest moves were the Kadri and Rielly signings, those contracts will pay dividends as the big 3 get their raises, and the Andersen trade was solid too. He made some bad moves like the Zaitsev signing, and the 3rd year on Marleau’s contract is a bit of a gamble. He also didn’t take many risks. He didn’t move out any UFAs in a year they were going to make the playoffs anyway, and he bought cheap rental players that still cos picks, but weren’t real difference makers. Boyle was a better buy because they needed him just to get in, but Plekanec seemed a little like doing something just for the sake of doing something.

        In any event, Lou’s tenure was more about sheltering young players and young staff from scrutiny and letting people develop. I do think as the team starts to get tighter to the cap, it’s going to take more bold and creative moves than Lou is likely capable of to be competitive, but I think he served the purpose he was brought in for.

        I am not sure why the Islanders want him so badly. He will get a lot more credit for the Leafs than he deserves, so far, that team is Shannahan’s baby, and Lou was more of a cog in moving things along. The Islanders are a team that should be more competitive, and have some tough decisions, likely requiring some of those bold creative moves that I don’t think Lou has in him. So I don’t really think he turns things around all that drastically on the Island.

      • Tor is management by committee with Shanahan having the final say on almost everything. This isn’t your old GM model but the new structure now being employed by many teams.

        I agree with you NYR4Life, Lou left NJ a mess.

        Tor is a weird situation as to sign Babcock they gave him privileges no other coach has, well other than Roy & that didn’t work out as he lost the power struggle.

        Babcock has the final say on 25 players. The reason Leivo doesn’t play & is stuck as Lou wouldn’t waive him so he sat in the box. The only way Babcock is playing Leivo is if all other options are exhausted.

        Danny, we’ll see how much you like Rielly’s contract when h.e becomes a UFA in 4 years & demands huge monies.

      • Part of the conversation is Lou’s son already working for Isles. If Tavares bolts, Snow could be gone

      • Rielly’s contract for this 6 year period will have been great value regardless of what happens in the end.

        Rielly was a good bet to skip the bridge. He would be asking for $7M+ after a 50pt season where he played a top pairing role, he would have arbitration rights and the Leafs would be timing that deal to start with Nylanders. Instead they have 4 years of a great cap hit for what he brings, and can evaluate if he is worth keeping from age 28 onward at that time.

        If Rielly has come into his own as a top tier #1 D, then an extension means you are likely still getting another 4-5 years near his peak. Had he been coming out of a bridge, he would be 30 and that’s a way tougher call.

        I know you advocate for bridge to all, but it’s not something you will ever convince me is ALWAYS the best strategy. The cap hits in hockey right (aside from ELC’s) are 2nd contracts. They should be used in some cases as a way to build a window where you have excess space to go for it. I am not saying all should go into a 2nd long term deal, but when you get the chance to lock a player up to a deal you know will be good value for the entire deal, you should strongly consider doing it, especially if there is upside to boot.

      • Stiker, the NHL salary cap era has been built in a way where each team has a 4-5 years window of winning. At this time you need some guys on big contracts, some on medium and have really good talent on ELCs. The Leafs have that at the moment but won’t for long. The next 4 years of Reilly at his contract give them the best chance of winning.

        When experts say ‘this team will be great for a long time’ – i’d say a long time now is 5 years, no more.

  2. The Bruins easily overpaid for Rick Nash but he had 2 GWG and Krejci did not do much more. Bruins 2nd and 3rd liners all underperformed

    • Well the 26th overall is better than the 27th-31st! Here’s hoping that Tampa’s pick becomes pick#31, and next years becomes another 1st!

      • We should be learning to watch what Tampa does in later rounds. Three conf. finals in four years while riding a few very high picks from the cowboy era means you have to deal with picks that aren’t the “can’t miss” type. I daresay Tampa has a near league high investment in scouting & development…of necessity.

      • & to think people were calling for Yzerman’s head!

