Looking at Bruins Off-Season Moves (so far…)

Well, that Peter Chiarelli fella has been busier than a ten cent street walker on half off Thursdays. Signings. Big trades. Turtle waxing his head. We like about 95% of what he's done so far. In Chiarelli we trust.

Here's our quick takes on the moves he's made so far.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: JON DID NOT SPELL CHECK THIS POST BECAUSE HE IS A LAZY JERK TODAY)

 

Andrew Ference: People (including us) often forget that hockey is a business. These players are not our friends, no matter how many times you've met them or worked out with them or whatever. We get too attached and it clouds our vision. This is EXACTLY what happened with Ference. 

Twitter went nuts when it was officially announced the Bruins could not afford Ference (even though it had been obvious for months that this would happen). We even saw a good number of people begging the Bruins to buy out Chara and use some of that money on Ference. We hope those people got flogged.

Ference was tenacious, hard hitting and always willing to stick up for his team mates. His leadership in the locker room will absolutely be missed. But Ference is also in his 30's now and has a long injury history dating back to his mid-20's. That isn't going to get better as he gets older. We'll miss Ference, but based on term and salary alone it's good the Bruins didn't bring him back. It's time everyone got over it. Thanks for all the memories though Ference. You certainly defined what a Bruin should be.

Nathan Horton: If you blame Horton's departure on Chiarelli you're a dumby. Horton openly admitted he never liked the attention he got in Boston. Chances are the guy couldn't even go outside for a cigarette without ten people begging for his autograph. He wanted a quieter place to spend the rest of this career.

He also wanted money. And we're not holding that against him. This is Horton's last chance for a big deal. Yes, hockey players make millions but after you factor in taxes, ecrow, expenses, etc there isn't exactly a ton left over to last you the rest of your life once you're done. A hockey player's tool is his body. Once his body breaks down, he's done. 

Horton is still young by hockey standards, but has a concussion history and apparent chronic shoulder injuries that he is now getting surgery for (and will be out 4-6 months). There is absolutely no way the Bruins should have offered him the same term Columbus did. Remember when they did that with Savard and he got one concussion too many? Yeah. Good luck in Columbus Horton. We'll always love you. We hope you get a free life time pass to the zoo.

Jaromir Jagr: Oh Jagr. We knew he was a rental. Chiarelli wanted a veteran with experience for the Cup run and when the Iginla deal fell through he grabbed Jagr.

Jagr has obviously lost a step or ten. He was completely snake bitten in the playoffs too. But his puck possession skills were INSANE. More often than not it took at least two opposing players to get the puck away from Jagr. That is a trait the Bruins will definitely miss.

It also seemed like Jagr never got a long enough look with players like Krejci that could actually handle Jagr's sweet, sweet passes but we understand Julien's hesitation to break up the Lucic-Krejci-Horton line.

Chiarelli has the money now to re-sign Jagr if he wanted but it looks like the Bruins are leaning towards younger, faster options.

Tyler Seguin: This one hurt a little. We're on team "Bruins Gave Up Too Early." We won't really know if this trade was good or freaking terrible for the Bruins for at least a season or too, but to give up a kid with that kind of speed, shot and awareness is obviously going to hurt. A team that consistently struggles against speedy opposition trading away their fastest skater doesn't seem like a great move.

And when you really look at it, Seguin seemed okay playing the wing but apparently desired being moved back to center. This was NOT going to happen on the Bruins. You can't put him ahead of Krejci or Bergeron and his talent, if he realizes it fully, is a WASTE on the third or fourth line. He'll get his chance to fully prove himself in Dallas.

Boston media is all over Seguin's off ice activities but we're convinced there's more to this that we as fans will likely never know. But out of all the things that have been said, it's the one thing that hasn't been said that makes us think this trade was necessary.

