Bruins

Morning Skate: End of an era for Kaiton, Carolina

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Morning Skate: End of an era for Kaiton, Carolina

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while feeling for all the good journalists and newspaper people losing their jobs at the New York Daily News. It’s a tough damn time to be in the news business.  

*It’s the end of an era for the Carolina Hurricanes as the only radio play-by-play man that the franchise has ever known, Chuck Kaiton, will be moving on after 39 years that started with the Whale in Hartford. Kaiton and the Hurricanes couldn’t come to an agreement on a contract, and the team will simply simulcast the TV broadcast via the radio instead. Sounds kind of Mickey Mouse to me, honestly, and it’s no way to treat a great employee for nearly four decades of service.  

*Speaking of the Hurricanes, the NHL Network discusses the future of forward Jeff Skinner. That’s certainly a name to keep an eye on if you’re a Bruins fan. 

*The Atlantic Division from the Buffalo perspective, where it sure seems like Tampa, Toronto and Boston are going to be impossible to catch up with anytime soon. Florida might be able to sneak in some of these years as a wild card. But I certainly wouldn’t want to be Buffalo, Ottawa, Detroit or Montreal right now and be forced to play long rebuild knowing you might not sniff the playoffs for the next five years.  

*Pro Hockey Talk asks if Jacob Trouba’s time with the Winnipeg Jets is coming to an end. It would appear that way given their salary cap situation and given that Trouba’s price tag keeps going up. The window would appear to be closed on Trouba coming to Boston after they had interest a couple of years ago, so where would he go?

*Washington Capitals GM Brian MacLellan spent his day with the Stanley Cup honoring the legacy of the legendary, late Herb Brooks

*My NHL Trade Rumors provides an early look at next summer’s class of free agent defensemen and goalies, and there are some massive names on that prospective list. 

*For something completely different: The breakdown of the Aquaman trailer has some pretty good info nuggets about the background of the movie. 

NHL free agents 2019: Ranking top 25 players available this offseason

NHL free agents 2019: Ranking top 25 players available this offseason

The 2019 NHL Draft is scheduled to begin Friday, and less than two weeks later free agency will open for all 31 teams.

It's going to be a busy and important couple of weeks for franchises looking to make major changes to their rosters with the hope of winning the Stanley Cup in 2020 and beyond.

Let's take a look at the top unrestricted and restricted free agents that could hit the market in July.

Click here for the top 25 free agents of the 2019 NHL offseason>>>

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Bruins plan to address Bruce Cassidy's contract as he enters final year of the deal

Bruins plan to address Bruce Cassidy's contract as he enters final year of the deal

As Bruce Cassidy enters the final year of his contract as head coach of the Boston Bruins, it probably goes without saying that he deserves an extension. 

The good news for B's fans, according to Joe McDonald of The Athletic, Boston is pleased with Cassidy's performance and plans to address his contract. 

'He’s under contract, so we have decisions that we’re going to progress with, and he’ll be part of that,' general manager Don Sweeney said. 'He’s under contract, so it’s not a concern right now, but we will address it.'

After a 107-point 2018-19 campaign, good for the second-best mark in the NHL, Cassidy led the Bruins to the brink of a Stanley Cup only to fall in Game 7 at TD Garden to the St. Louis Blues.

One of the major themes of this year's Bruins team was their resiliency under Cassidy. Boston fought back from a 3-2 deficit in the first round of the playoffs against Toronto and a 2-1 deficit against Columbus to win those series, and then won another Game 6 on the road down 3-2 to the Blues. 

The Bruins have made the playoffs in each of their first three seasons with Cassidy leading the charge, improving their finish in the postseason each year. 

BRUINS UNDER CASSIDY

2016-17: 44-31-7 (95 points), lost in the first round (4-2)
2017-18: 50-20-12 (112 points), lost in the second round (4-1)
2018-19 49-24-9 (107 points), lost in Stanley Cup Final (4-3)

Cassidy is the second-fastest Bruins coach to reach 100 wins as he has cemented himself as one of the best coaches in the league. And team President Cam Neely certainly thinks highly of him. 

'He’s done a very good job for us, obviously,' Neely said. 'Coming in when he did and getting us to the playoffs and then almost having two, back-to-back 50-win seasons — pretty impressive. He learned from our playoff losses and how to maybe coach a little bit differently in the playoffs.'

We'll see if the Bruins extend Cassidy before the 2019-20 season starts, but it definitely seems like they view him as their long term answer on the Black and Gold's bench. 

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