The draft day on Friday evening was a brutal one for the Boston Bruins, who had to sit tight and wait for Saturday's action as they sat there without a first round pick. While it was excruciating for general manager Don Sweeney, it seems like he is applying the same approach to some on his own players as he has admitted that many pending free agents will not return in the end.
Sweeney didn't sound very optimistic on any of his own unrestricted free agents, which include backup netminder Anton Khudobin, who was such a vital part of the Bruins' success overall last season.
“I've talked to really all of them and it seems to be inching rather than moving in the direction I'd like it to,” Sweeney said. “As you get closer to the deadline it doesn't mean you've closed the door on any of it. And as much as they may think (of other options), we also have to think and prepare otherwise.”
In the meantime, it appears that Sweeney is more focused on another free agent who will hit the market on July 1st. According to Bruins insider Jimmy Murphy, the Bruins have shown interest in signing Toronto Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk.
Boston surely had a chance to analyze his play during the postseason as the Maple Leafs and Bruins faced off in the first round series, which the latter ended up winning in seven contests.
The Bruins were also reported to have had talks with Russian star player Ilya Kovalchyuk's agent in the recent days. Kovalchuk was believed to be looking for a deal in the range of three years at approximately $6 million in his return to the NHL, which he ended up getting with the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday during the second round of the draft.
“We've put our position forward. He's got plenty of options to mull over, as we've discussed. They said they'd get back to us. It's really on their time frame,” said Sweeney, according to the Boston Herald adding they spoke “just philosophically, where you have to be at, what they predict the range is. Maybe all bids aren't in and that range may move. But they certainly gave a range and an indication of where you need to be. And the term could always vary. Until something's put down on paper, there's a variance and potential movement.”
While the draft day was not a busy one for the Bruins on the outside, it sure seems like a lot was going on behind the scenes...