This past week the Bruins signed several of their Restricted Free Agents to contracts. The most notable of these was Matt Bartkowski who was scheduled for an arbitration hearing on July 30th. He was signed to a one-way contract at one year for a sum of $1.25 million. Thus Bartkowski is quietly in the fold leaving Reilly Smith and Torey Krug as unsigned RFA's from last years roster. Also signed, 2014 pick David Pastrnak, to an entry level contract of 3 years, making him eligible to attend training camp, Jordan Caron to a one-way, one year contract of $600 thousand, Zach Trotman to a two year deal, the second year being one way, Tyler Randell, Craig Cunningham, Tom Cross to two-way contracts and an agreement but yet unsigned deal with Justin Florek that has not been disclosed as of this writing. This leaves two notable P-Bruins unsigned in Matt Fraser and David Warsofski.
While I do believe Smith, Krug, Fraser and Warsofski will all get contracts shortly; it is still too early to visualize how the roster at training camp will look. It appears that David Pastrnak is going to get a real hard look at camp and everyone has being praising his skills and speed. I for one don't think or believe he will be on the opening day roster. I think he is under developed right now and best used as a screen to quell "What the heck are the Bruins gonna do?" questions from the press, so that they can buy some breathing space and time to sign others and look at other options. As another UFA prospect that might have fit into the Bruins roster was plucked away by the Rangers, in Lee Stepniak; I feel the Bruins might be looking elsewhere at a current unsigned prospect in the Chicago system. If he remains unsigned by August 15th, he becomes a Free Agent and can be courted by any team. This would be in the mold of when in 2009, the Bruins plucked away from the Blues, Blake Wheeler, who not only signed with the Bruins, but made the team coming out of training camp.
This prospects name is Kevin Hayes, a local out of Boston College. He was raised in the greater Boston area and has a brother, Nate in the Panthers system, (another team he may elect to look closely at). He is 6'3", 205 lbs and was a Hobie Baker award finalist this past year. In 4 years at BC, he played in 141 games, scoring 45 goals, 89 assists for 134 points and 48 minutes in PIM's. In this past year, in 39 games, he scored 28 goals, 39 assists for 67 points; or half his college totals in one year, showing a surge in maturity. He also acquired 16 PIM's one third of his college total. He likely could be landed to a $900 thousand contract with modest bonuses and might be a good fit as a left shooting natural right wing on the Krejci, Lucic line. He has good size, moxie in the corners and may be more of a quality fit that Nathan Horton was. I consider him a dark horse signing, but report this to give some Bruins fans an idea of how the Bruins may be looking to fill holes in the roster.
While I continue to sift through information and listen to reports by other commentators about the Bruins when I can or where available. I am trying to bring credible information to you the fans. I have been crindging as I have listened to supposedly well informed pundits such as Gary Tanguay and Mike Felger, have shouting matches on air about how lousy GM Peter Chiarelli is handling the off-season. I personally have thought the Bruins GM and staff have been quietly doing a commendable job under a tight cap to load the team with prospects and well coached talent. I am not worried at this point and am willing to wait and see how pre-season camp starts, personel decisions are made and I remain optimistic that the Bruins have a ground swell of NHL talent waiting to be unleashed when competition for spots start during pre-season camp. We now head into the dog days of August and early September, where little to no new news about the team will emerge until the players start to come back here locally in early September. In the mean time, I will be reporting on the players from last season in a report card fashion and trying to guesstimate the growth of next years players between now and September 18th when camp opens. I hope to have your continued viewership as well to my co-reporters here on BostonMadness.com.
We thank you and hope we continue to satisfy your need for news and information regarding the team.
Until Next Time!