      • And Tampa misses playoffs next year!!

      • Slick, I’m a Ranger fan first, but also definitely a Tampa fan. I don’t mind watching them succeed, even at the cost of a better pick next year for NY.

    • Agreed on the over-payment, though Boston had so many young defensemen in the pipeline that they wouldn’t have room for all of them anyway.

      It is too bad Nash got injured and didn’t have more regular season games to develop chemistry with Krejci…maybe that would have made a difference.

      • Rick Nash produced what Rick Nash has always produced in the playoffs. They got exactly what they should have expected. He didn’t suck, and he didn’t drive the play. He is a complimentary player and has been for a few years. They paid an extremely high price for that. If my memory is correct, the vast majority of Bruins fans on this site thought the same thing before we knew the result.

    • I had no issues with Krecji we played well finished with 3-7-10 unfortunately he had Nash on his line 3-2-5 with a team worst -7 and we all knew except Striker that he wasn’t a playoff performer but we did think he was solid defensively and he wasn’t that either.

      • I hated this trade. Nash is well past his best before date. I agree with Raybark, average #’s for what is now an average player. Not brutal, not great but frankly Spooner would have been better.

        The #’s don’t lie regardless of what you chose to believe Caper. We agree to disagree but on Nash becoming a Bruin we agree. To high a price to pay & you don’t mess with good chemistry. Krejci, between Debrusk & Spooner were killing it.

        Now Rick Nash isn’t the reason Bos lost. Rask was below average. The 3rd line was invisible, Nash between Heinen & Bakes. McAvoy made some horrendous plays & losing Carlo for all the playoffs & Krug in game 4 & all of game 5 a factor. The officiating didn’t help but that’s a problem in virtually every series & something the NHL has to improve on in some way, frustrating the lack of consistency. The no call on the slash to Marchand late in game 2 was brutal.

      • There had to be a reason Spooner was dealt.

      • Yeah, it’s called stupidity.

  3. I know there are several other Bruins fans who comment here regularly. Who are you all rooting for now that Boston has been eliminated?

    I’m rooting for a Vegas-Pittsburgh final and for Fleury to shutout the Penguins in each of the first 4 games.

    Nothing against Pittsburgh, I just think it would be a great story.

    • I am rooting for the Jets. That city deserves a cup after losing their team in 1996 while selling out games pre-cap era.
      Also when they had very good teams in the 80’s they had to face a dynasty Oilers team early in the playoffs every year, so they haven’t witnessed deep playoff runs.
      They are smart hockey fans who have shown patience in building a winner the only way they could as “what UFA would want to play in WPG?” If you could ever say those fans deserve a championship, it is WPG fans.
      And I love how the Jets play.

      • I would be happy to see Winnipeg win as well. Still a big fan of Blake Wheeler and glad to see him excelling out there.
        Their management team does deserve a lot of credit for the way they have built that team, no doubt about it.

    • I live in Winnipeg but i’m rooting for Pitts first Jets second. My reasoning I’m from NS and cheer for players from the area, that makes me a Crosby fan, secondly for years I kept hearing media people, hockey insider etc say Toews was better then Crosby. I always counter Toews is comparable to Patrice Bergeron and no slight to Patrice he is no Crosby. The rebuttal back then is Toews has 3 Cups Sid 1, now that Sid has matched I don’t hear that anymore so now I want Crosby to pass Toews one the players I despise the most in the league.
      If Winnipeg gets to the final against Pitts it could change for me if I continue to get caught up in all the excitement around the city. Please stop having the jets fly overhead it’s over kill way to early in the playoffs for that.

      • Seeing Pit win the cup a 3rd time would also be awesome as I have stated before. You could argue Pit is a dynasty now but win it again this year & that’s solidified. Winning the cup has never been more difficult & you can never say never but the odds of winning even back to back cups in today’s NHL moving forward are slim to non-existent.

