Boston Bruins Rumors: Latest Free Agent Buzz and More
As noted in a report published one day after the Minnesota Wild made free-agent ripples, Boston Globe beat writer Fluto Shinzawa holds that the Bruins made a “significant offer” to pricey forward Zach Parise.
That virtually sums up the NHL free agency and offseason trade headlines in the Hub thus far, and it all revolves around deals that didn’t happen and most likely will not happen.
Parise’s cap hit made him an unrealistic acquisition to begin with, but the Bruins bypassed some more conceivable chances to shore up their strike force and address their need for a veteran over the first week of July.
For themselves and for any other team that could use at least one additional forward, preferably at no cost in terms of other personnel, it ought to have been embarrassing to watch what the Dallas Stars did.
First, Dallas drained a little of the pool by nabbing Ray Whitney last Sunday, the day all free agents were officially turned loose on the market. Whitney, the top point-getter for the Phoenix Coyotes in 2011-12, would have replenished much of what the Bruins lost up front when Mark Recchi retired last summer.
They could have shaken that off and turned to another 40-year-old veteran in Jaromir Jagr, who like Whitney has won a Cup with Recchi and is doubtlessly craving one more. But he, too, was gone at the hands of the Stars before the ice chips settled on Tuesday, July 3.
This lack of roster ruffling has certainly gone in accordance with general manager Peter Chiarelli’s pledge to stand back during free agency. Yet it also goes against some of his previous pledges and could ultimately be counterintuitive to another ambition of his.
A free agent, preferably a seasoned one with abundant aptitude but not too much ahead of him, would be the most logical means of adding a critical missing piece to the strike force. Recall that in the immediate wake of his team seeing its title defense terminated in the opening round of the most recent playoffs, Chiarelli declared his intention to acquire a new winger.
At the same time, he has made it plain that he wants to retain as much of his championship core and rising class of youngsters as he can. But if he does not solve his team’s primal short-term need through free agency (which contains the word “free” for a reason), he will ultimately be forced to sacrifice somebody.
Either that, or take risks by leaving these defending Eastern Conference quarterfinalists almost exactly as they were when they were zapped in overtime by the Washington Capitals.
James Murphy of ESPN Boston has mused that Chiarelli will continue to let the free agents roam outside New England boundaries and trade either before or early on in the 2012-13 campaign.
The word persists that Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash could still be imported. A blog post this past Friday by Columbus Dispatch beat writer Aaron Portzline lists the Bruins along with Flyers, Penguins, Rangers, Red Wings and Sharks as potential purchasers.
Douglas Flynn of nesn.com discussed the matter further over the weekend on the Bruins broadcast network. Flynn was quite apt to cite the matters of a long-term deal, hefty cap hit and what would surely be a crater-inducing asking price.
Other than that, the B's were generating nothing in the way of fresh trade buzz through the first full weekend of July.
UPDATE: The Bruins made a light flurry of free-agent moves more likely to impact the affairs down in Providence by nabbing Christian Hanson and later Garnet Exelby, as well as re-signing Lane MacDermid.
Hanson, a veteran of three full professional seasons, has played 42 NHL games with Toronto and spent the most recent season with Chris Bourque and the Hershey Bears.
MacDermid will enter his fourth year in the black and gold organization and could step up to fill in a void on the bottom six in times of need, just as he did in 2011-12. Exelby, though lately an AHL mainstay, brings a generous quantity of NHL experience and could be a cost-effective alternative if rookies Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug are not ready to cut it on the blue line.
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