Wednesday Mailbag: February 16, 2022

Mind Within via Twitter asks 2 questions:

Question: Sorry Dom not trying to blow up your timeline.

If it’s by standings, could Boston make a deal with Arizona to sign and trade to Boston?

Apparently, I’m on a Krejci kick. Have a great day.

Answer: There is no magical loophole in the CBA that will allow David Krejci to play for the Bruins this season without having to go through waivers where the 31 other teams would have a crack at him for free.

In your scenario, hypothetically speaking they could. However, once he signs, he hits the waiver wire. And no one can convince me that there would be zero teams interested in claiming him even if it’s to keep him off the Bruins roster.

Even if the Bruins signed him and had a deal in place with Arizona to claim him and trade him to Boston, the Yotes could not trade him without first offering him to every other team that put in a waiver claim.

I think fans need to accept the reality that this ship has sailed for at least this season.

Question: Krejci has to clear waivers if signed, is it only the teams below Boston in the standings that can sign him?

Can Boston make an offer others wouldn’t want to match?

Is there a deadline for playoff appearance?

Answer: Let’s work backwards. Players have to be on the roster by the end of trade deadline day to be eligible to play in the playoffs. Teams can still make trades or sign players after trade deadline, but they won’t be eligible for the playoffs.

I’m certainly not Evan Gold, but I just don’t see any way of structuring a contract that would make other teams hesitant in claiming him off waivers. I mean, as a 35+ contract, you could make it a bonus laden contract that would certainly keep the New York Rangers away since they could be looking at a potential $7 million in bonuses already this season. But they are the only team in such dire straights. Hypothetically, he could sign a 1-year $5million deal on the last possible day (trade deadline) and his cap hit will be $1 million for the remainder of the season. Not much of a deterrent.

As for your waiver question, the other 31 teams would have the chance to put in a claim. Standings are only used to determine the order for a successful claim should more than one team put in a claim.

The other thing I keep seeing on the internet is “all Krejci has to do is say he won’t report.” That’s fine. Tuukka Rask said he would only sign with the Bruins, but it didn’t stop other teams from contacting his agent. If you’re a GM of another team with the chance of facing the Bruins, would you not put in a claim if for the only reason to keep him away from the Bruins?

The false narrative that comes from that is that some fans think it puts those teams at a disadvantage because now they are burning a roster spot, they could use for someone else in case of injury. First off, after trade deadline, there is no 23-man roster limit as long as you remain cap compliant. Secondly, they could use an emergency recall in the event of injury. And finally, they could suspend him for failure to report which would open up the roster spot and wipe out the cap hit.

Someone smarter than me might be able to find some loophole. I don’t see one. It’s time to move on.

PMW via Twitter asks:

Question: Is there anything in Brett Harrison’s game that would indicate he could be a long-term replacement for Bergeron years from now?  Organization is lacking center-depth so would like to better understand if they have something good with him.

Answer: No, Brett Harrison is not a long-term solution to Patrice Bergeron. I think he tops out as a second line center. But there is a long way to go here in his development. I like Harrison and have had eyes on him a year before the draft. I think the lost OHL season caused him to slip and the Bruins were lucky to get him. That said, there are a few things I was not entirely happy with this season. One being that a lot of nights he didn’t show the effort required in coming back to defend. He isn’t a floater, but a lack of effort is worrisome. The other thing I was concerned over is his lack of physicality, especially for a player his size. He was not getting physically engaged along the walls and was content in just trying to use his stick to take the puck away from the opposition. There was one particular play that caught my ire and I even posted it on Twitter. It happened a few weeks ago where his teammate went to the net, got knocked down and a pile up and scrum ensued. But rather than get engaged, he just watched. Fans are all over Jake DeBrusk for his nonchalant ways when it comes to board battles. At this point, Harrison will be eaten alive.

That said, and I am by no means taking credit for it but I do know who follows me on Twitter, but there has been a 180-degree change since then. He’s involved physically now and he skates hard to get back and defend. Don’t take my word for it. Kirk Luedeke of the New England Hockey Journal had a quote from Jamie Langenbrunner saying how he has looked better in the last few weeks.  Am I worried? No. As I said he’s coming along, but I want to see him keep it up.

I think once he understands he can impact the game in more ways then just the scoresheet he will be all he can be. It’s going to take a special player to replace Bergeron. No disrespect to Harrison (or anyone else), but he’s not that player and no one in the Bruins system is. But like I said, he can turn into a very good second liner if he reaches his potential.

Please allow me to respectfully disagree with your statement about the organization is lacking center depth. I think that’s not entirely true. If Harrison, Jack Studnicka, John Beecher/Trent Frederic reach their maximum potential, centers 2 through 4 are covered. What they are lacking is a bona-fide number one pivot. At the positions those four were drafted, they were not going to get a number one center.

Anish via Twitter asks:

Question: How do you see Lohrei’s defensive game developing long term? Can he be a two-way defender in the NHL? I was concerned when I saw the underlying statistics for this year. Also, any concern with the low xGA rate? Thanks!

Answer: Anish was referencing the chart below by InStat Hockey. They are a great source of information and statistics. I know not everyone can afford to dish out the coin, especially just regular fans of the game, but if you really want to be a “prospects person” you have to dish out this coin, otherwise, you are missing out on a lot of important information.

No. I am not worried in the least, despite the numbers. And sometimes I wish fans had half the patience I do. And the reason I am not worried is because he’s learning the defensive game. In hockey terms, he hasn’t been a defender for long at all. As a converted forward, you can see many times he is taking a forward’s approach to defending the rush. He’s smart, he’ll learn, but it’s going to take some time. I know we live in a fast-food mentality world, and with the Bruins defence constructed as it is today, many would like to see him in Boston sooner rather then later. But he just isn’t ready. Now, if you want to debate where the Bruins and Lohrei are both best served for his development, I am open to having that discussion.

