Beantown, MA – by JG Bear
With the Boston Bruins sitting near the bottom of the league’s standings, a shakeup occurred in upper management as Jason Gallant was appointed as the team’s new General Manager only 24 hours ago. He faces the uphill challenge to turn this team around, but it seems that he will be content with taking the long-approach.
“I don’t think that there’s a quick-fix way to right the ship as it stands now,” Gallant said when he was asked about the team’s direction. “We don’t have the assets to move in order to get the players that are needed. We’ll be patient. I think the next step will be to evaluate what we have and start to fill the cabinet a bit with some pieces that’ll help us, hopefully in the near future.”
The Bruins are likely looking to rebuild from here. They have some expiring contracts that could be moved before the February 20th trade deadline. At the top of the list would likely be pending UFA Zach Parise, but his cap hit of $5,110,000 could be hard for teams to afford.
Boston’s RFAs may bring back the most value, headlined by Brayden Schenn and Milan Lucic. Both are enjoying successful seasons, having put up 40+ points apiece, with Lucic coming at a very affordable price tag considering the intangibles that he brings. Schenn, only 25 years old, may be less likely to move and could be a piece to build around. Other players that could add depth for playoff-bound teams include Patrick Wiercioch, Ben Smith and Brody Sutter, all with expiring contracts and come with contracts that are very cap-friendly.
The team currently holds only a first round pick for this summer’s entry draft and a handful of prospects. Gallant will look to increase one or the other, if not both.
“The focus hasn’t been on the future in some time here in Boston,” Gallant said. “And that’s fine when the W’s come your way and there was a cup celebration here just a few seasons ago. Sometimes you gamble on some trades and you might mortgage your future a bit for immediate impact. Sometimes those trades don’t work out, that’s how it goes sometimes. This isn’t a fire-sale, but we’ll certainly be looking to make some moves for sure.”