When any current Bruin was asked about Ference's departure you could visibily see the sadness, the pain. They talked about him like he was a brother and how much he meant. To our knowledge (and correct us if we're wrong), not a single Bruin has come out and honestly defended Seguin. Some guys gave the standard "well he's young…" answer when prompted but most of the team seems to be avoiding the subject. That speaks VOLUMES to us. 

Rich Peverley: We have some fond memories of Little Richie from the 2011 Cup run but since then he hasn't really done much. He's great at the face-off dot but was over paid and is easily replaceable. One of the Bruins younger guys in Providence could easily step into Peverley's roll and likely do a better job at a much lower cost. Have fun in Dallas Pevs. We'll miss you, but not really.

Anton Khudobin: This one may hurt. Rask is obviously the #1 goalie on this team and that shouldn't EVER be debated. But Khudobin was GREAT in the starts he did get and didn't really make you nervous whenever Rask was given a game off to rest. The guy wants to be a starter though and you can't blame him. He'll be backing up Cam Ward but Cam Ward sucks so Khudobin will likely get a shot to be the top dog in Carolina this season. Plus he looks like Tim Thomas' son. Plus Cam Ward is awful. Seriously. That Cup win was a fluke. Guy is terrible. Not Fleury level terrible, but still terrible.

Ryan Button: Those upset about losing Button keep tossing around this "potential" argument. Potential is not a measurable commodity. Each and every one of us has potential. Some go on to be doctors. Some run a blog with slightly funny photoshops. Potential means nothing in the grand scheme of things.

And Button was so far down the Bruins depth chart of defensive prospects that you'll forget about him in two seconds. Any report you read on the kid says he's years away. The Bruins Cup window is open now. They need to win now, not in 5-6 years.

Kaspar Daugavins: You just weren't that good buddy. At all. And we still can't get over that WIDE open net you had in OT in the Finals. Seriously dude. Even Phaneuf would've buried that one. You won't be missed. Best part about him not coming back though is everyone can stop using the incredibly awful, incredibly unoriginal "who let the Daugs out" stuff. It was awful and you know it.

Wade Redden: Meh. No one cares. Not even Wade Redden.

Jay Pandolfo: Died of complications due to old age. R.I.P.

Aaron Johnson: Defensive prospect who wouldn't even have cracked the Bruins top 8 on defense. 

–  Other: A few AHL guys went to free agency. There was nobody we thought would crack the Bruins roster so we won't even mention them. Suck it AHL lovers.

Loui Erikkson: Lil Loui was the center piece of this trade for the Bruins. He's an incredibly solid two way player who can put up 30 goals with the right center. We love Erikkson, but the age difference between him and Seguin is what makes us a bit said about this trade. If Seguin gets his mind and heart into hockey he will almost certainly be incredible based on his raw skills. Erikkson is in his late 20's, so what you see is what you get. Can't deny we're getting excited to see him along side Bergeron though. And hopefully another big body like Loui will help on the powerplay.

Jarome Iginla: Well this is awkward. Iginla supposedly spurns the Bruins at the deadline for the Penguins, the Penguins get swept by the Bruins in the ECF and now Iginla signs with the Bruins.

I never quite got the animosity towards Iginla by Boston fans. From what I gather, it seems like it was Feaster who told the Bruins the trade was a go, not Iginla.

Take off your black and gold glasses for a minute here. At the time of the trade the Bruins were slumping HARD while the Penguins were on the verge of a record setting winning streak (until they blew it like Marc Andre Fleury blows a series in the playoffs).

Penguins also have Malkin and Crosby, two of the best players in the world. If you're Iginla and you want to win your first Cup, and you are well aware your time is running out, the Penguins seemed like the easy decision at the time. Don't give us that "Crosby whines!" or "Penguins are douche" excuses. Players don't care about that. They want to win and they go where they think the best opportunity is. Unless they're a free agent. Then they sign for whoever throws the most money at them.

