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Boston Bruins Have A Ton Of Work To Do This Off-Season

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Who Should Stay, Who Should Go?

After a more or less disappointing season the Bruins have quite a bit of work in front of them. The Bruins have nine players who are free agents both restricted and Unrestricted.

Restricted

David Pastrnak, Noel Acciari, Tim Schaller, Ryan Spooner, and Joe Morrow as of June 1.

Unrestricted

Dominic Moore, Drew Stafford, and John-Michael Liles.

Don Sweeney‘s comments

During the season end press conference Sweeney touched on this a bit saying:

“We didn’t make any of that – we went through exit interviews and really just tried to go through the whole season with guys and where they were at and then we’ll sit down as a group and make some decisions,” said Sweeney. “We haven’t made any hard or fast decisions on any one individual as of right now.”

Who To Re-Sign

David Pastrnak for sure. This is a no brainer. He was finally able to get a complete season under his belt. He only missed 7 games with an elbow injury unlike previous years. This season he put up 70 points which is more than I though he would. I had him pegged more around the 60 mark with 25 goals not 34. He should be the first to get an extension.

Then I would try to keep Drew Stafford. I think he played very well in the few games he played as a Bruins. He had 8 points over 18 games. He whole season was a down season as he spent most of it on the fourth line in Winnipeg. Stafford is a four-time 20 goals scorer. He also reached the 30 mark in the 2010-11 season with Buffalo.  He would make a great third line winger.

Then I would say Dominic Moore or Noel Acciari. I like both but there is just not enough room for both guys. I really like how well Moore played this season he is a great fourth line center who has the ability to play third line if needed. Acciari is a kid who has some upside to him but he is always going up and down between here and Providence. I would rather keep Moore for the veteran status and try to move Acciari.

Do Not Re-sign

Spooner, he has not produced like we want him to. Some people blame Claude Julien for that but I say it is time for him to go. He is a good player and I think he will do really well just not here. Also if he leaves this allows David Backes to move back to center as he would take over the third line.

Schaller is another guy who is a good player there is just not enough room on the team for him. I think he needs to go to make room for a guy like Jakob Forsbacka Kalsson. Liles played well when he was called upon but there is no need for him to stay. Especially with the emergence of Charlie McAvoy’s play.

Lastly would be Joe Morrow, the last remnant of the Tyler Seguin trade. He is a good defenseman it is just that he is 7th defenseman good. I guess that puts him in column three, the maybe column. If he comes cheap and there is room on the roster then yes, if not then no.

Quotes from the players

Pasta:

“Obviously I love it here,” said Pastrnak. “This is where I started and where I get the opportunity to play NHL, you know. Obviously this is not something I was focusing on all season, so I’m not going to think about it now.”

Acciari:

“It was a good feeling,” said Acciari, of getting back up with the big club. “It was unfortunate at this point ending as a team, obviously, we wanted to go further than we did, but for myself it was good to see. I gained some confidence in the last games that I was playing, and felt a lot more comfortable out there, and realized that I can play out here.”

Schaller:

“I’d love to stick around,” said Schaller. “But that’s talks to be had soon here, so we’ll see.”

Spooner:

“I’ve been here since I’ve been 18, so it’s been a long time and I just want to help out,” said Spooner.

Spooner knows he can play better and hopes to prove it next season.

“I just need to be better than the last little bit of the season,” said Spooner.

Stafford:

“Absolutely,” said Stafford, of hoping to come back to Boston for the 2017-18 season. “If there’s any kind of a chance, that’s something that I’m definitely into. I know my wife wasn’t able to make it out, but we had talked about it a little bit as a possibility and that’s something that obviously Sweens and my agent, if they feel like moving forward, it could be a good fit, then we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Moore:

“So it was an honor to be a part of that and we’ll see what happens going forward, but I enjoyed my time for sure and we’ll see what happens,” said Moore.

Liles:

“We’ll see. I’ve kind of taken it a year at a time. I’m not going to get too concerned with what’s going to happen here in the next few months,” said Liles. “It was great to get back into the playoffs.

Justin is a Computer Networking student at Wentworth Institute of Technology and joined the Trifecta Network as an Editor in February of 2016 and is a guest on Down to the WIRE Sports Talk.

Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins Report: Beleskey Clears Waivers, Assigned To AHL

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Boston Bruins

On Friday the Boston Bruins assigned forward Matt Beleskey to AHL Providence less than 24 hours after the struggling veteran was placed on waivers.

