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Thursday, July 31, 2008

I can't think of a clever title

Fluto Shinzawa has found out the terms of St Pierre's contract (1 year 500,000 in the NHL, 175,000 $100,000 in the AHL) and Thompson's contract (1 year $500,000 in the NHL, $80,000 $70,000 in the AHL). also has a good article on Dennis Wideman.

Only 70 days until the Bruins play Colorado!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Chiarelli signs the last of the RFA's

Peter Chiarelli has officially signed former restricted free agents Nate Thompson and Martin St. Pierre.

I have no idea what the terms of the contracts are. Both players have spent their pro career thus far in the AHL. Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe has reiterated many times that he believes Nate Thompson will make the Boston Bruins this season. Shinzawa sites Thompson's excellent performance in Providence and the fact that he is a quality penalty killer (which the Bruins lost when Metropolit signed with Philly) as reason why the young center will make it to the big leagues.

I'm not quite convinced yet. The Bruins have talented centers in Savard, Bergeron, Krejci, Kessel (most likely will play right wing), Nokelainen, and Sobotka. If Nate Thompson makes the team, one of the centers we already have will have to sit. Had Glen Metropolit not stepped up last season, the Bruins would have been in big trouble with Bergeron gone. If a center were to go down due to injury, then the Bruins would need Nate Thompson. Until then, I think the Bruins need to let him stay in Providence. He will improve in Providence and will be great for the younger P-Bruins. From what I hear, though, Thompson could easily make it out of training camp and prove me wrong. Best of luck to him!

Martin St. Pierre is most likely going to spend another season in the AHL. He'll be a quality point getter for Providence and if some Boston players go down with injuries he could see a couple games with the NHL Bruins.

Milan Lucic vs. Matt Bradley

Here's a video for any bored Bruins fans out there. I found it while I was writing my Game 68 summary.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

23 games to go

As the loyal Bruins Nation readers know, towards the end of last season my life got really busy and I was unable to keep up the blog. Although I continued to watch every Bruins game, I was unable to post game summaries, which is what Bruins Nation has become known for.

What I have decided to do until the start of the season is to post game summaries for the 23 games that I missed. I have a tremendous memory when it comes to hockey, so I should be able to remember the games just by looking at the box score, but if I have forgotten a specific game, the highlight reels on and the notes I took on the players throughout the season should be able to jog my memory. I am going to date each of the 23 game summary posts for May 1st, 2008. So just click on the "May 2008" link on the right to find the game summaries. Do not click on the "Bruins Nation Game Summaries" link, that one is a link to the game summaries for the 06-07 season

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Peace out, Muzz

It's official. Peter Chiarelli has bought out the final year of Glen Murray's contract. Muzz is now an unrestricted free agent, and the Bruins are now about 1.2 million dollars under the salary cap.

Although last season was mediocre, and the two seasons before that he had problems staying healthy, Glen Murray did have a bunch of quality seasons with the Bruins. Fans should not forget that. Murray had 41 goals in '01-'02, 44 goals in '02-'03, and 32 goals in '03-'04. The Bruins made the playoffs all three of those season, something that probably would not have happened without the help of Glen Murray.

I would have liked to keep Murray. Lord knows the Bruins need to score more goals. But with the money Glen Murray was going to make next season (another huge O'connell error), it was just too hard to keep him around. So long, Muzz, Bruins Nation wishes you the best.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bruins trade Pascal Pelletier to Chicago Blackhawks for Martin St. Pierre

GM Chiarelli just announced that AHL forward and restricted free agent Pascal Pelletier is now property of the Chicago Blackhawks. In return, the Bruins acquired AHL center Martin St. Pierre. On paper this trade seems even steven, so I'm wondering what Chiarelli will say were the reasons for the trade.

Speaking of Bruins prospects, has two articles on their front page about the Bruins farm system. One an overall review, and one about Zach Hamill.

Also, according to Fluto Shinzawa, Glen Murray has cleared waivers and will most likely be bought out tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Murray placed on Waivers

With Dennis Wideman's 3.875 million now officially going against the cap, the Bruins had to get rid of some money. Glen Murray has just been placed on waivers.

I was hoping we could keep Murray, he's a very skilled forward. He's 35, though, and looked a step behind on every play last season. Guys like that tend to be able to rebound well after bad seasons, so I'm surprised that the Bruins gave up on him.

