Bruins

Don Sweeney: Bruins have enough present cap space to sign Brandon Carlo

Don Sweeney: Bruins have enough present cap space to sign Brandon Carlo

BRIGHTON -- Nearly every Bruins follower assumed this summer that the B’s would need to make cap-clearing moves in order to make room for their roster for the upcoming hockey season. It was expected that the Bruins didn’t have enough space to sign both RFA defenseman Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo, and that perhaps a valuable piece might need to be jettisoned for salary cap-related purposes.

Well, maybe not so much.

Don Sweeney confirmed during Sunday’s press conference with Charlie McAvoy that the Bruins have enough salary cap space to sign Carlo as well after inking McAvoy for three years at $4.9 million per season. That means the sky-is-falling crowd that assumed Torey Krug or David Krejci would need to be moved by the Bruins in order to clear cap space was more than a little over-the-top.

According to capfriendly.com, the Bruins have $3.2 million in cap space and that’s roughly what the Bruins would be paying the 22-year-old Carlo in a three-year deal similar to the term used to sign McAvoy.

“It depends on the term of the next deal,” said Sweeney, when asked if the Bruins will use LTIR space to make room for the Carlo contract while confirming the Bruins have enough cap space to sign the other RFA defenseman. “We have obviously the opportunity to do that if we need to, because [John Moore] is not going to start the season. Kevan [Miller] won’t start the season either [for LTIR purposes].

“We have a lot of communication and we’re trying to continue to do the same thing with Brandon [as we did with McAvoy]. Every deal takes its time, and that’s my intention is to go back and work and get Brandon back in the fold as well.”

Sweeney did allow that the Bruins might not have enough cap space free if they sign Carlo to a longer-term deal that could include locking him up for free agent years as well But whatever the case, the Bruins also have cap hits for Kevan Miller ($2.5 million) and John Moore ($2.75 million) that will start the season on long term injured reserve due to injuries. So the Bruins have roughly $5 million in LTIR cushion at the start of the season and probably wouldn’t need to find the cap space in the cushions for at least a month while both veteran D-men heal from injuries suffered last spring.

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Bobby Orr calls Don Cherry's firing 'disgraceful' says his former coach is 'not a racist'

Bobby Orr calls Don Cherry's firing 'disgraceful' says his former coach is 'not a racist'

Count the greatest Bruin ever - and arguably the NHL's greatest player - among those who are unhappy that Don Cherry lost his job.

Hall of Famer and B's legend Bobby Orr told WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni and Fauria" show that the firing of his former coach, nicknamed Grapes, from "Hockey Night In Canada" telecasts for controversial comments toward immigrants is "disgraceful."

“I know Grapes better than anybody," Orr said. "He’s not a bigot and he’s not a racist. This guy is the most generous caring guy that I know. What they’ve done to him up there is disgraceful, it really is. It's a new world, I guess. Freedom of speech doesn't matter."

Orr, who played for Cherry on the 1974-75 and '75-76 Bruins, said Cherry is "hurt, but he's going to be fine. He's getting some nice calls from his friends here in Boston. He is getting some wonderful support."

Cherry, 85, was fired by Canadian national sports network Rogers Sportsnet, where his "Coach's Corner" segments have been a staple for decades, after his comments on a Nov. 9 telecast where he called on immigrants to buy more poppies or otherwise commemorate fallen military on Canada's Remembrance Day - a.k.a. Veterans Day in the US.

Cherry said at the time: “You people … you love our way of life, you love our milk and honey, at least you can pay a couple bucks for a poppy or something like that. These guys paid for your way of life that you enjoy in Canada, these guys paid the biggest price.”

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Bruins call up Trent Frederic, hope move to wing can let him tap into his inner power forward

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USA TODAY Sports Photo

Bruins call up Trent Frederic, hope move to wing can let him tap into his inner power forward

BRIGHTON, Mass. — Trent Frederic has largely been a bottom-6 center for the Boston Bruins when he’s received his shots at the NHL level in Boston.

So it will be a little different for the 2016 first-round pick when the 21-year-old Frederic gets back into the B’s lineup on Friday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs as a physical left winger based on Boston’s need for healthy bodies up front. Frederic skated on the left side with Par Lindholm and Danton Heinen on a makeshift third line at Thursday’s practice at Warrior Ice Arena.

Frederic has just five points in 15 games for the P-Bruins this season and went scoreless in 15 games with Boston last season while mostly in the middle and admitted he hasn’t exactly hit his stride in the AHL as of yet this year.

“I’ve been playing hard and I’ve been playing well,” said Frederic. “It hasn’t exactly gone my way the whole year, but I keep battling through it and playing hard every game.”

Bruce Cassidy is interested to see if plugging the 6-foot-2, 200-pounder on the wing can free him up for some needed physicality and more offense. Those are a couple things the B’s are certainly a little light on up front with David Backes and Brett Ritchie both injured and out for Friday night’s tilt against the Maple Leafs. 

The move to left wing might be just the thing to allow the big, physical forward to tap into his inner power forward, though he did have a whopping 40 penalty minutes in his 15 AHL games this year. 

“We'll see if that frees him up to go out and be physical and play more his style, just straight-line game instead of overthinking it as a centerman," said Cassidy. "We're not going to bring him up as a left shot and throw him on the right wing, I think that's a little unfair. We're already kind of moving him to begin with to see where he's at."

Certainly the Bruins are getting a good look at their organizational depth with all of these call-ups to Boston this early in the season, and that could help them down the line when it gets closer to potentially dealing some of those young forward assets for more NHL help à la Marcus Johansson last spring. Here are the projected line combos and D-pairings for Friday's game based on Thursday’s practice:

FORWARD LINES

Brad Marchand Patrice Bergeron David Pastrnak
Anders Bjork David Krejci Charlie Coyle
Trent Frederic Par Lindholm Danton Heinen
Joakim Nordstrom Sean Kuraly Chris Wagner

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS

Zdeno Chara Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk Brandon Carlo
Urho Vaakanainen Connor Clifton

STARTING GOALIE

Tuukka Rask

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