In the past few days the Bruins signed Thornton and Seidenberg to extensions. Their respective cap hits are $812,500 and $3.25M. Thornton for two years and Seidenberg for four. The pricetag for a fourth liner is a little high (he made $550K last season), but Thornton has earned it by being good at his role since he came here and being one of the few Bruins that were actually "big and bad" during the lackluster regular season. He stands up for his teammates which is more than we can say for a number of Bruins. I like the signing.
Seidenberg going to be here for years to come (photo from Boston.com)
The Seidenberg deal is a good one if he plays anything like he did in his short time here before getting injured. They likely got him at a discount compared to what he would have commanded in free agency (this blogger guesses at least $3.75M per). The fact that they got this deal done, however, makes me despise the Ference extension even more than I already did. In a perfect world, I would have liked to see both Stuart and Boychuk back in the fold (Stuart moreso to be honest: grit and leadership - Johnny is a little too metrosexual for my liking even though he provided us with one of the greatest hits I've witnessed against Buffalo). This signing means someone is gone. Perhaps Chiarelli will be able to pull off some sort of salary dump trade and offload Wideman or Ference, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that. Instead, I'm afraid Johnny or Stuart will walk and I think it will be Johnny because he will probably command more money with his solid play in the postseason, and money is very tight for the B's at this point. Please keep Stuey around Chia!
So here's my priority list among the remaining free agents:
1. Do not sign Wheeler (Aggressive Wheeler-Hater Guy in Row 10 is completely right to rank on this guy)
2. Re-sign Mark Stuart
3. Sign Vladdy Sobotka - he's ready to take over the Yelle/Begin role for this team and will be a good guy to have around should one of the three centers miss time (which they certainly will). Could his play in the first round before he hurt himself give him some value on the trade market? Remember how good he was? It's hard to think back past the Flyers debacle, but he was great until he tweaked his shoulder.
4. Bring Recchi back if he wants to play another year
- David Krejci is a stud and is an incredible bargain at $3.75M
- Patrice turns 25 in July...25!
- Lucic and Chara were fighting injuries all last season and will be better in 2010-11
- The Bruins will end up with Taylor Hall one way or another - the media posturing by Tambellini and Chiarelli is fun to follow (Chia: Seguin can play the wing. Tambellini: Hall can play center.)
- Tim Thomas - I don't know what to think about this one. I think Timmy wants to play so he might approve a trade, but who's going to take that 35+ contract with 3 years left on it. Also, look at the Cup Finals this year: Niemi vs. Leighton. Are teams going to want to sink that kind of commitment into a goaltender when Chicago and Philly had success with low-rent goaltenders? The Bruins could REALLY use that cap space. They could bring in some high-priced talent to make a run at the Cup a la Chicago this year. Things are going to change this time next year when Chara and Bergeron's contracts are up.
- Michael Ryder is in a contract year in 2010-11. Will that motivate him? No.