Don Sweeney
Photo credit: Boston Globe

How Bruins Don Sweeney Absolutely Crushed Free Agency

Published January 6, 2024 at 11:34
BY MICHAEL CHRISTIAN
The Bruins were on top of the world going into the playoffs last year. Winning the President's Trophy, Home Ice Advantage throughout the playoffs, best team in the league, full of stars like Patrice Bergeon, David Pastrnak, Taylor Hall, Linus Ullmark, Brad Marchand, and David Krejci.

Then the playoffs came, and the sky fell. The Bruins' Star Studded line up got upset by the feisty Florida Panthers who made it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals as the last seed in the East. Then the offseason came, and even more despair seem to come to the Bruins, with them losing so many stars, such as Taylor Hall, David Krejci and most heartbreaking Patrice Bergeron.

GM Don Sweeney had zero expectations on him going into this season. With almost no cap space and no picks in the next draft until the 4th round after going all in on the 22-23 season, things were looking bad.

Yet here we are on January 6th and the Bruins are in 1st place in the Atlantic Division, and just two points back for best record in the NHL. Some of this is the young core playing well, some of this is David Pastrnak being a star, and some is goaltending being outstanding. One thing that cannot be ignored, is Don Sweeney's Free Agency signings of James Van Riemsdyk, Danton Heinen and Kevin Shattenkirk.


JVR has been the best of the bunch, with 25 points in 34 games played, He signed just a one-million-dollar deal and has earned every bit of it so far. He has been a terror in front of the net for his team and a constant veteran presence on the Bruins' third line. Cap Friendly has JVR's $40,000 cost per point as the second lowest of any player on the league not on an entry-level contract.

Shattenkirk has been a solid defensive addition, and his scoring touch as started to come around as he acclimated with his new team and has scored 3 goals in two games recently.

Heinen, brought in on a player tryout, didn't sign util October but is a savvy player who does all the little things. He has 12 points this season with five goals and seven assists. He is the type of player who gives max effort and is always backchecking, forechecking and blocking shots.

In total the Bruins paid $2.85 Million for these players and have gotten 17 goals and 31 assists in 36 games, that is great production. It's only halfway through the season, but thus far, Sweeney has dominated his Free Agency Grade!

Source: NBSSportsBoston
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January 6   |   286 answers
How Bruins Don Sweeney Absolutely Crushed Free Agency

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