Bruins GM vows that team will be ‘aggressive’ this offseason

Bruins GM vows that team will be 'aggressive' in offseason

Speaking to the media Wednesday morning, the general manager of the Boston Bruins, Don Sweeney, announced his plans and goals for the upcoming offseason. With the news conference later summarized by TheFourthPeriod, Sweeney illustrated that his main goal is to build up the team’s secondary scoring.

“There are some things that we need to address from the standpoint of free agency and/or internal growth,” said the veteran general manager. “I have to be able to find some players that can come in and provide secondary scoring. We’re going to be aggressive to be able to complement what we currently have in some areas… I’ve got to find the players that complement our group and push us forward.”

Heading into the summer, the Bruins will have approximately $22M to work with, but a decent chunk of that will go to goaltender Jeremy Swayman, who is set to become a restricted free agent on July 1st. After an impressive three-year run in Boston, Swayman will likely be asking for a contract similar to that of Connor Hellebuyck, who signed a seven-year, $59.5M contract to remain with the Winnipeg Jets organization last summer.

If the Bruins are ready to hand out that kind of money to Swayman, they will certainly have to move on from Linus Ullmark, who will have one-year, $5M remaining on his contract for the 2024-25 NHL season. As good as the duo has performed for Boston over the last two years, it is hard to conceptualize a competitive team spending close to $14M on goaltending even if it is only for one year.

Assuming the Bruins can move out the contract of Ullmark without taking any money back in return, and factoring in the hypothetical extension for Swayman, the team should have around $18M in cap flexibility to peruse the trade block and free agent market. Since Sweeney is putting a premium on secondary scoring this summer, they should be able to realize that goal if that is ultimately the cap space they are working with.

As far as internal options go, the Bruins already have a quick solution in Jake DeBrusk, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent in a few short weeks. Depending on the price, Boston should be able to retain DeBrusk on a short- to mid-term contract, as he will be one of the better secondary scoring options on the market regardless. Throughout his seven years in Massachusetts, DeBrusk has been able to regularly produce between 20-30 goals a year, normally finishing top five on the team each year in that particular department.

Luckily for the Bruins, the free agent market will be flooded with secondary scoring options this summer, as they will have the opportunity to sign the likes of Patrick Kane, Tyler Toffoli, Chandler Stephenson, Anthony Mantha, Anthony Duclair, as well as others. There is not one individual player in that group that should take too much of a chunk out of Boston’s available cap space; assuming the team is not going after the likes of Jake Guentzel, Sam Reinhart or Steven Stamkos.

After the conclusion of the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs, this summer’s trade market should start materializing into more of a clearer picture than where it’s at right now. However, it is already expected that Martin Necas of the Carolina Hurricanes will be moved this summer, as the Hurricanes do not appear willing to meet his contractual demands. If Carolina is intent on moving him, Necas would be a nice piece to add to the Bruins’ top six.

No matter the direction they ultimately take, Boston will have an abundant pool to pick from this summer to add to their secondary scoring. Additionally, the emergence of a few prospects this past season may allow the Bruins to deal from their list of already established players, which would give them even more cap flexibility heading into the offseason.

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