Boston Bruins

Bruins miss out on Daley, defenseman options dwindling

Bruins miss out on Daley, defenseman options dwindling

The Bruins went into the noontime opening of NHL free agency “exploring” their options at improving things on the left side of their defense, but the options are dwindling quickly as those available players sign with other teams. 

The Bruins had expressed interest in free-agent veteran defenseman Trevor Daley over the past week, but the B’s were unwilling to go to the three-year term he ultimately agreed to with the Detroit Red Wings for a total of $9 million.

“We’d like to continue to explore or have one of our lefties step up, yes. The answer to that is yes, we have been exploring [the left-handed defensemen market]. I don’t know whether or not it’s going to come to fruition here in the next day and a half,” said Bruins general manager Don Sweeney. “But we also know that both [Rob] O’Gara and [Matt] Grzelcyk have played games. Tommy Cross has played [NHL] games. We have guys internally that would like the opportunity to see if they can take that stop and play. We feel very comfortable on the right side.”

Daley, 33, had 19 points in 56 games last season for the Pittsburgh Penguins and really stepped up for the Pens in the playoffs en route to the Cup once Kris Letang was lost to injury. Likewise, Michael Del Zotto signed a multi-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks, Karl Alzner signed a five-year deal with the Montreal Canadiens and Ron Hainsey is reportedly going to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs as a replacement for Matt Hunwick.

Dmitry Kulikov was a name among the group of left-shot defenseman that the Bruins had previously shown interest in when he was with the Florida Panthers, but there are also rumors that the 26-year-old Russian is headed toward signing a free-agent deal with the Winnipeg Jets. 

So, it looks like the B’s might not be getting any of the top tier options for free agent D-men on the first day of unrestricted free agency and might have to continue exploring the trade market if they want to fill that need before the regular season starts. 

Kenny Agostino's OT goal lifts Bruins over Flyers


Kenny Agostino's OT goal lifts Bruins over Flyers

BOSTON – The Bruins continued to pick up wins in the preseason by all different methods. 

On Thursday night it was a bit of an ugly, penalty-filled affair with the Flyers, but the Bruins improved to 3-0-0 in the preseason with a 2-1 overtime victory behind a Kenny Agostino breakaway goal on a nifty double-move in the extra session. 

Agostino finished with the game-winner and a couple of points after feeding Postma for his game-tying strike in the third period as well.

The Flyers took the initial lead in the third period on a seemingly innocuous play that started with Matt Grzelcyk and Paul Postma getting caught chasing the puck in transition. Travis Sanheim fired a shot from the outside of the left circle and somehow got the perimeter attempt past Tuukka Rask after he’d stopped the first 21 shots he’d faced through two periods. 

Postma made up for any miscues immediately afterward when he fired a bomb from the high point that shot that rocketed past Brian Elliott for the game-tying goal. The Postma score came immediately after Grzelcyk was stuffed on his own scoring attempt after a nice Danton Heinen feed set him up directly in front of the net. 

Otherwise Thursday night’s preseason game was about the face-off violations that slowed the game to a crawl, and the ridiculous seven slashing penalty calls made as the NHL looks to crack down on their enforcement of potentially dangerous slashing plays.