BostonBruins.com - General Manager Don Sweeney held a conference call for reporters on Tuesday morning, prior to the start of NHL Free Agency on July 1.
The call happens annually prior to free agency. Sweeney is also slated to address reporters on Wednesday (July 1), following the start of free agency (another annual occurrence).
Sweeney fielded several questions in regards to the club’s moves since NHL Draft weekend in Sunrise, Fla., their plan heading into free agency and the heat that has been put on him and the organization in the ensuing days.
“Well, ‘heat’ is the appropriate term, I would say,” Sweeney told reporters on the call. “I knew going in that the chair would be warm, accepted that challenge, and knew there would be some hard decisions to make.”
“You know, our staff went about trying to make the best ones and as I’ve said, referencing the fact that we’ve been in cap purgatory for quite some time and wanted to extradite ourselves from that going forward to improve our club hopefully from this point forward and in the future.”
BostonBruins.com - The 2015 NHL Entry Draft has come and gone, with the Bruins’ roster and depth landscape significantly changed.
Trades with the Los Angeles Kings and Calgary Flames saw Milan Lucic and Dougie Hamilton heading elsewhere for the 2015-16 season. With 10 selections in the draft, including six in the first two rounds, Boston added prospects at every position.
While fans and media have weighed in and will continue to do so, 10 players now find themselves as a part of the Bruins’ organization and are one step closer to one day achieving their dreams of playing in the NHL.
The players have been closely watched and they have been interviewed by scouts and management, with a spectrum of their talent and character assessed. Their development trajectory is projected as best as possible. Ultimately, though, it’s up to the players to determine whether or not they’re going to establish themselves at the NHL level.
SUNRISE, Fla. - For the first time in NHL Draft history, a team made three consecutive picks in the first round.
That happened to the Bruins on Friday night at the BB&T Center after General Manager Don Sweeney and his staff had a busy lead-up to the draft, making trades that sent Milan Lucic to the Los Angeles Kings and Dougie Hamilton to the Calgary Flames.
Boston made selections with the 13th, 14th and 15th overall picks.
Defenseman Jakub Zboril was chosen 13th with the pick acquired from Los Angeles. Forward Jake DeBrusk was chosen as the Bruins’ second selection, 14th overall, and forward Zachary Senyshyn was selected 15th with the pick acquired from Calgary.
“It’s unique that we had three in a row. Certainly had a lot of talk to try to get further up in the draft and wasn’t able to do that,” Sweeney said following the first round. “You know, we certainly identified three players that we wanted to take and that’s why I didn’t move back - I had opportunities to move back and collect more picks later in the draft, but we worked awfully hard as a group to get those three selections, and we feel good.”
SUNRISE, Fla. - Head Coach Claude Julien will be coaching a Bruins’ team with a different look in 2015-16.
On Friday, General Manager Don Sweeney announced trades that garnered a handful of draft picks, including two first rounders that saw the Bruins make the 13th, 14th and 15th overall selections. Milan Lucic was traded to the Los Angeles Kings, and Dougie Hamilton was sent to the Calgary Flames.
Hamilton played his three entry-level years with Boston after being drafted in 2011. Selected in 2006, Lucic first eight years in the League with Boston mirrored Julien’s tenure that began in 2007-08.
The personnel moves weren’t necessarily easy for Julien to take, but he’s backing Sweeney and the vision his staff has for the team both in the short term and in the future.
“First of all, I think you’ve got to give Don a lot of credit,” Julien told reporters late Friday night at the BB&T Center towards the end of the first round. “He’s come into this in this role and there was a lot on his plate, and a lot going on, and there were some tough decisions to be made, and personally, I’m pretty impressed with how he’s handled it.”
SUNRISE, Fla. - General Manager Don Sweeney and his staff did their work heading into the 2015 NHL Entry Draft at the BB&T Center in Florida, crafting their list and being prepared for all scenarios.
The latter includes trade activity. Sweeney had been in talks with the other 29 general managers, and those came to fruition on Friday in what was a busy lead-up to the first round that saw the Bruins pick 13th, 14th and 15th overall.
Earlier on Friday, Boston acquired the 15th, 45th and 52nd overall picks in this year’s draft from the Calgary Flames in exchange for Dougie Hamilton.
The activity began on Thursday, when the Bruins acquired a 2016 sixth round pick from the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for the rights to Carl Soderberg, who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and wasn’t going to be returning to Boston.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton is set to become a restricted free agent on July 1.