Here's now what I think the lines will be next season:
Nokelainen-Sobotka-Reich (or Thornton/Schaefer)



***One thind that the loss of Murray does mean, though, is that Michael Ryder really needs to step up!

Wideman signs! Chiarelli is smarter than I thought

So last night I wrote about a rumor from sportsnet that turned out to be false. This morning, however, it is being reported that Dennis Wideman has signed a 4 year 15.5 million dollar contract. The genius on Peter Chiarelli's part is that Dennis Wideman will make 3.25 million next year, 3.75 million in 09-10, 4 million in 2010-11, and 4.5 million in 2011-2012.

This contract is perfect. Next year he is making what I think he deserves. He is still pretty young and should continue to improve. If he continues to improve, then we've just locked up a great puck-moving defenseman for what could be a steal (just look at what Brian Campbell and Wade Redden signed for). If he fails to meet expectations, then the Bruins can easily buy out of this contract and get a lot back.

The Bruins right now are just about 1 million dollars over the cap. So what will happen? If I'm Chiarelli, I'd buy out Peter Schaefer. Many fans want Murray gone, and some even want a combination of Thornton and Reich waved. Stay tuned to see what happens.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rumor: Wideman back on board for 3.9 mil a year

The reason this report from sportsnet is considered a rumor is because Chiarelli has sort of denied it.

The report claims that Dennis Wideman has signed a 4 year 15.75 million dollar contract with the Boston Bruins. this means that Wideman will cost the Bruins 3.9 mil annually. That puts the Bruins, according to my calculations, 1.5 million above the cap. That means that the Bruins will have to buy out Murray, or buy out a combination of Schaefer and Reich or Schaefer and Thornton. I'm not sure of all the rules, though, so it may be possible that Chiarelli can rework some contracts to allow everyone to play.

If there are any buy-outs, they will come soon (keep in mind that trades and AHL assignments are another way to stay under the cap) so stay tuned!

I'm calling it now!

Alright Bruins Nation, here it is. I predict that the Bruins will win the Eastern Conference this season and hoist the Prince of Whales trophy! The Red Wings may win the cup, but I'm sure the Bruins will make it to the finals. I was going over it in my head the other day and the more I think about it the more confident I become.

With the additions of Patrice Bergeron, Manny Fernandez, and Michael Ryder, I don't think any team can beat the Bruins in a seven game series. I'm confident the Bruins will easily win the Northeast division. The Bruins are the only team that got a lot better over the off-season. Buffalo and Toronto are poised to have losing seasons again. Montreal and Ottawa will take 2 and 3 in the division, respectively. Montreal and Ottawa did improve over the off-season but not nearly as much as the Bruins did.

As for the playoffs, two teams scare me a little bit: the New York Rangers and The Pittsburgh Penguins. The New York Rangers were already a very good team. They lost Sean Avery, but they got Markus Naslund and Wade Redden. As for the Pittsburgh Penguins, they had some decent signings, but none can make up for the loss of Marian Hossa. That being said, Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are amazing. Both New York and Pittsburgh have legitimate shots at beating the Bruins, but I doubt in a 7 game series either of them could beat the Bruins four times. The Bruins just have a stronger team

The Bruins have two top goaltenders in all-star Tim Thomas and former Wild (team and style) starter Manny Fernandez. Our offense includes potential 30 goal scorers in Patrice Bergeron, Michael Ryder, Marco Sturm, Chuck Kobasew, Glen Murray, and Marc Savard (he may not get 30 goals, but he'll assist on everyone else's). The offense also consists of youngsters Phil Kessel, Milan Lucic, David Krejci, and Vladimir Sobotka who could easily have breakout seasons.

On Defense, the Bruins have Zdeno Chara, Andrew Alberts, Aaron Ward, Dennis Wideman, Andrew Ference, and Mark Stuart, all capable of playing over 20 solid minutes. Shane Hnidy struggled a little bit but was solid in the playoffs and is a great depth player. The Bruins also have talented young defensemen in Matt Lashoff and Matt Hunwick who could easily make a mark in the NHL this season.

Most important of all, the Bruins will have Claude Julien. Julien did wonders with the injured Bruins last season and this season his system will only be stronger.