It isn’t shocking that Beleskey cleared waivers given he has a $3.8 million cap hit through the 2019-20 season and failed to record a point in 14 games played this season for Boston. Beleskey was a negative factor for the B’s this season with the team possessing a 4-8-2 record when he is on the ice and a 11-1-2 record when he is eating popcorn.

It is safe to say that this five-year $19 million deal is a complete bust. Boston signed Beleskey off of a career year and simply overpaid trying to replace Milan Lucic. This was a typical move of an organization that was bogged down with aging veterans with the needle pointing downwards at the time.

Several years removed from the signing Boston is a completely different organization with the teams focus having shifted to drafting and developing players. A strategy that has now given the organization an abundance of young options to go with who simply can out produce or have a higher upside than Beleskey.

Funny enough his first season with Boston (2015-16) he looked to be a good signing with 37 points in 80 games. But since that time he has recorded 8 points for the Bruins. With his assigning to AHL Providence it looks like his time in Boston has come to a close for now. His $2.775 million in dead cap space is a hefty price for Boston to pay, but it is worth it given the damage he has caused when he skates.

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Boston Bruins Have Many Prospects Playing In World Juniors

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Boston Bruins Prospects To Represent The Bruins At the

Upcoming World Juniors

It is now December and that means one thing. The World Juniors is right around the corner. The World Juniors have produced guys like JFK, Charlie McAvoy, Clayton Keller, Patrice Bergeron and many more. Once again the Bruins will be very well represented at this year’s World Juniors.

In total there will be six Boston Bruins prospects competing for a spot on their respective teams. The players are as follows: Trent Frederic, Ryan Lindgren, Jeremey Swayman will be going out for team USA. Team USA’s Final roster is expected by December 23. Urho Vaakanainen and Joona Koppanen are vying for a spot on Finlands team. The rounding out the six is Oskar Steen for Sweeden.

This is some of the best hockey around to watch. Kids playing kids. The pace of play is off the charts along with the skill and the mistakes. Being so young the kids make more mistakes which leads to more opportunities for the opposing team.

Here is what development coach Jaime Langenbrunner thinks:

“Give credit to the scouting staff, they’re identifying the right players,” said Bruins Player Development Coordinator Jamie Langenbrunner. “We have a lot of pride for the effort that [the players are] putting in, the positions they’re putting themselves in to have those opportunities to have those experiences going forward.”

The 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship will take place from December 26 -January 5 in Buffalo.

Quick Background of the players

Trent Frederic, F: University of Wisconsin.

Frederic was drafted by the Bruins 29th Overall in 2016. He is currently in his Sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin.

“It’s a great opportunity for him to gauge himself in that next group here,” said Langenbrunner. “He looks to be in a spot now that he can be a contributor on that team.”

Frederic has already won a bronze medal with Team USA in the 2016 IIHF U-18 Men’s World Championship.

Ryan Lindgren, D: University of Minnesota

Taken 49th overall in 2016, the University of Minnesota sophomore is looking to gain some experience at the World Juniors.

“Ryan was a key part of that gold-medal winning team,” said Langenbrunner. “With Ryan, you look at the stats sheet and you’re like, ‘What’s going on?’ He doesn’t put up a whole lot of numbers, but you go and watch him day in and day out and you see how valuable he is to teams and why teams he’s on are successful.”

Lindgren won a gold medal at the world juniors last year where he played with current Bruins, Charlie McAvoy.

Jeremy Swayman, G: University of Maine

An Alaska Native was drafted 111th overall in this years draft. Playing in his freshman year at UMaine he looks to gain some exposure by being the backbone of Team USA.

“It’s a great opportunity for him [to be at USA camp], it’s a credit to the year he’s having,” said Langenbrunner. “I don’t believe he’s really been at any of the big tournaments before, so this is definitely an opportunity to see him at another level.”

Maybe is the Bruins answer to their goaltending question.

Urho Vaakanainen, D: SaiPa Lappeenranta

Drafted at this years draft the Fin will look to improve upon his two-way game.

“He’s one of, if not the leader in ice time for defensemen in the Finnish Elite League as an 18-year-old kid, and continues to impress with his consistency and the professional nature in which he plays,” said Langenbrunner.”

Joona Kopanen, F: Ilves Tampere

A 2016 fifth-round pick. The 19 year has been playing well over in Sweden.

“Reliable player. I don’t want to stereotype the Finns, but they all seem to have a lot of really good details in their game where they understand how to play the game defensively,” Langenbrunner said of the 6-foot-4, 192-pound winger.”

Oskar Steen, F: Farjestads BK Karlstad

Steen was also a 2016 pick being selected in the sixth round.