Throughout the past few weeks, General Manager Don Sweeney told reporters that he’s had ongoing talks with Hamilton’s agent, J.P. Barry, about the contract situation.
Speaking with members of the media on Thursday afternoon in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. prior to the NHL Draft on Friday and Saturday in Sunrise, the Bruins’ GM reiterated that.
“I met with J.P. [Wednesday] night, and had friendly discussions, as I will continue to do,” Sweeney told gathered reporters. “I won’t be revealing any of the things we’ve spoken about; we’re just trying to stay in real, real good communication and find the solution.”
“Dougie is a real important part of our organization, and I’ve made no bones about the fact that I want him to be part of that, and we’re going to explore every opportunity to do that,” Sweeney added.
Ideally, the priority would be to have Hamilton signed prior to July 1, when the free agency period opens.
LAS VEGAS - Patrice Bergeron is the Frank J. Selke Trophy winner for the second straight year and the third time in the past four years.
It wasn’t a surprise, when presenters Kathryn Tappen and Pat LaFontaine announced him as the NHL’s top defensive forward and presented him with the award that his name is now etched on in three places.
Bergeron led the League once again in faceoff percentage in 2014-15, winning 60.2 percent of his draws and winning a total of 1,175 faceoffs overall. He took more faceoffs (1,951) that any other player. Most of those started in the defensive zone.
Head Coach Claude Julien tasks him with the most defensive responsibilities of any forward, and at the most crucial times in games. When he’s on the ice, the centerman acts as a third defenseman. At the other end of the ice, the 29-year-old led all Bruins with 55 points in 2014-15, including 23 goals.
For Bergeron, though, it still came as a surprise.
LAS VEGAS - On Tuesday, the NHL and the NHLPA announced that the salary cap for the upcoming 2015-16 season will have an upper limit of $71.4 million.
The cap is increasing from the $69 million cap for the 2014-15 campaign. The lower limit is set at $52.8 million with a midpoint of $62.1 million.
Apart from now having a firm cap number, the Bruins’ preparation for the draft and free agency won’t be altered much as a result, as the organization looks to next season.
“I mean, obviously you were sort of guessing prior, but with concrete knowledge now, I think you can continue to do planning that we had been doing with clear understanding of where you have to be,” Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney said while speaking with reporters following Tuesday’s GM meetings at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas.
LAS VEGAS - A June trip to the NHL Awards has become an annual occurrence for Bruins center Patrice Bergeron.
Nominated for the Frank J. Selke Trophy for the fourth straight year, Bergeron has consistently build his reputation as one of the NHL’s top defensive forwards.
Bergeron won the award given to the "to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game" last year in 2014 and previously in 2012.
The B’s alternate captain spent Tuesday afternoon entertaining reporters (and the BostonBruins.com crew) during the 2015 NHL Awards Media Day at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. The awards show is set for Wednesday night at MGM Grand at 4:00 p.m. local time (7:00 p.m. ET).
DORCHESTER, Mass. - Travel to any community around Boston and you will likely find hockey. Hockey fans, hockey players, hockey rinks, hockey families.
“We grew up in Dorchester, a proud community here,” said Chris O’Sullivan, a proud part of what is fondly referred to as the "O’Sullivan clan" around the town that sits just south of Boston.
With six brothers and four sisters, the O’Sullivans grew up involved in sports, and involved in hockey.
“Growing up, there were seven boys and four girls in my family and we lost our parents when we were younger to cancer. My mother was 53 and my father was 57,” he said. “So as we grew up, and helped each other grow up, a lot of us played.”
On Wednesday evening, O’Sullivan and his family were gathered at Garvey Park in Dorchester in honor of just that - playing hockey.
They were joined by Bob Sweeney, Executive Director of the Boston Bruins Foundation, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh and state and city officials to unveil the newly renovated Garvey Park Street Hockey Rink. Dennis Seidenberg was also on hand to show his support, along with Dorchester native, Florida Panthers forward and former Boston College Eagle Jimmy Hayes.
The $100,000 project was made possible through funding by The Coca-Cola Company, in partnership with Boston Parks and Recreation. The new rink, transformed from a basketball court, features new boards and a new court, along with bench, bleacher and fence repairs. It can now support more activities, including hockey clinics, tournaments and fitness programs. The Bruins Foundation donated equipment, hockey sticks and nets to outfit the new rink.