        Crosby is still the best player in the game & easily the best of his generation. He’s got players nibbling at his heels & he will get passed eventually just not happening yet. Winning especially come playoff time is far more important than points & Crosby is a winner.

    • I had Win to beat Bos in the final. I’m not really rooting for anyone now but if I were I guess it would be TB as I took them at 17:1 in July to win the cup. Not that I necessarily had them winning the cup was an issue of the odds. At 17:1 it seemed like a great wager.

      I went 7-1 in round 1 but sit 0-3 at present in round 2. I may be dead in my bracket pool but others selections weren’t significantly different than my own. In my pools, I played variations of the TB/Bos series & Win/Nas series in pools you just pick any players you want just to be safe as picking winners this year has never been harder for me. In my draft leagues, you go where the draft sends you.

      Again I’m a hockey fan so I don’t care who wins at this point Bos having stumbled but I would love to see Win win, it would be great for that city. That said Vegas winning would be an amazing story.

      As soon as Vegas beat SJ I laid plans to be in Vegas for games 1 & 2. Not going to any games live, Hussongs in the Mandalay Bay Malls for happy hour, the mall in front of T-Mobile for pregame activities & watch the games at Blonde’s. If we get to intoxicated mighty spend $500 to get into the building but would need to have drank far to many Marg’s for that to happen.

  4. i know this is silly… but for arguments sake… what stops the sharks from making a deal with a team where that team signs kane and then sharks trade for kane for like a third round pick? they keep their 1st and get their guy 😉

    • I think technically the league could step in and say that it was tampering. I mean they did penalize Jersey just for offering a contract that technically fell within the rules of the CBA, but they said violated the “spirit” of the CBA. So there is a precedent for the League to penalize a team for violating unwritten rules.

    • I think the NHL has a rule. It was adopted years ago, Philly kept burying a goalie for waiver purposes then trading back after the season started to get them back. I don’t know for certain but there is a time restriction to acquire a player traded back in a trade.

      Perhaps Lyle or someone else knows as I’m not certain but I believe there is.

    • If Kane walks and is acquired for a third then the Sharks pay a 2nd to Buffalo, plus give up a third in the hypothetical trade and possibly face discipline from the league.

      The Sharks should sign Kane, he was light’s out after that trade and Pavs went to his usual levels with Kane on his line

  5. If I’m the Bruins I’m playing more young guys and letting them develop Boston was as good with Spooner as they were with Nash. Cheering for Washington because hometown star Holtby needs a cup.

    • They were better with Spooner.

  6. Boston Post Mortem:
    They got beat by a better team
    Colin should’ve been protected over Kevan, Colin has the speed and skating ability to get the puck out of the dzone.
    Rick Nash was not needed finished with 3g 2a 5pts and a team worst -7. Ryan Spooner would’ve put up better numbers and Spooner speed was needed
    Rask is a good goalie but not elite
    Kevin Miller and Torey Krug had the worst 5vs5 numbers of any defense pairing in the playoffs but it took to long for Cassidy to adjust and break them up, only to put them back together again and watch them get scored on.
    David Backes has a ton of grit but no speed to catch anyone good for the regular season not for the playoffs.
    I’ve been saying all season Boston defense isn’t good enough and there not, neither Krug or Grzlcyk has elite speed both are 5’9 and two is one to many.
    Boston was most effective against TB when they were hitting them, lead to scoring chances and penalties drawn, but far to often they turned away and didn’t finish their check.
    Summary Trade Backes, K.Miller, Grzelcyk bring in a power forward like Kane who can skate, hit and score. Keep developing the d, Carol, McAvoy and Krug. Chara is there to mentor for another season. Start to develop a backup goaltender to take over for Rask.

