By Ray Guarino | Follow me on Twitter @rayguarino
In the summer of 2015, Don Sweeney has been the General Manager of the Boston Bruins for just a little over two months, and he has already made four trades. There’s no sign of this trend slowing down as he tries to retool the Bruins and get them back into the playoffs. With that, we continue our journey through all of Sweeney’s trades since he became the team’s eight GM.
June 29, 2015 Bruins trade a 2017 3rd round pick to the Philadelphia Flyers for Zac Rinaldo
Exactly 70 days into his tenure as the Bruins GM, Don Sweeney completes what is arguably his worst trade. After losing both Greg Campbell and Daniel Paille, the Bruins were looking for someone that could come in and kill some penalties.
“Well, we’re certainly hoping that (Rinaldo) can continue to move forward in his career,” Sweeney said. “I mean, the skating piece, the courage piece, maybe there’s a penalty-killing component to it, but that remains to be seen.”Rinaldo was coming off of a 1-5-6 with 102 PIM in 58 games with the Flyers. He had a well-deserved reputation as a dirty player, as evidenced by his multiple suspensions throughout the years. He lasted one season in Boston, where he accumulated one goal and one suspended. The Bruins immediately waived him after that suspension, and he went unclaimed. In his first game for the Providence Bruins, he was suspended again. Giving up a 3rd round pick for him was really poor. Grade F
June 30, 2015 The Bruins trade Martin Jones to the San Jose Sharks for Sean Kuraly and a 2016 1st round pick.
The LA Kings did not want to trade Martin Jones inside their division. So they sent him east to Boston. Don Sweeney promptly sent him back west to San Jose. Dean Lombardi, then the GM of the kings, could not have been thrilled.
The San Jose Sharks were desperate for a starting goalie and clearly overpaid for Martin Jones. When this trade was consummated, the Sharks were coming off of a down year where they missed the playoffs. This pick had top ten potential when it was made. Of course, the Sharks go on an improbable run to the Stanley Cup Finals, and it becomes pick #29 overall.
Sean Kuraly was a nice addition to the trade. He checked off some of the boxes that Sweeney likes. U.S. born, who played collegiate hockey at Miami (OH) University where he was considered a top defensive forward.
This trade was a big win for the Bruins. Grade A
July 1, 2015 The Bruins trade Reilly Smith and Marc Savard to the Florida Panthers for Jimmy Hayes
The last trade of 2015 for the Boston Bruins was essentially a salary dump. A week after this trade was made, the Bruins signed Hayes to a 3-year contract with an AAV of $2.3M. That’s a savings of $1.125M/yr from the Reilly Smith contract. Hayes, a native of Dorchester and Boston College, had 19 goals during his last season in Florida and had the size (6’5″ 215lbs) the Bruins were looking for. Unfortunately. It never worked for Hayes in Boston.
Marc Savard, who had two years left at a cap hit of just over $4M/yr, was likely never going to play hockey again due to concussion issues. When healthy, he was a fantastic player on an outstanding contract.
This trade is a little harder to grade. The cost of dumping an LTIR contract is not cheap. I’d be harsher if it was a bad contract the Bruins were trying to move, but that wasn’t the case here. Grade C