Mailbag answers: Part II

I think at this point we know there are some prospects ready to make a move. I am trying to figure out when PC and Co. will take a risk on some of the young guys? Especially seeing they are tight to the cap again. They can’t act like the Red Sox and take every single prospect through every minor level of advancement. Sometimes you need to just plug a guy in and watch him do his job or not.

MK: Anthony, I think first of all you have to look at the Bruins’ prospects and realize that other than Seguin, not all of them are guaranteed NHL material at this point. Colborne, Caron and a few of the defensemen might be able to challenge for a job, but winning one this fall is going to be very tough. Plus, the best prospects come with decent-sized cap hits as well. If it was as easy as dumping a Ryder to make room for a kid, the Bruins would probably do it. However, it’s not that simple. Since Chiarelli arrived, the Bruins have shown more than enough willingness to give kids a shot when they’ve earned it. Just look at Rask, Lucic, Krejci and Hunwick over the last few years. The Bruins will give every prospect a fair shot at a job, and you have to figure Seguin is already in. So don’t worry that the Bruins will let any of their top up-and-comers rot on the vine.

Eugene Mannarino writes:

I was just wondering why the Bruins are looking to move Savard when he is one of our few offensive guys.

MK: As is often the case, it’s all about money. Except this case is about money under the cap and not what the Bruins have to pay out. Chiarelli has sort of backed himself into a corner with some of the extensions he’s handed out, starting with Thomas and continuing with Savard, Ference and Seidenberg. He had to sign Stuart for just one year and with the drafting of Seguin now has four legit NHL centers. Savard makes the most sense based on affordability to other teams, age and amount of area he excels.

That being said, the worst offensive team in the league is still nuts to trade its best offensive weapon. If the Bruins really want to make a run for the Cup, they should keep Savard, Krejci, Bergeron as their top three centers, move Seguin to wing and then clear cap space by trading Thomas during the season and/or demoting Ryder (or buying him out now).

Christina O’Connor writes:

I was wondering what fun things some of the guys did over the offseason.

MK: Christina, that’s a question I’ll be able to better answer in a few weeks when players start to return to Wilmington for informal skates. I can tell you most guys took long vacations after the season ended and are probably now starting to ramp up their workouts. They’ll probably being skating in early August.

Marty writes:

With Hossa, Kovalchuk and DiPietro with 10+ year deals why not pull the same thing in Boston with Chara or Bergeron. Give them 10 years and 40-50 million?

Bergeron/By S. Bradley

MK: This could end up being an option with Bergeron. But Chara will turn 35 during the first season of his extension, so the rules apply differently to him. Regardless if he retires, whatever his cap number is for the deal will apply to the Bruins’ cap (of course, it depends what the new CBA looks like down the road too). So making that type of commitment to Chara could be dicey. Something in the five- to six-year range might be in order, at around the same cap hit he has now.

You have to remember that if Chara hits the open market, there will be a team waiting to make him as rich as he became in July 2006. The only difference is there’ll be less teams bidding because so many teams have committed long-term deals to young players and wouldn’t have the space.

Andrew Dall writes:

If the Bruins manage to trade Thomas, or he finishes out his contract, do you feel that the Bruins will finally retire Cheevers’ No. 30 or continue to ignore his monumental contributions to the 1971-72 Stanley Championship season and team?

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