B’s make wild moves, en­ter into new era

NHL. The di­rec­tion in which the Bru­ins’ fran­chise is go­ing in right now is en­tirely un­clear.

Metro USA (Boston) - - FRONT PAGE - RICH SLATE @RichSlate sports@metro.us

No other team in the NHL made a big­ger splash this past week­end at the draft than the Bru­ins, as they were the first team in the mod­ern era with three straight draft picks in the first round, cour­tesy of some block­buster moves. Now, with free agency be­gin­ning on Wed­nes­day, Bru­ins fans have to be won­der­ing what di­rec­tion the team is headed for in 2015-16 and be­yond.

The flurry of ac­tiv­ity on Cause­way Street ac­tu­ally started on Thurs­day as the team dealt for­ward Carl Soder­berg (an im­pend­ing free agent that they chose not to re-sign) to the Avalanche for a sixth-round draft pick in 2016. If they knew he wasn’t com­ing back, why didn’t they trade him last sea­son when they could have re­ceived a big­ger re­turn?

That puz­zling move was trumped the fol­low­ing day as Bos­ton dealt promis­ing young de­fense­man Dougie Hamil­ton to Cal­gary for three draft picks this sea­son (15th, 45th and 52nd over­all). Fi­nally, a cou­ple hours later the B’s flipped winger Mi­lan Lu­cic to Los An­ge­les for the 13th pick, backup goal­tender Martin Jones and mi­nor league de­fense­man Colin Miller.

It’s hard to ac­cept that the Bru­ins are ac­tu­ally re­build­ing when they still have corner­stone pieces like cen­ter Pa­trice Berg­eron (who won his third Selke Tro­phy last week), goal­tender Tuukka Rask and de­fense­man Zdeno Chara, among oth­ers, un­der con­tract. Plus, they brought back head coach Claude Julien. If they wanted a fresh start, why is he re­turn­ing? Yes, the Bru­ins were hemmed in by the salary cap thanks to for­mer GM Peter Chiarelli’s mis­takes, but then ex­plain the ra­tio­nale for sign­ing in­jury-prone, bot­tom six de­fense­man Adam McQuaid to a four-year ex­ten­sion worth $11 mil­lion on Fri­day?

Julien was at the draft, along with Bos­ton’s front of­fice per­son­nel, and he came away sup­port­ive of new GM Don Sweeney’s chaotic cou­ple of days.

“I think that you’ve got to give Don a lot of credit,” noted Julien, who fig­ures to be on a short leash in 2015-16. “He’s come into this role and there was a lot on his plate and there were some tough de­ci­sions to be made. Per­son­ally, I’m pretty im­pressed with how he’s han­dled it. That’s not to say I’m happy that Hamil­ton and Lu­cic are gone, we just lost two good play­ers, but those are moves that prob­a­bly had to be made, ob­vi­ously with the sit­u­a­tion that we’re in with the cap and ev­ery­thing else in the fu­ture.”


Mi­lan Lu­cic and Dougie Hamil­ton are no longer Bru­ins as Bos­ton dealt both play­ers in a strange over­haul.

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