July 1, 2018, was an eventful afternoon for Don Sweeney and the Bruins.
Entering the summer of 2018 with around $11.9 million in cap space, the B’s were active on the free-agent front, signing Chris Wagner, John Moore, Joakim Nordstrom and Jaroslav Halak all on the first day that UFAs could agree to new offers.
It would have required some major cap gymnastics (including a likely trade of David Krejci), but Boston also found itself as one of the finalists for the services of John Tavares, who eventually signed a seven-year, $77 million contract with the Maple Leafs.
Fast forward a year, and the Bruins find themselves in a similar situation, as far as cap space goes — with Boston currently hovering right around $12 million going into another free-agent feeding frenzy.
Based on Don Sweeney’s comments on Friday afternoon at Warrior Ice Arena, it seems as though Boston isn’t deviating from last year’s mentality when it comes to the offseason — remain aggressive and parse through every avenue available in pursuit of depth.
“We’ve been in the interview period, so we’ve had a lot of discussions and some planning,” Sweeney said. “Obviously our entire staff has been here the whole week … We’re doing what the other teams are doing. We’re having conversations with representatives, gauging interests and trying to fill the holes that we feel like we need to fill. … As far as July (1st), we’ll be adding some players for sure.”
With that $12 million at his disposal, it seems like a given that Sweeney will make good on that guarantee to add more players into the mix for a club that came up one game short of a Stanley Cup title.
But that $12 million can be awfully misleading — and perhaps best labeled as fool’s gold if one believes all that capital will be used to retain the likes of Marcus Johansson and bolster the rest of Boston’s winger corps.
The Bruins might have a lengthy checklist and high expectations for this offseason, but before Boston can really jump into the fray of free agency, it needs to clear some major in-house roadblocks.