An unfortunate end to an otherwise promising season has led us into an interesting off-season outlook. While the core of the team is still together, some key players are on the list for potential free agents. Here are three important moves the Boston Bruins must make this off-season to stay in contention.
Bruins Off-season Moves
Sign Back Carlo and McAvoy
This one seems like a no brainer, but the Bruins aren’t really swimming in cap room. They’re projected to have roughly $12 million in cap space to begin the off-season. Now, it should be just enough to sign both of these two. Charlie McAvoy will probably in the ballpark of $4.5-5 million per year as long as the length stays around 2-3 years. As you increase the length of the contract, he’ll begin to ask for more per year and the Bruins are not in a position (this year) to do that. Brandon Carlo has a similar situation, except his cap hit won’t be as hefty. I envision him at about a $3-3.75 million hit per year, and generally the same length as McAvoy.
It may seem easy enough to sign these two back, but if McAvoy or Carlo starts to ask for anything north of five million, it’ll get very tricky fast. These two are top on my list in the off-season and I would do pretty much anything to keep these two.
Find a Way to Move David Backes
At a $6 million AAV (Average Per Year), David Backes is quite possibly the most overpaid player in the NHL. It’s no question he is past his prime and on the decline, but the only presence he really has at this point is in the locker room not on the ice. Leadership only goes so far and with the lack of offense presented by David Backes mixed with his poor contract, he’s a must move before next season. He will not be easy to move by any means. However, to take, you must give. Boston needs to pair a prospect or even a pick with Backes to ship him out.
As we get closer to the start of the season, it’ll become more difficult to make this type of deal. They need to get it done fast and they need to get it done efficiently. But, more importantly, they just need to get it done.
David Krejci‘s Time is Up
David Krejci was extremely valuable this past season. He totaled 73 pts and played in all but one game. However, in the playoffs, he scored just 4 goals all coming in the first half of the playoffs. He has the biggest contract on the team ($7.25 AAV) but doesn’t perform as the best player and hasn’t for a while. You’ve got to start the transition to the “new era” at some point and I think it starts with David Krejci. Move his salary and go after a guy like Ryan Dzingel who is set to be a UFA on July 1st. He’s a speedy center that will compliment Jake Debrusk perfectly, while still keeping the AAV under 6 million. He’s six years younger than David Krejci. Dzingel put up just under 60 pts this past season, as well as 28 goals.
He would be a perfect replacement at a lesser cost. But bottom line, trade David Krejci. The transition to the younger guys needs to happen eventually and this is a perfect time to send away a veteran while still maintaining contention.
Bruins’ Off-season: Interesting Few Months
Although the Boston Bruins don’t have too many free agents this year, they’re still at a crossroad for their future. They can retool the same team and try again, or they can make some changes while still contending for a cup. I like the latter of that. The Bruins have built a fantastic depth-focused team that allows them to ponder these decisions. If Krejci is moved but you can’t grab another center, Charlie Coyle is a great 2nd line scorer. If you can’t move Krejci, he’s still a great center who will grab you 60+ next season. The Bruins really can’t go wrong in these next few months, but some of their decisions could be the difference between yet another cup and another close but disappointing finish.
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