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. However, there was a plan in mind for general manager Don Sweeney while other teams were busy picking in the first round.
A plan that unfortunately failed miserably...
The Bruins were without a first round pick since they had sent it to the New York Rangers in return for veteran forward Rick Nash at the February Trade deadline. However, Sweeney was working hard on acquiring a coveted free agent; Russian superstar Ilya Kovalchuyk.
Yeah, you know the story, this failed as well.
Kovalchuk’s agent, J.P. Barry, used Patrick Marleau’s three-year, $18.75 contract with Toronto from last summer as a comparable, and the Los Angeles Kings agreed to present him with the same deal on Saturday. The Bruins did not.
“I don’t think the term would have been idealistic for us and how we were looking at it,” Sweeney told Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic on Saturday of offering the 35-year-old Kovalchuk three seasons. “I think you had to, clearly. There was a comp last year that was probably a strong one. That sealed the deal.”
If the Bruins decide to fall back on Nash, who cost them their first round pick this weekend, they might be facing a major obstacle there too. After once expressing they might not offer a new contract to the pending free agent, it seems that now it is Nash who is looking to test the market and sign elsewhere...
“We’ve had great communication with Rick and his representatives,” Sweeney said. “We’ll continue to do that. Whenever Rick makes his decision for his own future, we’ll probably be open to continuing those. Time’s in his court at this stage to initiate whatever talks he wants. Wherever he wants to go, he strongly indicated that Boston was a place he would consider. As would we. We have some business to attend to. The timing of his decision may or may not line up. But obviously we’ll be in touch with his camp.”
This is all taking place at the same time as the Bruins have failed to improve their blue line, and that's without mentioning that backup Anton Khudobin has yet to agree to a contract extension.
"The Bruins cannot afford to let Khudobin walk. They are counting on a consistent and reliable No. 2 to make 25 starts in 2018-19. It would be an unreasonable ask for Zane McIntyre," writes Shinzawa.
There was a rumour that Boston might try to go after coveted free agents John Tavares or James van Riemsdyk, however, with their recent luck, it almost seems like a long shot...