Sunday, June 6, 2010

First round spotlight will return Monday

This is a quick post to tell you all that I'll be back on Monday with the next installment of the first round draft spotlight series-- I've been busy this weekend and haven't had the time to devote to it.

In the meantime, there is a feature I did on U.S. NTDP defender Derek Forbort up at the New England Hockey Journal website if you haven't yet seen it. He's one of those guys that would be a nice pickup for the B's if they can swing it, but is going to take a few years to develop before he's ready for primetime.

Interesting that the Bruins signed Dennis Seidenberg yesterday to a four-year extension worth a reported average (cap hit) of $3.25 mil. It takes some of the sting out of giving up the 36th overall selection to Florida to get him, but there are now going to be some second- and third-order effects given that the Bruins have invested some long-term contracts on Seidenberg and Andrew Ference. With Mark Stuart and Johnny Boychuk up for new deals, one or both are going to be gone, unless Peter Chiarelli moves one of the other defenders like a Matt Hunwick or Dennis Wideman, for example. Something's gotta give, and there's no telling what Chiarelli will be able to make happen, but the status quo cannot hold. Don't forget about young guys Yuri Alexandrov and Adam McQuaid, both of whom could make the roster next year and are low cap hits, which should appeal to the Bruins.

Still not sure about the money given to Ference and forward Shawn Thornton recently, so it looks like barring some big trades to shake things up, the Bruins won't be able to afford a foray into free agency this summer. PC will have to make his bones via trades and at the draft.


  1. Thornton's deal was 800,000 per year for 2.

  2. Yes-- a 60% raise for a guy who scored 1 goal last year and didn't contribute much in the playoffs.

    I like Sugar a lot- he's a good guy in the room and willing to take one for the team, but I just wonder if the Bruins might have been better served getting a veteran tough guy this summer at the league minimum rather than boosting their cap figure on a guy who is on the wrong side of 30.

  3. To me Lucic is going to be falling into that role over the next couple of years. His skating and mobility are limited, he has not got the offensive skills needed to be a top 2 line guy on this team. He's going to have to be more of a presence expecially with Seguin in the line up next year.

  4. Lucic will never fall into that role.He has skills to be a 20-25 goal scorer, along with his snarl attitude.He will be on the 2nd line and will do a great job there.

  5. PieMac- If you believe that to be Lucic's role, then you're validating the thought that 800k over two years for Thornton is not money well spent for Boston.

    Every bit counts in this era of a salary cap. Not sure what the GM is doing here-- he must know that they are going to free up a lot of $$ via trades and/or buyouts/relegations of salaries to the minors.

  6. Kirk I do agree that the signing of Thornton is a waste. Lucic is not a year in and year out 25 goal scorer and does not belong on top 2 lines. His skating is suspect and he doesn't make guys like Krecij, Savard, Beregeron and Sturm better, he slows the speed of the line and the creativity of the line down. Even though Recchi is old and speed challenged his creativity and hands make up for his age and skating.

    Lucic can and should fill the role they just signed Thornton to fill. You need to start getting younger all around.

  7. I disagree on Lucic. I don't think he's headed towards Thornton's role, and putting him in that role would be a tremendous waste of his talents.

    It is true that he's not a legit top line winger, skill-wise, but the Bruins' top line was able to thrive with Lucic (in 08-09, anyway) precisely because he does make his teammates better. Savard is most dangerous when he has puck possession in the offensive zone. Lucic's excellent work along the boards gives Savard more chances to create offense.

    Also, Lucic has a pretty solid track record of producing when it is most needed - the playoffs. He has 10 goals in 30 playoff games. I think he's the Bruin leader in playoff goals over the past 15+ seasons. That production was spread over 3 playoff runs in three very different situations. In 07-08, Lucic drew top line duty with Savard in part because the rest of the team was so "offensively challenged", and he scored a couple of key goals. In 08-09, he was on the top offensive line with Savard and Kessel. This past year, he was once again a key offensive contributor on a team that was very shorthanded.

    I think he would have had a better 09/10 regular season if not for injuries that dogged him all year long, including in the playoffs.

    Thornton and Ference are guys who should not have been high priority signs. There are plenty of good veteran role-playing guys scrambling for jobs every fall. Had they not been signed, Ference and Thornton would have been among them.

    The Thornton deal is not as bad as the Ference deal but still bad - a guy like Thornton may not deserve to even be in the league in 2011-12, silly to have given him guaranteed money for that year.

    The Ference deal is much, much worse. Here's a guy headed for offseason surgery, and he gets three years at $2.25 per? Awful, awful decision. I think Ference is a $2 million defenseman WHEN HE IS HEALTHY, but a quick look at his record shows that he averages only about 55 games per year. Worse than that, I think he's spent about half of those games nursing injuries that have robbed him of his effectiveness.

    I think the chances of Ference giving the Bruins even 100 healthy games over the next three years are only slightly higher than Ray Bourque coming out of retirement and giving the Bruins 100 healthy games over the next three years.

  8. The bottom line about Lucic is this.How many GM's would love to have this guy on their team? I say all of them, and it wouldn't be because they feel that he would be great on the 4th line.