It’s been just over a week since Vegas hoisted the Stanley Cup and basked in the adulation of the hockey world (also beer), and now the media’s collective attention has shifted to the summer.
The NHL Draft is less than a week away, and Free Agency opens on July 1st. There is plenty of speculation over the Draft and who goes where after Connor Bedard, but Boston won’t be involved.
The Bruins traded away their first two picks for the Lindholm & Orlov/Hathaway deals. In fact, Boston only owns three early-round picks all the way into 2025.
That’s the price you have to pay when you go all in.
Instead, Don Sweeney & Co.’s focus have been on moving money around. Per Elliotte Friedman, Sweeney has been very active in trying to keep his deadline acquisitions in town, especially Tyler Bertuzzi. Bertuzzi is likely to command a high price on a thin free agent market, and would be a tall task to re-sign. With the salary cap only rising by $1m, Sweeney doesn’t have much wiggle room to work with.
It only gets worse from there.
Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic reported that an anonymous Bruin does not expect either Bergeron or Krejci to return. Losing their two veteran Centers would leave a gaping hole in the lineup and force the front office to foot the bill for their bonus overages.
The latest round of social media conjecture has suggested that Matt Grzelcyk and Taylor Hall are the leading candidates to be traded for cap relief. The two combine for nearly $10m in salary cap space, and at least one could be dealt with this summer.
Shinzawa noted in his article that Grzelcyk is likely the first to be moved.
A name that recently hit the market that Boston should be all over is Elias Lindholm. Frank Seravalli reported on Thursday that the Calgary centerman is unlikely to re-sign before the last year of his contract. The former Selke finalist carries a $4.85m cap hit but will be due for a raise.
Given Calgary’s impending mass exodus, Lindholm will command a high price both in trade assets and future salary. At the very least, Sweeney should call up new Flames GM Craig Conroy to see what the price is.
It’ll be interesting to see what moves the Bruins make, if any, at the Draft and see what they have planned for the summer.