Sweeney Ships Superstars out of town
By Peter Santo
Maybe I was wrong, I thought the Bruins fired Peter Chiarelli after failing to make the playoffs this past season. Apparently by hiring Chiarelli’s former second in command, Don Sweeney, the Bruins essentially hired another Peter Chiarelli. Sweeney promised big changes would be made, however these are not the changes most expected, and these are not positive changes.
Instead of shipping coach Claude Julien out of town as most fans wanted, Sweeney decided to send two fan favorites and stud players packing. Sweeney certainly bucked Chiarelli’s trend of dishing out too much money to keep his own star players, but just like Chiarelli before him, Sweeney saved money in the wrong places.
Instead of paying Dougie Hamilton what he deserves and rewarding his stellar play with a long term contract, Sweeney traded him to Calgary in exchange for a first round pick. Instead of signing Milan Lucic to a long term contract extension, Sweeney sent him to LA in exchange for Martin Jones (who has since been traded to San Jose for a 2016 first round pick) and a first round pick.
These trades would not be catastrophic if not for the minimal return received for both players. In return for one of their best veteran forwards and one of the best up and coming defensemen in the NHL, the Bruins received three unproven rookies and a 2016 first round pick. While these rookies could pay off in the future, these deals leave the B’s in a tough spot for 2015-16.
As if to put the final nail into the fire Sweeney coffin, the Bruins signed Adam McQuaid to a four year $12.5 million deal with an AAV of $2.75 million. This is ridiculous, McQuaid has had all kinds of trouble staying on the ice in recent years, and even when he does play regular minutes he’s an average defenseman at best. Guys like McQuaid can be found at the end of benches all around the NHL. In fact the Bruins have another Adam McQuaid on their roster, his name is Kevan Miller, and he’s being paid $800k.
So changes have been made, and they have made the team worse across the board. Defensive minded Claude Julien has one less defenseman in front of Tuukka Rask and a team that already struggles mightily to score goals lost one of its best forwards. The Bruins refused to pay Milan Lucic and Dougie Hamilton what they deserved, but they had no problem dishing out upwards of 2.5 million per year to Reilly Smith, Chris Kelly and Adam McQuaid. Is it too early to fire Sweeney yet? Is tanking a thing in the NHL? Because the Bruins are headed there quick.