Why the Bruins Should Try to Move Milan Lucic

Milan Lucic is a physical hockey player. From his entry into the NHL he’s been a fan favorite, pink hat fan favorite, and organization favorite. Is his time in Boston over?

Millan Lucic hasn’t been as physical in the last two years during the Bruins’ expansion as a playoff caliber team every year. Millan Lucic has tried to slightly become a more finesse scorer rather than a tough physical grind it out Power Forward. 27, 42, and 20. Lucic’s point totals his first three years in the NHL. 62 and 61? His last two point totals in the NHL. Of course more scoring is good and its great for the team but the big reason why Lucic could be moved from the Bruins?

He’s a great scorer…in the regular season. This year in the Capitals season Lucic had only 3 points. 3 Assists over the 7 game series to Washington and only 12 points in the Bruins’ Stanley Cup run last season. Something about game 83 turns Milan Lucic into a ghost. Interesting fact, last year’s playoffs Milan Lucic had 63 penalty minutes; thats half of the penalty minutes he had in the course of the entire regular season.

At 23 years old and certainly not in the midst of his prime, Lucic has a tremendous trade value. Now, moving him would clear $4Mil off the cap of the Boston Bruins. That would leave the Bruins with just over $9Mil cap space to re-sign Tuukka Rask and leave opportunities for a top 9 forward like Dustin Penner. This doesn’t include what you get for a return, Lucic and a prospect like Knight or Spooner would help the Bruins move up in the draft or create a significant return for a top 6 forward who is capable of scoring in the playoffs.

 

What Tim Thomas’ Sabbatical Means to the 2012-2013 Season

Well, love him or hate him, Tim Thomas will not be playing for the Bruins next season. A move that was predicted through trade rumors and the bad blood between player and club over this last season. Thomas’ characteristic abnormal thinking has lead to him confirming he will sit out next season. The Bruins will swallow his $5Mil cap this year, and the club will move on. Tuukka was a large question mark after the overtime loss to Washington. He currently serves as a RFA to the team this off season. What does Thomas sitting out a year mean for the club?

Tuukka Gets the Starting Role

Tuukka is no stranger to being the starting goaltender of an NHL hockey club. You may recall, he was the number one guy throughout the 2009-2010 season when Thomas’ play wasn’t quite up to par. That year Tuukka led the league in goals against average. The Bruins made a great Cup run that year too before (and dare I say) losing four straight during a 3-0 lead to the Flyers.

Anton Khudobin has very limited NHL experience but between his time with the Wild and the Bruins he has proved himself capable. In 7 NHL games he has an outstanding 5-1 record, 96.2 Save%, and a 1.32GAA. Sounds like someone deserving of their shot.

Thomas Won’t Be Traded This Season

Probably the biggest reason why you’re seeing Chris Kelly (and Gregory Campbell) getting such big long deals for vets is the fact the Bruins can no longer move Tim Thomas. Everyone heard the rumors, Thomas, Lucic, and a pick for Nash or that the Bruins would move Thomas for smaller considerations in hopes to open up Cap space for Zack Parise. To get a decent return for accepting a move that would include a superstar goalie who won’t play would be much to high for the Bruins to simply get anything close to what he’s worth. Or the Bruins would be required to dump him for a marginal return just to clear his Cap.

Don’t Expect a Superstar in Boston

Unless you’re committed to trading Milan Lucic or David Krecji and one of the Bruins many prospects, I wouldn’t expect to see a big name in Boston this year. According to capgeek.com, the Bruins have just over $5Mil in cap room this upcoming season. Parise will be looking for at least 7Mil this offseason and although trading away a Lucic or Krecji for Nash would make cap room, the Bruins don’t have enough to send with him.

Unless of course you give up a Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton, Brad Marchand, Ryan Spooner, or Jared Knight. Lets be realistic though, Tyler Seguin has natural tallent that SHOULD keep him in a Bruins uniform his entire career. Likely that we see any of the other names moved? I’d say so, it could happen, but I don’t think it will.

Expect This Year’s Bruins to Resemble the Last

In closing, I don’t think it will be a very pro-active summer for the B’s. The Thomas sabbatical really hurts the Bruins chances in a big free agent or a big move. Parise would have to take a substantial pay cut to sign with a contender like the Bruins. After the season New Jersey just had, it appears they can be contenders too. I expect to see Jordan Caron, Jared Knight, and Ryan Spooner to make a push for a more permeant role at the big club. Knight and Spooner are reached AHL eligibility for the upcoming season so we may see flashes of them this year.

NHL Rejects Chris Kelly’s New Deal

The NHL rejected Chris Kelly’s deal on Wednesday night due to “payroll tagging issues.”  In a phone conference Peter Chiarelli said:

“We have to wait because of payroll tagging issues. That will be something we do on July 1. He has my commitment, he’s given me his commitment, and we’re ecstatic to have him for four years.”

Once the Free Agency market opens on July 1st the Bruins will be able to officially sign Kelly. With the pending CBA negotiations to come over the summer the Bruins are trying to find ways to eliminate Tim Thomas’ 5Mil salary cap hit.

B’s Sign Campbell and Kelly to Contract Extensions

Today the Boston Bruins held a press conference to announce agreements had been reached with forwards Chris Kelly and Gregory Campbell. Kelly, coming of a career year, had 20-19-39 totals for the Bruins. Campbell, 8-8-16, played center for the Bruins popular “4th Energy Line.”

Campbell will turn 29 this year in his first year of a 3-year, $4.8 Million deal. Kelly will turn 32 as part of a 4-year, $12 Million dollar deal.

Gregory Campbell made it very clear in his conference call with the media today that he was happy to stay a Bruin and that he had no interest in testing the market this offseason.

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