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With Free Agency slowly approaching, the more and more I get worried about my favorite players being traded or even bad contract signings (i.e Chris Kelly and Matt Bartkowski?). This is going to be a Guide for all Bruins fans to follow about the long road ahead to the 2015-16 season.
First, here is our list of UFAs and RFAs, for those who don’t know.
UFA: Gregory Campbell, Adam McQuaid, Daniel Paille, Matt Bartkowski, Carl Soderberg, and Bobby Robins.
RFA: Dougie Hamilton, Ryan Spooner, Brett Connolly, Matt Lindblad, David Warsofsky, Alexander Fallstrom, Christopher Breen, Justin Florek, Tyler Randell, Paul Carey, Jeremy Smith, and Tommy Cross.
Before you be all like, who the hell is Alexander Fallstrom??? Keep in mind, that some of these players are playing in Providence, or another league, like the ECHL or overseas teams. (Fallstrom played in Sweden last season, btw)
About Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille: When the season ended, Chiarelli said that they will not be resigning the two forth liners. HOWEVER, that was when Chiarelli was GM. With Don Sweeney as our current GM, anything can happen. I still believe that we should not resign these two. Paille and Campbell were two of many players that under-preformed this season. Campbell finished with 12 points (6 goals, 6 assists) in 70 games this season. Paille finished with 13 points (6 goals, 7 assists) in 71 games this season. I do understand that they are forth liners, but Boston used to be pretty well known for the “Merlot Line”, which was an inaugural part in the Stanley Cup runs in 2011 and 2013. Shawn Thornton, who was a crucial part of that line, was a UFA last season and signed with the Florida Panthers. Once Thornton left, the Bruins tried to fix that void, by mixing and matching players, and they never seemed to find a fit.
RFAs Dougie Hamilton and Ryan Spooner: I already have a feeling that these two are going to stay. Ryan Spooner, who scored his first NHL goal this season, did not stop. He exceeded my expectations this season, and I loved the line with Pastrnak and Lucic. Spooner finished with 18 points (8 goals, 10 assists) in 29 games this season. Dougie Hamilton is a great, tall defenseman that had a great breakout season. Keep in mind, he didn’t play the last few games of the season due to a undisclosed upper-body injury. According to The Score, the Bruins will match any offer sheet given for Hamilton. He was the Bruins’ 1st round (9th overall) draft pick in 2011, and he is only 21. Hamilton finished his season with 42 points (10 goals, 32 assists) in 72 games.
The Big Question: Connolly?: I thought we should discuss forward Brett Connolly in this post. The Bruins acquired Connolly at the Trade Deadline from Tampa Bay, in exchange for 2 second round draft picks. Into his second practice with the B’s, we happily found out that he fractured his index finger. He ended up being out for about 4 weeks, and only played 5 games in a Bruins uniform. He finished the season with 17 points (12 goals, 5 assists) in 55 games, with 2 of those assists with the Bruins. We haven’t had a chance to see what this kid can do, but will we sign him? I think we will. Connolly is a first rounder form the 2010 draft, being chosen 6th overall by Tampa. He has shown promise at the AHL and NHL level, and he’s young, meaning his career isn’t over yet, he still has juice. I like young talent, and Boston has done a great job working with young talent (Spooner and Pastrnak). At least he has scored more than Bartkowski and former B Jordan Caron combined…
Adam McQuaid? Where can he go? Bartkowski?: Adam McQuaid has recently stated that he wants to stay in Boston, and he doesn’t see himself anywhere else. McQuaid, I think, is the definition of a Big, Bad, Bruin. He has skill, not in goal scoring, that’s for sure. But, he is physical, hard, and plays a punishing style, which is evident in his amount of penalty minutes. I actually witnessed a fight at the Dallas game I went to, he fought with Antoine Roussel, I believe? Anywho, I believe we will resign him, he’s pretty well liked by the fans, and his physical play is needed, cause we don’t have as much physical players as we used to. Bartkowski, however, I am surprised the Bruins have continued to resign him over and over. He does not produce. He is not physical. He doesn’t fit into the Bruins system. He doesn’t do anything worth $1.25 million dollars a season. I would be shocked if the Bruins do resign him, because there hasn’t been anything that has surprised me from him.
Lastly, Carl Soderberg.: I fell in love with the play of Carl Soderberg this season. He has significantly improved from last season, he recorded 44 points (13 goals and 31 assists) in all 82 games this season. He has spent most of the season with the 3rd line, but has still shocked my expectations. He may not fit into the Bruins system, but he scores goal, and we need some of those players sometimes. I believe we will resign him, he has improved this season, and he is still young, and has some room to improve. He’s a great 3rd line center. Random Fact: I randomly saw him walking around at the American Airlines Center at the Dallas game, I ran up to meet him, but he turned the corner, and he *disappeared* and I never met him.
The Bruins have loads of great young talent! From Morrow and Trotman on the Blue Line, Griffith, Pastrnak, and Spooner in the Forwards, and Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre in the Net, the future looks bright. But sometimes, experience is good, and that’s what free agency can do for us. We can add or take away players at anytime, and that can either make us stronger (Jarome Iginla) or make us weaker (Johnny Boychuk and Tyler Seguin Trades).
Any Questions? Leave them below or tweet them to me!
see you in october