Bruins

Could Chris Kreider fill a need for Bruins? Interest is there

Could Chris Kreider fill a need for Bruins? Interest is there

With the Bruins in Vancouver for NHL Draft weekend, the next few days will be one of those big opportunities for the B’s to make any significant improvements to their roster.

The Bruins will obviously bring in some young talent with their draft picks starting with the 30th overall pick in Friday night’s first round, but NHL Draft weekend is also a time for big trades and roster shake-ups right after the season. It’s already known that the Bruins will head into this weekend looking to find a veteran top-6 forward willing to shoot the puck, score some goals and hopefully bring added size and strength to Boston’s group up front.

Could New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider be that guy?

The whispers are getting louder that the 28-year-old Kreider is going to be available this summer with the Rangers deep into their rebuilding efforts, and the former Boston College standout headed into the final year of his contract with the Blueshirts.

Per hockey sources, there is strong interest from the Bruins when it comes to the big, speedy and physical winger if he’s available at the right price. Kreider is exactly the kind of big power forward that the Bruins desperately need of up front with a small group that’s had trouble breaking through big defensemen groups over the last few seasons.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Kreider is coming off 28 goals and 52 points despite playing for a Rangers team that clearly packed it in during the second half of the regular season.

Kreider has topped 20 goals four times in his career and gone past the 50-point mark twice in his six full seasons and is coming off a career-high 201 shots on net. He also checks off many of the boxes for Bruins management as a swift-moving skater, a Massachusetts-born and bred player and a former college hockey player after skating for the BC Eagles. It’s clear at this point that the Bruins aren’t shying away from bringing the locals back to play for the Black and Gold, particularly if they can fit a scoring need for the Bruins.

Kreider has one year remaining at a shade under $5 million ($4.625 million) on his contract, and he’ll be due a big raise in the $6-7 million per season range on a contract extension for the 2020-21 season and beyond.

“What do we need moving forward or next year? Yeah, well, obviously I know it’s been talked about at length about another top-six forward, so we’ll see where that ends up. We’re obviously going to need to have some strong centermen coming through the system, as we talked about with where [David] Krejci and [Patrice] Bergeron are,” said Cam Neely. “Our back end, I’m pretty comfortable obviously with [Brandon] Carlo, [Charlie] McAvoy. [Matt] Grzelcyk played really well for us this year.

“Torey [Krug] had a strong year. You know, obviously Zdeno’s [Chara] another year older, but we’ve got a couple good, young lefthanded prospects coming. I think our bottom six was pretty strong this year, so if we can strengthen in the immediate future our top six, you know, that’s something we’d like to try and do. We’ve talked about that for a couple years now.”

There’s clearly an interest and a need for a player like Kreider in trade, but what is it going to cost? If the Bruins are willing to part with their 2019 first round pick and a prospect (Anders Bjork, perhaps?) that might be enough to get it done ahead of tonight’s draft. If not then perhaps the Bruins can offer one of their prospects and their 2020 first round pick while once again betting their pick will be toward the end of the first round as it is with the 30th overall pick in tonight’s first round.

But one can bet on the talks heating up this weekend between Bruins and Rangers GMs that have done their share of trades over the last couple of seasons.

Click here to check out Haggerty's latest NHL Mock Draft>>>

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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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