NHL free-agency kicks of at noon Friday, and everyone is looking to see if the Boston Bruins will make some moves early.
98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich spoke with Joe Haggerty, who thinks the Bruins should make a strong push for restricted free agent Steve Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“I’m of the thinking that you’re the Stanley Cup Champions; you can’t sit there and stand pat. Especially when you’ll have $10-12 million in cap space and you could go out and do something like that,” said Haggerty.
“How often do you get a chance do you get a 21-year-old kid that has scored 90 something goals in the last two years, and still hasn’t even entered his prime and is already one of the best players in the NHL?” Haggerty asked. “Why wouldn’t you at 12:01pm when he becomes available and you can send an offer sheet that way, why wouldn’t you just put eight years at eight million and hope for the best?”
The Bruins could make an offer to Stamkos, forcing Tampa’s hand at either matching a very high offer or letting him walk. The Bruins would have to send four first-round draft picks to the Lightning, but Stamkos has scored 90+ points each his last two seasons, scoring 51 goals in 2010 and 45 in 2011.
“I don’t think Peter Chiarelli will do it, I think he’s going to be conservative,” said Haggerty. “I don’t think he’s really going to be a player in FA the first few days because of the money that is getting thrown around. But if you want to be a bold GM and make a splash and do something that will help the Bruins the next 10 years, you run as hard as you can at Stamkos and hope you get him.”
It’s a bit of a pipe dream, but not a bad thought. It would at least make life difficult for the Lightning, who will be near the top of the Eastern Conference for the forseeable future.
Haggery also touched on the Bruins own free agents, Tomas Kaberle and Michael Ryder, who will benefit from the crazy contracts that are reportedly ready to be handed out.
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