Friday started as a relatively quiet day as far as the Bruins were concerned. Sure, the draft was later that night, and there were rumors, but nothing to the point where Bruins Nation should start the freak out.
And then Black Friday happened.
In one fell swoop, new Bruins general manager Don Sweeney took a 96-point team and made it into …. well, we’re really not sure yet, but it ain’t looking good.
It started with the new that Dougie Hamilton would be traded. Everyone thought it would be to Arizona for the #3 pick, and when it turned out that it was to Calgary, everyone was thinking TJ Brodie, or Sam Bennett or …. anyone.
Then it became the #15 pick.
That’s it. The 15th pick.
So as Bruins fans were digesting that bit of news, word came that the team resigned defenseman Adam McQuaid to a new deal.
For $11.75 million.
Everyone, basically simultaneously, said ‘That money could’ve paid Dougie!’ And that is true, but the team already had enough to pay Hamilton. The McQuaid signing essentially made no sense, particularly when they had a very similar player in Kevan Miller for $800 grand.
And then …. rumors escalated quick that the Bruins were looking to trade Milan Lucic. And then, holy crap, they did. To the Kings for the 13th pick, goalie Martin Jones and defenseman Colin Miller. On the surface this was a good deal, getting a strong backup (or potential trade chip) and an up and coming D-Man for a guy you weren’t going to resign.
We found out that the Bruins are paying about $2.7 million of Lucic’s salary. Oh boy.
So not only did the Bruins trade a young, stud defenseman for essentially nothing, and one of their top forwards, they didn’t even free up any cap space, which is the one thing they needed most (besides a defenseman or two, and a couple of left wings).
It’s said that bad things happen in three’s. Well the Bruins sure seemed to be proving that to be true on Black Friday.
What the hell happened? And what’s the next shoe to drop here? What is the plan? There has to be a plan, right? Will the Bruins look to move other pieces, like Dennis Seidenberg, Loui Eriksson, Reilly Smith, etc.? Whom do they target in the free agent or trade market?
Look, if you’re not going to be able to afford Hamilton, fine. Just maximize your return. Do the deal with Edmonton, who cares that Peter Chiarelli is the GM there now? And if a team wants Lucic but can’t afford him, find another team that can. That $2.7 comes in huge when you insist on paying Adam McQaid $2.75M.
It seems like the Bruins panicked on Friday, and now have a ton of work to do to get back to decent. Because right now they are not decent. Not even close. And if they close the week by moving some more salary and somehow swing a deal for Brent Seabrook or Jeff Skinner, fine. But it doesn’t look like Seabrook is going anywhere, Skinner has a concussion history which should give you pause at his salary of about $6M, so you would have to overpay for an Andrej Sekera or Matt Beleskey in free agency to make up for the loss.
So, in trying to make sense of what happened Friday, I have failed as I cannot. I have no idea why they did what they did. We better hope Auston Matthews is the real thing….