Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Table Scraps for the Bruins

After the crazy signing frenzy of Sunday I'd like to take a breather and look at what's left on the market, and what players the Bruins may target. Or that I'd like them to target.

I think the Bruins really need to target a scoring forward, as the team already addressed its goaltending (Fernandez), and grit (Thornton) and while another defensemen would be nice, I think the Bruins would benefit from just letting the young guys grow.

Here are some forwards who haven't been signed yet, that would fit the bill of a top 6 scorer:

Peter Forsberg
Anson Carter
Peter Bondra
Martin Gelinas
Mike Comrie
Brendan Shanahan

That, in all honesty, is not a very attractive list of options. Of these players, only Mike Comrie is under 30 (26) and the next youngest is Anson Carter and Forsberg at 33. Shanahan is 38 and Bondra 39, while Gelinas is 37. All of them come with significant risks, except Comrie. So guess who I'd like the Bruins to sign most of all?

Yeah, Mike Comrie. He made 3 million last season, and I think he is worth that most, and maybe should command 2 million at least. He has shown he can score in the past, and I''d prefer to sign someone who isn't old enough to have been through then past two NHL lockouts.

Last season in 65 games between Phoenix and Ottawa he put up a line of 20-25-45. He's young enough to improve that line and his career high from 05-06 of 30 goals and 30 assists would be wonderful addition. He also may benefit by not playing in Phoenix.

According to the Bruins are 5.7 million under the cap, with 18 players signed. This doesn't include Shawn Thornton, which would reduce the space to about 5.3 million. Take another million to fill out the roster and that whittles it down to 4.3 million. If we sign Comrie to a 3 million/yr contract we would only be 1.3 under the cap. That leaves little wiggle room for midseason acquisitions. However, the bruins could clear 1.2 million in cap space by moving Thomas. So I think this move is possible under the cap.

As for the other players:

Forsberg is just too injury prone, and likely to expensive for the Bruins. The only way I'd like the Bruins signing him is if its a one year deal at way below market value, say 1.5million-2. I don't see that happening, if he does get a contract h likes, he'll probably just go home to Sweden.

Carter didn't show himself to be a top six forward last season, but the yer before in Vancouver he scored 30 goals. He would be an interesting investment at a mid range contract 1.5-2, however it takes quite a leap of faith to think he'll put up those Vancouver numbers again. Also, would he even consider coming back to Boston, new GM yes, but same owner...

Bondra is like Forsberg, though no where near as complete a player, or as expensive. He's 39 and I don't think he has much left in tank.

Gelinas isn't really a top six winger, more like a very good 3rd liner. Think of PJ that scores 15-20 goals instead of 10. I'd be pretty happy with getting him, as he is a very good two way player, and that's a great commodity to have. He'd probably be my second choice, and is probably a more likely signing.

Shanahan is a great goal scorer, he had 29 goals in 67 games last season with the Rangers. But, again, how much does he have left at 39? He does spend his offseasons in Boston with his family, at his age a move closer to home may appeal to him. He made 4 million last season, which is probably just a bit too much for the Bruins, but if they can knock it down to 3-3.5 it could work. Home town discount maybe? Again, another guy who should get a one year deal because of his age, Shanny could get two, given his proven production (He hasn't slowed much), but he's at the age where after every season he has to consider hanging them up. So he might want a one year deal as well.

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