Purrgeron Plays GM: Part Two: Free Agency

Human’s Note: All salary cap numbers are provided by capgeek.com. So if you find fault in any of my financials, please go blame them. Also, this will be part of a series, though we aren’t sure how long because cats are strange, strange animals. If you haven’t read part one, you should do that before you continue on. 

My trade block had mixed emotions among the fan base and that’s expected. Some people have an emotional attachments to players because of history. Some people believe that players still “have it in the tank” and some people just think that certain players belong here. Though my trade block was scarce, I was able to trade Tim Thomas to a Western Conference team, which opened up another $5M on our salary cap, effectively pushing it to $14,284,500. 

Here are the Bruins currents free agents:

Restricted Free Agents:

F Beniot Pouliot
G Tuukka Rask

Unrestricted Free Agents:

F Brian Rolston
F Chris Kelly
F Gregory Campbell
F Dan Paille
D Joe Corvo
D Greg Zanon
D Mike Mottau
G Marty Turco

First, let’s worry about the restricted free agents:

I want both Beniot Pouliot and Tuukka Rask back next year. 

Beniot did exactly what he was supposed to do this year. He played hard most of the year and was a bright spot in a terrible first round series against the Capitals. First I would tender a qualifying offer of $1,100,000 so he can’t walk freely. Then I would send him an offer sheet, signing him for 2 years at $1,500,000 for 12-13 season and $2,500,00 for ’14-’15. 2 years, $4M is a perfect contract for a 3rd line winger.

Tuukka is going to be my projected goalie of the future but we all know how projects go, right Hannu? Even so, I’d sign Tuukka to a 3 year, $9,000,000 contract. I feel that $3,000,000 per season is a good test to see if Tuukka is worth a longer contract when this one expires. Also, if Tuukka doesn’t pan out the way we have projected, then we will have cap room to acquire a ‘tendie’.

Now let’s take a look at the Unrestricted Free Agents who have worn a Bruins uniform this past season. I can already write off the guys I do not want back. 

After the jump, unrestricted free agency...

F Brian Rolston
F Chris Kelly
F Gregory Campbell
F Dan Paille
D Joe Corvo
D Greg Zanon
D Mike Mottau
G Marty Turco

Now it comes to Chris Kelly, Mike Mottau and Greg Campbell. 

I’ve decided to let Chris Kelly walk. Chris was a great part of our locker room, his leadership was important to the team, but I refuse to pay a third line center anything above $3,000,000 which is what Chris will probably want. Looking at the contracts signed by the old GM, he gave Rich Peverley a $1,925,000 raise. If Kelly wanted that, he’d be making $4,050,000 which is something I am not comfortable with. He do have the veteran leadership in the locker room and our roster is loaded with natural centers so I’m not to worried about the position. 

greg campbell
I’ve decided to re-sign Gregory Campbell. Campbell will come relatively cheap to us. I would give Campbell a 2 year, $3,000,000 contract. During the ’12-’13 season, Campbell would make $1M and in ’13-’14 I’d give him $2M, but structure the contract to be a $1,500,000 hit each year.  

I’ve decided to re-sign Mike Mottau. Mike will be our 7th defenseman. I’ve offered Mike a one year, $1,000,000 contract. He will be used if there is injury or if there is need to rest some of our other defensemen. 

Now that I’ve looked at our own guys and brought back some depth, I currently have a $7,284,500 salary cap for the rest of free agency. My biggest concern is our first two lines. We need a top 6 forward who can score goals. There’s a few forwards on my list who I am looking to bring in to score: 

Top Tier Forwards:
Alexander Semin (21G, 33A in ’11-’12)
Zach Parise (31G, 38A in ’11-’12)
Shane Doan (22G, 28A in ’11-’12)

Second Tier Forwards:
David Jones (20G, 17A in ’11-’12)
Dustin Penner (7G, 10A in ’11-’12)
Kristian Huselius (2GP in ’11-’12)
Jiri Hudler (25G, 25A in ’11-’12)

Obviously I want one of the top two forwards on my list, Semin or Parise. The hope is that Parise or Semin don’t want one of those huge contracts that have been handed out like candy. A guy like Zach Parise can pretty much do everything you ask of him. He can score goals (he’s scored 30+ goals 5 times in his career, 40+ goals once). He can log a lot of minutes (2nd highest TOI among forwards on NJ, 5th overall) and he can play on the penalty kill (1st in short handed TOI among forwards on NJ, 3rd overall). 

He’s the number one player on my list, as he probably is for a lot of teams. With that said, I offer Parise a 7 year $49,000,000 contract. With that kind of contract, I assume that Parise would sign it. With that said, here’s your projected lineup for the 2012-2013 Boston Bruins: 

Zach Parise – Patrice Bergeron – Tyler Seguin
Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Brad Marchand
Beniot Pouliot – Rich Peverley – Nathan Horton
Jordan Caron – Greg Campbell – Shawn Thornton

Zdeno Chara – Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg – Dougie Hamilton
Andrew Ference – Adam McQuaid

Tuukka Rask
Anton Khudobin

Reasons for this lineup: 

1. Zach Parise and Tyler Seguin need to play together. That’s a real first NHL line if I ever saw one. 
2. Milan Lucic is sitting correctly in a second line spot, where he belongs. 
3. Nathan Horton provides toughness and scoring to the third line, which Claude loves to roll out. 
4. Dougie Hamilton will screw up and when he does, I’d rather have someone like Dennis Seidenberg backing him up then Ference or McQuaid.