It’s officially Christmas in July: October Edition for hockey fans, as NHL free agency opens today. Follow along with this live blog to see what moves the Bruins make today, and if you want to see what moves every team is making, check this live blog out!
The Bruins had four players hit unrestricted free agency today. Defensemen Torey Krug, Zdeno Chara, and Kevan Miller, as well as forward Joakim Nordstrom are all on the open market. The Bruins are not expected to retain Nordstrom, while it is practically guaranteed they will keep Chara. They rightfully just seem to be waiting to see how the rest of their roster shakes out before re-signing Chara. As for Miller, it’s hard to say what they are going to do with him. It’s unlikely another team goes for him, and if the Bruins do decide to keep him, it’ll most likely be on a one-year, league minimum ($700,000) deal. Finally, things are still very much up in the air with Krug, as he is testing the market but has certainly not ruled out a return to Boston.
The Bruins also have six restricted free agents to keep in mind as well. Forwards Jake DeBrusk, Karson Kuhlman, Peter Cehlarik, and Zach Senyshyn are all in need of new deals. Defensemen Matt Grzelcyk and Jakub Zboril are as well. Grzelcyk, Kuhlman, and Cehlarik are all arbitration-eligible, and the first day they can file for that is tomorrow. Obviously, teams will want to avoid arbitration as possible, so look for the Bruins to push to re-sign all those players before the arbitration hearings actually start. Arbitration eligible or not, the Bruins are expected to re-sign all of these players. DeBrusk has been mentioned quite a bit in trade rumors, but I suspect that he will stay in Boston.
The Bruins have yet to do anything big today and have only made one signing (which is that of Kevan Miller, see below for more information). They are presumably waiting to see what happens with defenseman Torey Krug, as rumor has it the two sides were still trying to work out a deal, but Krug would also be testing the market. Whether or not he leaves Boston will determine what else the Bruins are able to do today. If he leaves, they’ll have some money to spend on scoring help and perhaps another left-shot defenseman. If he stays, they’ll still have some to spend on scoring help, but not as much. So, once Krug signs, wherever that may be, expect Bruins news to start picking up. I’ll be updating this as soon as more information comes out, so be sure to keep checking back!
Kevan Miller Re-Signs
According to Pierre LeBrun, defenseman Kevan Miller has re-signed with the Bruins. It’s a one-year contract that carries a $1 million cap hit but could be up to $2 million with bonuses. He’ll earn $250,000 just for making the roster out of camp and an additional $250,000 for playing ten games. Miller will also get an extra $125,000 for playing 20 games, $100,000 for playing 30 games, $75,000 for playing 40 games, and then $200,000 if he plays in the playoffs.
I really like this deal for the Bruins, as it’s extremely low-risk, but possibly high reward. Miller hasn’t played since April 2019 due to numerous knee injuries and subsequent surgeries. So, there’s no telling how he’s going to be. But, he’s worked incredibly hard to get back to a point where he can play, so he deserves this chance. The Bruins sorely missed his physicality and grit during the playoffs these past two seasons, so I’m happy to see him back.
Many people are worrying that he will take a spot from a deserving young guy. But, I assure you, given the Bruins past history, that won’t happen. The only way he plays over one of the healthy young guys is if he outplays them or the Bruins need some toughness for that game. So, that shouldn’t be an issue. I really hope Miller is still able to play, and that he can stay healthy. He’s been through injury hell these past few years and deserves another chance.
-Lydia Murray (@lydia_murray12)
Featured image courtesy of NHL.com.
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