    • Tampa was better 5v5. Tampa made a more astute, or luckier, trade deadline move. Tampa is a four line team, and had 100% buy-in.
      Boston had one great line, and wore them out. Tampa had slightly better goaltending, but neither goalie stole a game. Tampa got a couple of good calls, Boston was allowed to try to create trouble after the whistle, but to little effect. Tampa’s fourth line didn’t score, but shortened each game by ten minutes as Boston didn’t get a sniff all period. Tampa PK killed two huge 5 on 3 and the late penalty in game 5, and PP scored enough to keep Boston’s edge on special teams only moderate. McAvoy wore a lot this series, but did a lot….he’ll soon rival Hedman in effectiveness. Heddy, and most D, have a learning experience like this on their resume. Tampa’s emotions and energy were level, Boston was manic-depressive. They created some distractions. Think Toronto going seven was huge. Boston used up a lot getting to second within one point of first; cruising for three weeks to third is the same matchup. Cooper didn’t force his guys the last few weeks with the exception of the one game against the B’s.
      For a long time during the season Boston played better than this team. Depth is a subtle virtue. So is health, as in 2004 the Bolts have been blessed with good health this year. Dave Andreychuk was as important to the Bolts as Chara is to the B’s but (then coach) Torts didn’t force his minutes.
      Did Boston have a better package against a speed team? Yes you can play a slow guy effectively, and Chara can still outrace and outplay Girardi, but after five hard games???
      This week, Tampa was the better team.

    • I agree with a great portion of that.

      I want Bos to stay the course, no quick fixes. Let the kids play & develop. Can we go back in time please & not make the Nash trade. I hate that deal.

      I wanted Vanek for a bag of pucks. Clb paid less than a bag of pucks.

      What’s done is done, the future looks great & Sweeney used his 1 & only get out of jail free card in trading for Nash. Next bonehead trade or signing & he’s dead to me. Ha-ha!

      You have to take the good with the bad but trading for Nash was beyond bad, stupid, to expensive, messed with team chemistry & potentially cost Bos a cup run. Inexcusable.

    • I would agree with a lot of that, and I have to agree that Boston would look a lot better with Spooner and C. Miller than they did with Nash and K. Miller. Not to mention that Miller and Spooner still have great value going into next season.

      It is a testament to some of the talent they have found later in drafts that they can make that big a misstep and still be as competitive as they are, and still do it with a lot of youth, but they really can’t afford too many more misses like that.

      Goaltending has been a little bit of an issue, as Rask is being paid like an elite goalie, and over the past 3 seasons, has been an average starter, with this playoff him being well below average, and having one of the worst save percentages to get out of the first round. He hasn’t been atrocious, but goaltending no longer seems to be a strength for this team.

      Pastranak was outstanding in these playoffs, and has taken even another step toward being one of the very best wingers in hockey. Having a guy like that as your stars age will keep that line as one of the best in hockey, even if Bergeron and Marchand lose a step in a couple of years. Dynamic offensive players are the hardest to get later in the draft, but Boston has managed to do so consistently, and that needs to be applauded.

      If they can unearth another player like that in the next few years, they will be able to be competitive for a very long time.

  7. maybe pete can send lucic to boston and pay 1/2 of his salary

  8. Ric Nash was bad in playoffs again? Oh my word! Who would have thought? Lol

    • Ahahah….Buffalo!

  9. I wouldn’t guarantee Backes plays another NHL game. That hit by Miller wasn’t enormous, but it crushed Backes. He probably returns, but Savard 2.0 isn’t out of the question.

    • As a B’s fan, the loss hurts, but I think many of us have underestimated this Tampa team. They’ve played 9 playoff games and lost only 1. I don’t see Washington or Pittsburgh doing any better than Boston, do you?

      Everyone talks about Tampa’s speed, but that defense is stifling. Hedman deserves to win the Norris, and then Stevie Y made perhaps the #1 trade deadline pickup in McDonagh. He solidified that D. A young stud like Sergachev on the 3rd pairing, now that’s just not fair.

      I’m rooting for Tampa all the way now. Then next season they’ll have a Cup hangover and will wear down. The B’s can take the division next year.

