As expected, the Boston Bruins’ off-season has been exciting. A lot of movement has been made already and it’s not hard to tell that GM Don Sweeney wants to get back to a winning tradition in Boston.
First, buying out Dennis Seidenberg’s contract. This was a move I was hoping for. Granted Seidenberg is a solid shut down defenseman when he is healthy, but recent injuries and aging body were signs that his play would only decline. Let’s also take into consideration that Boston has a plethora of young depth defensmen who can fill the role, such as Colin Miller who played well in his few opportunities, Kevan Miller who was always a dependable go-to player whenever the Bruins lost a d-man (which was very often), he also brought a physical and defensive aspect that only Seifenberg or Chara can bring. You don’t see Krug, Liles, or Colin Miller laying the body too often. Lastly Joe Morrow, who is the best defensman prospect the Bruins have, and they have been patient with him. Next season he has a shot at making the main roster, after developing in Providence for a couple years. All in all, a young defensman on the blue line is something the Bruins need, and with Seidenberg’s spot open, it leaves the younger players a chance to play.
Losing Eriksson to Vancouver. Ok, this was going to happen only two ways. The Bruins could resign Eriksson and have no cap to bring in a new face, or use the money on a free agent that interested Sweeney more. Evidently Eriksson was on his way to the Canucks. So the Tyler Seguin deal has left Boston with Jimmy Hayes, because Reilly Smith was the value given up for him. Eriksson is no longer a Bruin, we have Hayes instead of Smith, and Matt Fraser is doing whatever, nobody cares…sometimes things just don’t work out I suppose.
Signing David Backes. Boom! There is the big move Bruins fans have been waiting for. Two seasons ago we were expecting a big move from Peter Ciarelli because the team was close to a playoff spot, but we got Brett Connolly instead. This year we waited again for a big move from Sweeney, and to be fair Stepniak was a deal we liked, but we expected a bigger addition to the blue line than John-Michael Liles. Honestly, I haven’t been this excited about a new addition since they traded for Jaromir Jagr.
So the Bruins have Backes. Yay… or nay. Depending on how you view this signing it’s either really great or really bad. If you think about the present day, and winning now, then this was a perfect signing. If you care about the future or long term goals, this wasn’t such a good move. A 5 year deal for $6 million a year will be a detriment to the team, especially when it comes to resigning players or adding players in free agency or by trade. In return you get an aging power forward with plenty of experience and grit. Quite honestly he is a great fit for the kind of team the Bruins are. But like most older players, his value when signing will drop eventually. This past season he had the least amount of points since the 2009-2010 season. The question is, will he be worth $6 million a year in 3 years? 4? If not, that will be another contract that will be hard to move, for instance: Zdeno Chara. Hopefully we get a lot out of David Backes, because the Bruins forward core looks scary now.
Losing Brett Connolly. The former #6 overall pick in 2010, only a few pick away from where the Bruins picked Tyler Seguin, has signed with Washington for a cheap contract. For what the bruins have up to get him,I’m saddened to see him just walk. He never became what he was thought to become, he didn’t “wow” the Bruins, or the fans for that matter. The Bruins sent two 2ND round picks to Tampa for Connolly, and after two years, he leaves with no real mark left on his tenure. The verdict: trade bust.
Future Prediction: Don Sweeney calls “backsies” and Kessel and Seguin are Bruins again. We all lived happily ever after. The end.