Mike O’Connor via Twitter asks:

Questions: Hey Dom. On scouting does the pro and college, minor leagues scouts stay in their own lane or do they cross scout each dept?

Answer: I can’t speak for the Bruins because I don’t know how they operate. I know with some teams, their pro scouts stick to pro scouting and their amateur scouts stick to amateur scouting, however, they cross over into other territories.

My educated guess about the Bruins? They have a good group of amateur scouts who already have a playbook on players already drafted, even in other organizations. At that point, the pro scouts take over. But I do believe that if the Bruins have interest in a player, that management would ask both the pro and amateur scouts for their opinions.  

Eugene Mannarino via Twitter asks:

Question: What your take on their goalie situation will the split time evenly or will it be more Linus get the majority of the starts?

Answer: My take is that I have no issue with the goalie situation. As for splitting time, the obvious answer is that with the schedule the way it is yes, they will most likely split time almost evenly. But at some point, I believe Linus Ullmark will get the majority of starts to prepare for the playoffs as I believe he will be your playoff starter.

Trigger via Twitter asks:

Question: Does the Calgary/Montreal trade raise DeBrusk’s value?

Answer: It’s not a Mailbag without a DeBrusk question, so thank you for that Trigger. You may not like my answer and I may throw a question or two in your direction so you can draw your own conclusion.

No. It does not raise his value.

Let ma ask you this: Do you believe the reports that stated as many as 12 teams were interested in his services?

None of the teams reported to be interested were willing to pay the asking price Don Sweeney was asking of them. With that in mind, how could Sweeney possibly approach those teams now and ask for more when they weren’t willing to pay the original price?

I don’t even have to get into the whole contract differences between DeBrusk and Tyler Toffoli. Here’s a totally off the wall nothing to do with hockey comparable:

If you called me today and said you would sell me your car for $10,000 and I said no, would you call me back in two months and say you can have it for $12,000 because that’s what my neighbor is selling his for?

Nick via Twitter asks:

Question: So, seriously why hasn’t Senyshyn been called up? He’s crushing it in Prov, is a net front presence, and can skate with both Marchand and Bergeron with his speed.

Answer: Let me clear up some confusion out there on the internet. A lot of people feel that the reason he hasn’t been called up is because if they send him back down, he would have to clear waivers and they don’t want to lose the asset. That is incorrect.

Obviously, they would call him up and use an emergency callup and he could then be on the roster for 10 games and not have to worry about waivers to be sent down. I won’t bore you with the rules for emergency recall, but the Brad Marchand suspension partially opened the door. Yes, you can use an emergency recall for suspensions as long as you are cap compliant.  

But since he’s already cleared waivers this season, they could call him up as a regular recall and he would not require waivers to be sent down again unless he plays in more then 9 games. But they can’t exceed the 23-man roster. That door was open when they sent Oskar Steen to Providence, the Marchand suspension and could have placed Bergeron on injured reserve.

So, why haven’t they called up Zach Senyshyn? Probably because he’s asked for a trade. That’s a huge assumption on my part, but I have no other answer for you.

I know there are those that believe that he should get a look so he can be showcased for a trade. But after 5 seasons in the AHL, I think everyone knows who/what he is at this point.

Kenmaster via Twitter asks:

Question: What do B’s do with Pasta? Needs extension in a year. 11 million per? 37 will be retired when it kicks in. Need a top LD and 1C and 2C. Is he really worth that amount of money for this team at that position with so many other expensive holes to fill?

Answer: Ray Bourque, Zdeno Chara, and Bergeron; I don’t want to call it internal cap, but those are the guys that set the parameters of other contracts with the Bruins at one time or another. And I think that those parameters are around Charlie McAvoy and his new contract this time around.

I could be way off base here, but McAvoy is/will be the face of the franchise and a franchise defenceman and everyone else will be paid based off his deal. I don’t see David Pastrnak getting $11 million per year and I also don’t think he’s going to be asking for that kind of money.

Albin via email asks:

Question: What would you think about the bruins going back to the Ducks for a trade? In this case would I not be looking at any of there UFAs, but instead Maxime Comtois. I do believe that the ducks would benefit a lot by taking a chance on JDB since this would make their rebuild go much faster if it pans out and Comtois is not really getting a legitimate chance on the Ducks roster, so it would not hurt them that much to lose Comtois.

I think that something like a 4th (maybe a 3rd) + Comtois would be a fair deal for JDB.

Even though Comtois might not be the sexiest name out there, would I really like to see him on our roster. He brings some skill combined with some nastiness, which I believe we lack atm. Would also like to say that is not a deal a see us do as a contender, but more of a long-term thing, where we get another pest/skilled guy on our roster.

What do you think about player, the fit and the Price?

Answer: I try to stay away from making trade proposals because frankly, without knowing if the player is even available, why waste the time? That said, you have one of the better proposals that have been thrown my way because you’ve taken into account the salary cap. At issue is DeBrusk’s qualifying offer and why some teams are staying away, it’s their cap situation moving forward. Obviously, the Ducks with over $40 million in cap space next year, can absorb that. But that’s all I can say on your proposal.

Follow me on Twitter @dominictiano

Published by Dominic Tiano

Following the Ontario Hockey League players eligible for the NHL Draft. I provide season-long stats, updates and player profiles as well as draft rankings.

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