Like Jagr, Iginla is a shadow of his former self, however in the right situation he can probably still put up 25-30 goals. The Penguins stuck him at left wing and he never really seemed comfortable there. Next season he'll be playing right wing next to David "Magic Hands" Krejci so it's reasonable to expect that a 30G 60P season is certainly in reach for Iginla. Plus we'd love to see Iginla win his only Cup in a Bruins jersey.

Matt Fraser: SIMPSONS DID IT! Or Greg did it. Click here.

Reilly Smith: See Fraser. Click here.

Joe Morrow: Apparently he's a pretty good defensive prospect. We don't know much about him, so we'll just link to an article from our good buddy Jesse Marshall. Here.

Here is what Hockey Prospectus had to say about him:

1. Joe Morrow, Defense 
Date of birth: 12/09/1992
Age: 18 
Height: 6'0'' 
Weight: 197
Shoots: Left
Statistics: 60 GP, 9 G, 49 P (Portland-WHL) 
Acquired: First round, 23rd overall in 2011 by Pittsburgh

The Good: Joe Morrow entered his third WHL season expected to produce for the powerhouse Winterhawks and he delivered. He's a fine skater with good mechanics. Morrow regularly rushes the puck up the ice and shows nice agility in how he's able to weave through defenders. His puck skills are above-average to plus, but he's definitely a plus passer. Morrow makes above-average passes with ridiculous ease and he's multi-dimensional in his puck-moving ability. He can stretch the ice on the breakout, bring the puck up very well (and often mind you), and he controls the power play effectively. His offensive hockey sense is above-average as he is calm with the puck, senses pressure well and reacts well to the play while it's unfolding. While he does like to get involved in the offense a lot, it's rare that he would do so and make a bad play that would give up an odd-man rush.

The Bad: Morrow's physical game right now is fringe, but he can likely hit a below-average grade when he's done filling out, which is a ways away as he has a twig-like frame currently. For a smaller defender, he does protect the puck moderately well, but when he engages he's not that effective. His defensive awareness is below-average, though. It's not horrid, but for a player with his physical game, it still needs to come a ways for coaches at the highest level to trust him with significant minutes.

Projection: An above-average second pairing defender with great counting numbers, with a below-average second pairing defender floor projection

Cap space: This is VERY important. Chiarelli still has some room to play with if there's another free agent out there he wants of if he needs to make a trade at any point in the season. Chiarelli is good at thinking ahead. He's the anti-Glen Sather.

Chad Johnson: We hate him and it's not his fault. IMMEDIATELY everyone made Chad Ochocinco jokes. Lame. Awful. Lameful. Plus he's fairly unproven. Can he steal a game or two when Rask is resting? We'd rather have Khudobin but we'll see.

Other: Chiarelli also signed some minor league guys. We'll take about them if they compete for a spot at camp. Maybe. If we're not busy.

Marchand/Kelly trade rumors: Rumors are popping up everywhere that the B's are shopping Marchand and Kelly.

We get shopping Kelly. B's seem to feel like they could go a similar player for a lower cost. We can't really judge Kelly based on this season as he was suffering through a knee injury until late into the playoffs. B's fans who love Kelly shit their pants at these rumors. Kelly was immortalized in Bruin fandom in 2011 when he scored like 50 goals while wearing a cage. That doesn't mean he's a great player though. More like good to average.

No idea why the B's are shopping Marchand unless they can get a great package back. Sure he takes stupid penalties sometimes but that's his role and his draws just as many. He can score and is great on the PK and is GREAT at throwing opposing players off their game. Trading Marchand at this point doesn't really make sense to us.

New Rask contract: The market price for mediocre goalies is high, nevermind elite goalies like Rask. He's about to get PAID and we're completely okay with that.

New Bergeron contract: Give him the moneys. ALL OF THE MONEYS. Sign him for a billion years. We don't care if that's not allowed under the new CBA. Just do it. 

 

About Jon

Jon loves Batman, The Joker, the Bruins and hates you. Especially you. He has a man crush on David Backes and hopes to someday be Mrs. Jon Boychuk.

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