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Sunday, July 05, 2009

Transaction recap

I just returned from my vacation and am pleased with what the Bruins have accomplished.

Mark Recchi - 1 year $1 million. Excellent deal for the Bruins by bringing back leadership and experience to a young team. Recchi gives them versatility with the ability to play both wings as well as the powerplay. If Krejci or Kessel do indeed miss the first month of next season, Recchi can slot in on any of the top three lines. Once they return he could skate on the fourth line. However, Recchi's resigning may be an indication that another forward may be moved, especially since the Bruins still have yet to sign Kessel. I wouldn't be surprised if Sturm or Kobasew are being shopped. If one of the forwards are moved then he easily slides into a top 9 forward role with a potential fourth line of Thornton-Begin-Bitz. Vladmir Sobotka is also an option on that line. Recchi's signing also is an indication that P.J. Axelsson's tenure in Boston is most likely over.

Steve Begin - 1 year $850k. Begin basically replaces Stephane Yelle. Begin is a faster, younger, gritter and more versatile forward than Yelle. The Bruins may suffer in the faceoff circle and if so look for Sobotka to challenge him for the fourth line center spot.

Byron Bitz - 2 years $687,500. Glad to see Bitz back at short money. Bitz is a solid fourth liner with the ability to get to the net and cause traffic in front. He could possibly be slotted into a third line position if Krejci and Kessel are out for an extended amount of time, but look for him to battle Sobotka for the final roster spot on most nights.

Johnny Boychuk - 1 year $500k. The Bruins are finally starting to give younger players a look on the blueline. Hunwick and Boychuk give them youth and puck moving capabilities. If it were Boychuk or Hnidy, I would prefer to go with the young more offensive minded defenseman, so I am pleased with this signing. Boychuk gives the Bruins depth and will probably slot in the 6th or 7th defense role on most nights. I still feel like a forward will be moved for another defenseman so Boychuk's chances may be limited.

Free agents remaining - Phil Kessel, Matt Hunwick
Matt Hunwick and the Bruins are not too far apart on negotiations so that signing should be done soon. If it isn't that case will go to arbitration. As for Phil Kessel, I still feel he will be back with this team and a forward will be moved to fit his salary in. I doubt Kessel will receive any offer sheets so the longer this thing gets dragged out the better it is for the Bruins.


Anonymous James said...

welcome back Pekese. trade ward and kobasew for a defenseman. sign kessel. good to go.

7:17 PM  
Blogger Pekese said...

I don't feel like Ward will be traded. He has a high salary and is often injured so most teams would shy away from him. Kobasew would probably be the most attractive piece the Bruins are willing to trade because of him lower salary, grit, and scoring ability.

On a side note, Matt Hunwick filled for arbitration this evening, which allows the Bruins more time to work out a contract. If his case goes through to arbitration he would only receive a one year deal (at probably shorter money) and have to go through the same process next season. Therefore, I would suspect the Bruins and Hunwick reach an agreement before the case.

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Mark said...

Trade Kobasew? You clearly don't watch many Bruins games.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous BosBrn77 said...

Welcome back Pekese! I hope you enjoyed your trip!

I agree with your post.... I like the signings as well! My only complaint, I wish they would have re-signed St. Pierre as well. But there are plenty of centers coming up.

8:29 PM  

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