Mailbag: What Are The Bruins Doing?

It's been a minute but the mailbag blog is back! Hit me on Twitter @marinakmaher or email: Gonna bring it back 1x a week this offseason.

Remember when Don Sweeney said he was looking to make changes? I member.

Sure do. And if by changes he meant getting worse while every other team gets better then yes, Don has certainly made some changes. 

Biggest disappointment? Not re-signing Torey Krug?

From everything Krug has said after signing with the Blues, it sounds like the Bruins made their decision to not re-sign him a year ago. That hurts, but why didn't the B's trade his rights? I think it would've been easier for fans to stomach Torey was gone via a trade, rather than giving them false hope in free agency. Krug can't sign an offer that he never received. I'm happy he got his bag. Hope he thrives in STL (except when he plays us). But I think the Bruins fumbled this opportunity, not Torey.

Personally, I think the biggest disappointment was not signing Taylor Hall. Hall said he wanted to go to a winner and was willing to take short term deal. He's now Buffalo Bound on a one year, $8 million dollar deal. After you're like BUFFALO!?!? You realize it makes sense for Hall to link up with Jack Eichel and hope to cash in next year after not receiving any other close offers. 

Elliotte Friedman reported many of the other offers were around $3 million less than Buffalo's. 

9. Hall had a lot of teams saying, “Once we move this, we can pay you this,” even on a one-year deal. I think he was intrigued by Boston and Vegas, but neither could commit without moving money. (I’m not convinced Colorado even got that far.) With cash so tight, who knows how long it would have taken? Even then, many of the offers were around $3 million less than Buffalo’s offer. (It’s possible the Bruins were closer, willing to stretch for Hall, but that’s unconfirmed.)

It’s a lot to leave on the table, especially in a year where at least 28 per cent of your salary is to be withheld. Columbus had a longer-term offer, but I don’t know how high the number went. Hall wanted to know where he was playing. He didn’t want to sit and wait. The Sabres were in and committed, with a coach he likes and the best centre he’s ever played with. It’s bold. The NHL needs that. (via Sportsnet/31 Thoughts/Eliotte Friedman)

Swing and a miss for sure on the Bruins end with Hallsy.

Other disappointments? Tyler Toffoli is a Hab (Bruins kicked tires on him) on a reasonable deal. Vancouver got Nate Schmidt from Vegas for a third rounder. Just feels like the B's continue to be a step behind other teams when it comes to improving their roster, late to the table. I'm still waiting for Sweeney to prove me wrong, but I have low expectations for the rest of the offseason.

Couldn't tell you. I'd try and sign or trade for players that would make this team better, but that's just me.

Mike Hoffman (LW, 30 years old), Evgenii Dadonov (RW, 31 years old), and Anthony Duclair (LW, 25 years old) are the best players available on the free agent market, in my mind. I think the B's will take speak with those guys and see what happens. Frank Seravalli reported on TSN Insiders that the B's were really interested in Hoffman (who wants a 1 year, $6 million dollar deal). Hoffman would be a big help but I sneaky would rather like to see the Bruins acquire Alec Martinez from Vegas (has one more year on his deal at 4 per). I think he'd be a good fit w Carlo. Vegas has to move some money out and I think, like how they moved Schmidt for cheap, the B's could get a good deal for him. Now does his 4 mil per fit? That's to be determined.

- Elliotte Friedman in his 31 Thoughts says the Bruins have checked in on Florida Panthers' Mackenze Weegar. So that's something to keep on eye on.

You would think Sweeney would do this even without Marchand and Pastrnak being dinged up. Don't get me wrong, Craig Smith was a great addition, huge bolster to the 3rd line which should help with 5v5 scoring. Who knows, maybe Ondrej Kase is the answer on Krejci's line. But as a Bruins fan you were kind of hoping for Sweeney to make a big splash in free agency, the offseason is young, maybe Sweeney will surprise us. I've said this a million times in this blog, but it's true. Now with Marchand and Pastrnak needing more time to recover than the projected Jan 1st start date for the new season, you'd think he'd go and get this team some help on the wings.

I'm not yelling for Sweeney's head quiiiite yet. But at the same time you just can't tell Bruins fans that changes are gonna be made and then it results in Torey Krug leaving, re-signing Kevan Miller (who hasn't played in 18 months, depth defenseman, fine) and then signing Craig Smith (which is a great addition don't get me wrong). Those aren't the changes Bruins fans want to hear. The window for this core is closing and you'd just like to see Sweeney try and keep it somewhat open. I'm probably a year or two out from joining the #FireSweeney campaign.

You'd like it to be Anders Bjork right? He had a great "return to play" camp but couldn't translate that into anything in the playoffs. He's a guy I'd like to see breakout. If Jake DeBrusk is back you'd like to see him be more consistent and hopefully Ondrej Kase on that line helps him. If the Bruins don't fill Torey Krug's position in free agency/trade market I think Urho Vaakanainen could be a guy that's due to step in and help the team. But those would be my three choices Bjork, DeBrusk or Vaakanainen.

Is It weird not seeing Chara get re-signed yet?

Yes and no. I think Sweeney tried to swing for the fences and get a big name free agent and wanted as much cap space as possible to do it. Now that he's swung and missed I think Chara will be re-upped, especially if they don't bring in anyone to fill Torey Krug's spot. Chara and Krug not returning in one offseason wouldn't be ideal. I think it's Boston or bust for him. We'll have to wait and see. I expect another 1 year deal. 

Thanks again for sending in questions, as always you can hit me on Twitter or email

(h/t Elliotte Friedman/31 Thoughts/Sportsnet)