Boston Bruins: Sweeney has his work cut out for him


Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After watching this years Playoffs and the Stanley Cup finals it became very apparent to me that new Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney has his work cut out for him. Things that I saw were; Speed, skill and fluidity on a continual basis. These same attributes are currently missing from the present day Bruins. The B’s are predominately a slow, methodical team that comes in and out of its own system. A system, which in the past, proved very successful but will it in the future? They have little bits and pieces of the above listed features (David Pastrnak, Ryan Spooner, Brad Marchand and Dougie Hamilton) but definitely not as a whole.

Bruins President Cam Neely gave us some indication that he, they, would like a team with Size, Skill and Physicality. More inline with the “Big, Bad, Bruins” of old but with perhaps more speed and skill. Easier said than done.

So once the NHL Draft is done (June 26th, 2015 through June 27th, 2015, in BB&T Center – Sunrise, Florida), what will Don Sweeney do? What will be his approach? How will he get that payroll flexibility he spoke of? Can he rebuild this team in one off season?

These are all questions most Bruins fans have asked themselves. I don’t have the exact answers, no one does, but I can offer an opinion as to how I would handle the matters at hand.

  1. Moving Payroll. Don must find a way to move some payroll any way he can. If he can’t shed payroll than adding any free agents or making trades at the Trade Deadline become none existent. And while shedding payroll he should keep in mind to get younger in the process. I would move on from Zdeno Chara who is now 38 years old. I would also move on from Dennis Seidenberg who will be 34 this summer. Moving these two players along with a Chris Kelly (who is 34) for draft picks or for cheap, young, minor league talent should be the direction they take. This would eliminate $14m, which is in-line with what they should be trying to unload.
  1. Rebuilding the Defense. Last season there was a ton of talk centralized around the fact the Bruins couldn’t score, though this was true their biggest area in need of a major rebuild is their Defensive core. Chara and Seidenberg aren’t getting any better or younger. Along with adding two new (top 4) defenseman, they Must re-sign Dougie. Allowing Hamilton to sign elsewhere would be professional suicide. I am a fan of Zbynek Michalek for one of the picks and perhaps Capitals free agent Defenseman Mike Green for the other.
  1. Adding one high scoring Winger. Right wing may be the best spot to fill but any high scoring winger will do. In fact Don shouldn’t worry (at first) about whether that player can play defense or not. Teaching that player how to play defense should be up to Claude to figure out. Not knowing who exactly is or will be available this Summer I have no suggestions. I will say there are Zero unrestricted free agent wingers I would go after. Most are either too old or too slow or both and I would use whatever money they have on rebuilding the Defense. In my opinion they will have to trade for the winger they seek.

As a life long Bruins fan I for one hope Don can successfully complete these 3 areas, because I couldn’t take another year of what we had last season. Good luck Don, I think you’ll need it.