There was no news from the John Tavares camp or Bruins GM Don Sweeney when he addressed the media at the conclusion of Bruins Development Camp Friday afternoon. But don’t give up hope yet. On Friday night a source confirmed to CLNS Media that the Bruins were “still very much in it” and indicated they had just as good a chance as any of the other teams involved. This would explain why despite not wanting to discuss his team’s pursuit of the prized impending free agent, Sweeney and much of his staff seemed to be in a rather chipper mood earlier in the day at Warrior Arena.
“Lots of time to follow up on that at the right time,” Sweeney reiterated with a smile and laugh when pressed for a second time. “We were there, you’re right.”
He added that they were “very happy” to be part of the Tavares courting process and said in the event that Tavares signed with the B’s, he’s “pretty confident” they can make the necessary moves to accommodate Tavares under the salary cap.
Sweeney was also asked about his current search for a top six winger and how losing out on Kovalchuk and the recent news that Rick Nash is foregoing free agency due to concussions would affect that search.
“I feel like we feel pretty comfortable that some of our players have emerged to handle some of those things. There’s a graduating aspect to that to make sure that they can. I mean if you remember Anders [Bjork] started up there last year. So I think we feel for where our depth, where our youth is at that it’ll be a good exercise to go through and
guys should be able to push through.
But before you get there you have your eye towards what is known. And that’s why we’re in on young players. I actually feel very comfortable in terms of where our younger guys are and it’s next guy up. I’ve said that on record, it’s not just about putting another guy in there, you have to take the job. We’ve talked to other players to continue to add to the depth of our group.”
So Long Dobby
As reported here last week, goalie Anton Khudobin was looking for a hefty pay raise in free agency, with one source saying the Bruins back-up goaltender the last two seasons wanted $4 million per season. Not surprisingly that would be too rich for the Bruins – and likely a lot of teams – to pay their back-up.
“I think the goaltending one is probably going in a different direction at this point but I’ve stayed in contact with all [free agents],” Sweeney said.
Sources told CLNS Media that the Bruins have expressed interest in goalies Jonathan Bernier and Carter Hutton, but on Friday, many reports had Bernier signing with Detroit and Hutton with Buffalo. Two names to keep an eye on as potential replacements for Khudobin are former Bruin Michael Hutchinson who was with the Jets last season and Kari Lehtonen who spent the last nine seasons in Dallas.