  10. Boston never got one call or one break all of them went to Tampa not even close. Boston’s power play was best of all teams and deserved more chances. I liked Colin Miller but Kevin plays tuff and I would keep him. They really missed Carlo and needed one other line to step up. Tampa is a good team don’t get me wrong but they also got every call. Boston is smallest team in NHL if Chara wasn’t there. Speed kills but need to hit someone once in awhile. Rask was fine never lost them a game in my opinion.

    • Agree Obe, Tampa ran around drilling guys and got away with it. Including leaving their feet and launching at Chara, and the panel laughs that he is 6’9 what else are you gonna do! All the while going crooked on Marchand for licking Callahan after getting punched in the face multiple times by Callahan during the game. I get it, it’s gross, but it is also kind of funny. Calm down people.
      Kelly Hrudey; It is amazing how far good hair will take you on TV. Does he ever say anything of value?
      Didn’t like the officiating in that series, but TB was the better team and once Krug went down with game 4 on the line so did the B’s chances of pulling out an upset in the series.

  11. Boston got the breaks they deserved. If you play dirty and have one player embarrassing the league you do not get the benefit of the doubt on calls.

    On the other side they have a good young core to go with the veterans. Nash was Nash. I don’t see why anyone would expect any difference. He is not a seven million dollar player but for four or five he is being paid at the level of his play. He won’t score thirty but twenty and decent defensive play. When teams make trades at the deadline they always over pay.

    Sweeny took a lot of criticism for his trades but most of them seem to be working out. Let him stick to his plan and see where this goes.

    Losing Carlo and having others hurting was a factor. The Lightning played the Bruins like the Leafs did but the Leafs could not sustain it like the Lightning.

    I give them credit for getting this far and I am a Leaf fan.

    • Tug get back in your boat if you think they got the calls they deserved down 3-2 3 minutes left breakaway Marchand gets slashed on hands no call don’t tell me refs didn’t see it if that was Tamps would have been penalty shot. Charlie tackled behind net no call Tampa scores ties game late in game horse crap. Listen to Roenick he played he knows it wasn’t fair he said reffing was horrible. Dirty team my a….. check out how many Bruins in top 30 penalty minutes this year. Count the amount of power plays per game per team Boston wasn’t close.

  12. Sharks were victims of wear and tear. I think we saw some strengths that will be developed upon for next year and the real weakness (and reason they lost to the pens) turnovers in the defensive end.

    Vegas trapped that blue line very effectively, burns was making more terrible passes than usual, and the defence was constantly scrambling.

    I could see the sharks signing kane for 4 or 5 years. I think milkman, donskoi, dillion, braun are all trade bait at this point.

    I think they definitely go after Tavares and Karlsson. they need players who can make exit passes and score. The cap will determine who they can afford.

    Ward, hansen, and fehr come off the books for roughly 7m in savings, if paul martin can be traded that’s another 4m. Sharks only need to resign tierney, hertl, demelo and Kane. could be an interesting offseason.

  13. All you had to do is watch the Bruins playoff games to see where they need help, signing Chara to another year is a mistake, Krug as good as he is offensively he’s that bad or worse in the D zone it was ugly, ( TB punished the little guy) Miller is to inconsistent, McQuaid too slow, McAvoy and Carlo will grow into nice NHL Dmen, there’s a need for a top pairing Dman and J Carlson would be a nice add. They need scoring help for that #2 line ….The problems on the D and the lack of a scorer for the 2nd line have been problems going on 3 years now

    • Joe- Chara is as good defensively as anyone in NHL plays a ton just needs to get a little meaner and as he ages I hope he does. Miller is fine as a 4-5 guy and I agree with You about McQuaid to slow but has the heart of a lion. Krug and Matt are both small but good offensive guys who can move the puck. Charlie and Carlo should be there a long long time and Boston has more young guys in Providence. Carlsson is an offensive guy they don’t need him but could see them take a run at Trouba.

  14. 🤢🤮