Bruins

Pouliot still without qualfying offer; may be done in Boston

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Pouliot still without qualfying offer; may be done in Boston

PITTSBURGH It looks like the often erratic, sometimes brilliant Benoit Pouliot era might be over in Boston after just one up-and-down season.

One year after the Montreal Canadiens didnt extend a qualifying offer to Pouliot making him an unrestricted free agent signed by the Bruins, it appears the Bs will do the same thing. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli confirmed to CSNNE.com that Boston has extended qualifying offers to restricted free agents Tuukka Rask, Matt Bartkowski and Lane MacDermid thereby allowing them to match any offer sheets the RFAs might received after July 1.

The Bruins havent extended a qualifying offer to Pouliot, and Chiarelli wasnt ready on Friday afternoon to rule out that it might happen by the June 25 deadline. But it appears the Bruins are ready to relinquish their RFA protection rights for a player that never truly found his stride in Black and Gold.

Pouliot did post his second-best career total with 16 goals and reached a personal high with 32 points while riding shotgun on the third line with Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley for much of the season. He had arguably the two prettiest goals by the Bruins last season including a between-the-legs toe drag against the Florida Panthers in December, but Pouliot also struggled through long bouts of invisibility on the ice.

The 25-year-old all but disappeared in February with one point and a minus-7 in 13 games, and appeared to catch the Bruins by surprise on at least one occasion when he wasnt feeling healthy enough physically to play.

The limited production was probably to be expected for a buy low project that the Bruins only spent 1.1 million on for the 2011-12 season, but Pouliots inconsistency has spurred the Bruins to look for a veteran Mark Recchi type on the third line as a potential replacement.

The Bruins could bring Pouliot back after July 1 even if they dont send him a qualifying offer, but that doesnt seem likely at all.

Is Bruce Cassidy over the Stanley Cup loss? 'Nope, not really'

Is Bruce Cassidy over the Stanley Cup loss? 'Nope, not really'

The Boston Bruins went on the longest playoff run they possibly could have in 2019. But in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, they fell to the St. Louis Blues by a final score of 4-1. And that loss stung for a Bruins team that was widely expected to win the cup after a series of first-round upsets.

Now 10 weeks removed from the Stanley Cup loss, the Bruins faithful are still reeling from the defeat. That includes head coach Bruce Cassidy who confirmed that he isn't over losing the final.

"Nope, not really," Cassidy recently said, per Matt Porter of The Boston Globe. "Today I am. Tomorrow, depends if someone asks me a question that just happens to hit a nerve."

Cassidy would also go on to say that he might have a bit of difficulty seeing the Blues logo and having to watch them play, per Porter. 

"There might be a time on the road next year and we’re sitting there and I’m watching St. Louis play, because they’re playing Montreal and we play Montreal the next night, and I’ll be like, [expletive], you know? That’s the time you might start going backward."

Still, Cassidy is focusing his energy on preparing the Bruins for their season opener on Oct. 3 against the Dallas Stars. The Bruins are returning much of the same core that helped them win the Eastern Conference (minus Marcus Johansson and Noel Acciari) so they are expected to be contenders in the East again.

Of course, they still have to figure out a way to agree to deals with restricted free agents Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo while staying under the salary cap, but once they do that, they should be in good position to make another run.

And safe to say, Cassidy and the Bruins will be looking to prove themselves after a disappointing finish last season.

Report: B's, Cassidy discussing extension>>>

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Don Sweeney opens up about Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo contract talks

Don Sweeney opens up about Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo contract talks

It's been a quiet offseason for the Bruins, but the elephant in the room has been the contract situations of defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo.

Bruins president Cam Neely said earlier this month negotiations were "still status quo" with the two restricted free agents. It's been radio silence from both sides since then, but on Thursday general manager Don Sweeney provided another update on how things are coming along in a conversation with Michael Tolvo of BostonBruins.com.

“Not as fast as everybody would like,” Sweeney admitted. “But that’s just the nature of the business and every negotiation has its own timeline. We’ll find a finish line at some point and time, Brandon and Charlie will be a part of our organization for a long time. We think really highly of them as players on and off the ice, we just have to find a common ground and we’re working to get there.”

While it's unclear what kinds of deals McAvoy and Carlo will receive, Bruins fans can at least take solace in Sweeney's confidence in the duo donning the Black and Gold for years to come.

As for a move the B's have made this summer, they did manage to lock up one of their RFA's, Danton Heinen. Both Noel Acciari (Florida Panthers) and Marcus Johannson (Buffalo Sabres) left in free agency.

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