“He’s continuing to try to develop more of his scoring…was really good in Plymouth, [Michigan] during the [World Junior] Summer Showcase, had a hat trick in one game and has shown a little bit of the scoring that we think is in there.”

We will have to wait and see what these kids have and if they have what it takes to be a Bruin.

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Fantasy Hockey Talk: Two Month Update

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There is snow on the ground and it feels like winter today.  What better time it is to talk Hockey!  More importantly I’m talking about Fantasy Hockey.  It has been a little over two months and things are really starting to ramp up.  There has been some injuries that have come and gone.  But nothing like last year’s Flu outbreak, or whatever that was.  If you have read my previous Fantasy Hockey Blog then you know I am one of those “Die Hard” Fantasy Hockey Fans.  Hey I just love Fantasy, I can’t get enough of it!

So yeah it has been two months and my Fantasy Team is steamrolling the competition.  I’m 8-1 in a Head 2 Head Weekly Points League.  This type of format is common.  What you do is add up the total points you’ve scored every day and at the end of the week if your total points for the week is greater than your opponent, you notch a Win for the week.  Easy, right?  Not so fast you can net negative points, mainly if your Goalie loses.  And players don’t play every single day, so you have figure out who to start when their team is playing.  Yeah it gets challenging but let me tell you the secret to my success.  My Roster, of course!

So yeah everyone on my Roster is playing well and here are some of the big names on my Fantasy Team.  Brad Marchand is tearing it up for me on the the ice.  He is having an unbelievable Season. He has 10 Goals and 12 Assists with 44 Shots on Goal, that’s 62 Fantasy Points for the year.  David Pastrnak is having an even better year than Marchand.  He has 14 Goals and 11 Assists with 76 Shots on Goal, that adds up to 72 Fantasy Points.  That is my top duo and they have been giving my opponents the “old one two.”

At Forward I also have Jonathan Huberdeau 75 Fantasy Points, Brayden Schenn 91 Fantasy Points, Patric Hornqvist 61 Fantasy Points, Vladislav Namestnikov 77 Fantasy Points, and James Neal 62 Fantasy Points.  These are the big play makers on my team.  All of them are having a great year.  If you are playing Fantasy Hockey I suggest you look to mirror my team and pick some of these guys up via trades.  You won’t be disappointed.  I have particularly like the way Nikolaj Ehlers has been playing.  He is my go to at the Utility Position when my starting Roster is stacked.  He has 12 Goals and 10 Assists with 78 Shots on Goal, that is 63 Fantasy Points.  Yeah he is having a career best.  I also like J.T. Miller at Utility.

On Defense I have Victor Hedman 44 Fantasy Points, Colton Parayko 41 Fantasy Points, Alex Goligoski 32 Fantasy Points, Aaron Ekblad 31 Fantasy Points, and lastly I have Johnny Boychuk 20 Fantasy Points.  Suffice to say I rely heavily on my Forwards to net me Points.  I had David Krejci but he has been injured.  I released him immediately, he just wasn’t a good fit for my Fantasy Team.  Marchand was injured briefly but I dodged a bullet as he is back to his usual form after that.  Other than that I really like the way everyone has been playing.  I mean seriously I have a stacked team, its been one of the better years for me, Fantasy wise.  Just look at those numbers!

For Goalies I rotate three of them around.  I have Tuukka Rask who has been my big “Achilles Heal” this year.  He just isn’t playing up to his talent.  He has only 6 Wins with a Save Percentage of .908 and Goals Allowed at 2.52, that has netted -8 Fantasy Points.  Yeah not good, they had to pull him.  Anton Khudobin has played better with 7 Wins and a .922 Save Percentage, that has netted 10 Fantasy Points.  I’m expecting Tuukka to play better the second half of the Season.  I do have Jonathan Quick who has 14 Wins and 27 Fantasy Points on the year.  Lastly I have Brian Elliott who has 9 Wins but has a net points of -15.  Ouch!  If he continues on this dreadful streak of negative points expect me to make some drastic changes.  Picking Goalies is just difficult in Fantasy Hockey.  It always is!

So that’s my Superstar Team, heavily populated by Forward Scoring Machines.  They have carried me so far; into almost Playoff contention.  That I think if you look at them deep down you will discover a good mix of Goal Scoring, Shots on Goal, and Assists.  It’s only been two months but if my Fantasy Team continues to out perform expect an expanded blog.  Maybe a blog each week?  We’ll see!  Oh yeah and “Don’t Poke the Bear.”  Cheers!

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