Bottom Line: These Bruins are going far!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Brad Boyes or Dennis Wideman

With Dennis Wideman's arbitration hearing coming up, everyone has been thinking about how much he is really worth. That's not what I'm going to write about today. Right now, I am going to look back and see whether that February 27, 2007 trade was worth it.

On February 27, 2007, the Bruins traded struggling winger Brad Boyes for struggling defenseman Dennis Wideman. Both players made minor impacts for the rest of that season. In 07-08, both players had exemplary seasons. Dennis Wideman posted a 13-23-36 line with a +11. He was second on the team (2nd to Zdeno Chara) with an average of over 25 minutes per game. Wideman played in 81 games and 2,037 minutes, 9th in NHL. Wideman spent the majority of the season alongside Zdeno Chara and complimented Chara's stay at home style by being able to move the puck and set up plays. Dennis Wideman "quarterbacked" the power play unit throughout the season.

Brad Boyes went on to score 43 goals (6th in the NHL) and have 65 points (tied-1st on STL Blues). That's the Brad Boyes we knew and loved before Dave Lewis. It's clear that Dave Lewis's system in 06-07 corrupted Boyes. Had he stayed, there is no doubt in my mind that playing next to Glen Metropolit or Marc Savard would have given him the opportunity to score at least 30 last season. It's a shame Chiarelli gave up on Brad Boyes. That being said, I've grown attached to Dennis Wideman and given the opportunity, I would not trade him back for Brad Boyes. Dennis Wideman is too valuable to this team as a fast puck moving defenseman. At 25, the Ontario native has a long career ahead of him, and I want him protecting Tim Thomas and Manny Fernandez from the top lines in the NHL.

***Alright, I'll make a prediction. Mainly because Brian Campbell got a 56.7 million dollar contract, the arbitrator will likely give Dennis Wideman a large raise. I'm thinking 3.2 million dollars. That puts the Bruins at an annual cap hit of 57.5 million dollars (according to Fluto Shinzawa). The Salary Cap is 56.7 million. If the Bruins buy out Peter Schaefer, then we would be able to keep Murray and get back 1.33 million dollars, enough to be under the cap for 08-09. I do believe Glen Murray will come back with a great year. He is a very talented right wing and is also in a contract year. If possible I would like to keep Murray, but buying him out is always an option and would relieve the Bruins of his very expensive 4 million dollar contract.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

New lines?

What do you think?


Chara-Wideman*if he resigns

***Hnidy, Thornton, Schaefer, and Sobotka are scratches in this lineup.

I like it! If this team stays healthy they are going to make a run. I have a lot of faith in our goalies and a lot of faith in Claude Julien. Our defense played very well last season and there is no reason to think they won't play as well this season. The offense has something to prove, but with Bergeron back (and hopefully a Glen Murray who gets his game back), the Bruins offense should show up on a daily basis and be able to get past opposing defenses. I'm looking forward to this season, we've got a good team with good depth and we should go far.

Also, the Bruins have signed highly touted University of Minnesota player Blake Wheeler. He'll probably play in Providence.

Bruins sign Michael Ryder on first day of free agency season

Like all of Bruins Nation, I was hoping the Bruins would sign Marian Hossa or Brian Campbell. Hossa has yet to sign, but trying to sign him seemed futile after rumors said that teams were offering him over 8 million a year long term. Meanwhile, Campbell signed with Chicago for 7.1 million a year for 7 years. So late Tuesday night, Peter Chiarelli announced that the Bruins have signed right wing Michael Ryder. Rumor has it that the deal is for 4 million a year for the next 3 years. If that number is true, the Bruins will have just enough to resign Wideman and they will not need to buyout Murray.

The 28 year old Michael Ryder has played his entire NHL career for the Montreal Canadiens. So for the last couple years I have strongly disliked him. Despite my hatred, Ryder has been able to ascertain some pretty good numbers. With the exception of last season (14 goals, 31 points), Ryder has always been a scoring threat. Ryder had 30 goals in 06-07, 30 goals in 05-06, and 25 goals in 03-04.

So Nation, join me in welcoming Michael Ryder. I hope all of you will join me in forgiving Ryder for his four seasons with the Habs. Ryder is a Bruin now, and I'm a fan of his.

Some other news involving former Bruins players includes Glen Metropolit signing a 2 year deal with the Flyers, Alex Auld signing with the Senators, Andrew Raycroft signing with the Avalanche, and Brad Stuart resigning with the Detroit Red Wings.

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