3 Questions: Young Guns, A Goalie and Trade Pasta?

Hello friends. Good to see you, it’s been a tick. After a highly frustrating battle with technology, I’m finally back behind the keyboard serving up the high octane good stuff. That’s right, it’s the primo-grade uncut goodness you’ve come to expect from your boy Brownie.

I’m not going to get into the Zdeno Chara retirement just yet, I need some time to put together what I want to say about the big guy. In the meantime, if your insatiable appetite for my opinion can’t be quenched, you can hit this link for when he left Boston the first time around.

And look, let’s all assume a level of understanding that the B’s will have a tough sled of it to start the year with Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk out. Hopefully they’re all back in the fold by American Thanksgiving and the boys can hold down the fort until the cavalry gets to Causeway Street.

I’m also not going to get into the welcome back chorus for Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci because if you’ve listened to our podcast (and at this point, I have a frosty “how dare you” if you haven’t. I mean click the link Bozo and get educated); then you know I never lost faith that they’d be back. I mean I’m not the kind of guy to say I told you so……

What I am here for today Dear Reader, is to address 3 questions (honestly could have done more) facing the hometown team here in the Hub of Hockey. Buckle up Buttercup and remember to check your feelings at the door.

Question #1

Can the youngsters make the leap and supplant some of the older (worse) players?

  • I’m looking at Jack Studnicka, Jack Ahcan, Johnny Beecher, Fabian Lysell, Marc McLaughlin, and Georgii Merkulov to name a few. Can any of these players make the varsity squad out of camp? I could also put Trent Frederic, Jake DeBrusk and Jakob Zboril in this discussion. Can DeBrusk contribute regularly now that Butchie’s in Vegas and won’t be mean to him? Will Zboril pick up where he left off pre-injury? Can Frederic contribute more than ill-timed penalties? The Bruins need some of these players to pop in order to move on from players like Nick Foligno and Tomas Nosek. The way of today’s NHL is to hit on the young (read: cheap) players and lock up your stars long term. If I was a gambling man, my money would be on Studnicka, Ahcan and Beecher to have the most impact and my long shot would be Lysell for this year.

Question #2

Speaking of young stars in the making, is Jeremy Swayman the real deal?

  • Look, I love the Bruins goalie tandem. I think Linus Ullmark is one of the more underrated netminders in the NHL and I love Swayman’s attitude and confidence. The old saying is that if you don’t have a true #1 goalie then you don’t have any goalies. Goalie by committee works as well as quarterback by committee – meaning it doesn’t. You need one goalie to seize the net and the moment. In a recent interview I had with Kevin Paul Dupont (watch your feet for the name drops), we talked about Swayman and Dups commented how he technically is sound and has all the mental makeup for a number one goalie in the league, but will he grab the opportunity that’s in front of him? Could he turn into an all-time great? Time will tell. Also you can listen to the entire interview with Dupont here.

Question #3

What to do with David Pastrnak?

– The superstar showed up for camp, looking fit and saying all the right things, but he is going to start the season without a new contract and could very well play himself out of the Bruins pricing model. Do the B’s lock him up for 7 years in the neighborhood of say $9M per? That would make Pasta and McAvoy make up nearly 20% of the Bruins cap hit. Do they try to install a Pittsburgh model and get all the players to buy in at a lower price tag for team success? It feels like that horse left the barn with Chuckie Bright Lights deal. Look, the Bruins track record with signing players is not good. For years they wouldn’t pay anyone and then they did a complete course reversal and gave out No-Movement Clauses like they were black and gold candy canes. I’m all for players getting their bag as I’d rather root for millionaires then billionaires every day of the week, but if a Pastrnak deal is going to cripple the team moving forward then I say trade him for an absolute haul this season. What would Pastrnak bring back in a deal? What if he was packaged with some other players going out? I’m not rooting for this, but all you fanboys (and girls) who are clutching your black and gold pearls have to acknowledge the fact that the longer no deal is made, the chance increases that Pasta skates away before the end of the year. Nothing would make me happier then to see 88 on the wing for years, but at what end? I understand what Pastrnak brings to the table, but what would his comp be? Does he bring the same game as Nathan McKinnon? Matthew Tkachuk? Is his game closer to Johnny Gaudreau’s? These are questions above my pay grade, but let’s play it out here. Pasta signs in that $9M range. At the end of this season Foligno, Wagner and Nosek are up (fine let all 3 of them go) but also Zacha is up, Bergeron and Krecji are UFA and Connor Clifton will be looking for a new deal. None of these pending deals should impact the Pastrnak deal, but the team has to be conscious of the ripple effect that this contract will have. The Bruins have mismanaged their assets for years and their young sniper may be the cost of doing bad business for too long.

As always, let me know how much you all agree with me. First game is 20 days away vs. WAS.

You can find me on Twitter at Abrow28 and Instagram A_brow28

Author: Brownie

A legacy that was born on the frozen rivers in Northern Saskatchewan and forged by the legends of Old Time Hockey. Playing all 200ft of the sheet of life with the heart of a warrior and the soul of a poet, living by the credo handed down by generations of beer-league beauties that came before him. Skate Hard - Quick Changes - Win the Parking Lot.

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