Wednesday Mailbag October 19, 2022

We are back for another season of hockey and that means another season of the Wednesday Mailbag. You can ask a question, make a comment, or just rant if you wish. It’s totally up to you. You can mention me on Twitter to get heard or you can email me at

We have a few questions to get the season rolling, so let’s get right to it!

There are those that believe that the greatness you ask about is determined by success. I mean, that is the ultimate goal. That said, most General Managers have a timeline in mind to reach that success. I’m not sure Don Sweeney ever made his public. Most GM’s have a 5-year plan. I think what I am going to do is rate the job he has done to date.

As you know, there are many that think he has done a bad job and needs to go at any cost. And then there are those that think he can do no wrong. I think truth is somewhere in the middle. He gets knocked for his drafting. Well, he has revamped the scouting department and he is getting value for his picks from top to bottom. While the top end talent may be lacking, he is getting more then good value where he is picking. Oskar Jellvik, Ty Gallagher, Riley Duran, Ryan Mast – they have potential of being the best picks in the rounds they were selected. That’s success, but maybe not the kind of success fans are looking for.

Sweeney also gets knocked for his free agent signings, and in some cases rightfully so. But his college free agent signings have been hits. No GM is ever going to be perfect and if you expect perfection, it may be time not to follow sports at all.

Sweeney has done an excellent job in brining quality people into off ice positions, so much so that other organizations and leagues are looking to bring these Bruins into their own organizations and leagues. Has Sweeny been the best GM in the NHL since 2015? I don’t know that he’s been the best. But he’s in the top-5 for me.

No yelling coming your way, Wally. But there are so many scenarios. I’m assuming when you say to assume Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy are back by November 15, that you want me to assume everyone else is healthy? Otherwise, it’s an impossible question to answer, so that’s how I will roll with it.

So, if everyone is healthy on November 15 the Bruins will be at a 27-man roster, therefore they would need to send 4 players down to Providence (based on the roster today). By my math, those players would need to account for about $4 million in cap space to make them cap compliant and 23-man roster compliant.

It’s safe to assume Dan Renouf would be sent to Providence for a savings of about $620,000 (if he were to remain on the roster until then). Nick Foligno and Mike Reilly who both have cleared waivers could be sent to Providence. Burying both in the AHL brings a savings of $1.125 million against the cap, but in this case (on November 15) they will have been on the roster for 34 days, so it becomes pro-rated.

Here is the complicated formula for you: 1,125,000/185 (days in season) = (6,081 per day) X 151 (days remaining in season) = 918,231.

So, the cap savings for burying both on November 15 is $918,231 each. Combined with the savings of sending Renouf down, we are up to $2,456,462 in savings with one more player needed to be sent down. Whether that player comes in the form of Jakub Lauko, who doesn’t require waivers, or Jack Studnicka who does require waivers, that brings them to about $3 million save, or a million short.  

But that’s assuming everything happens on November 15, which it won’t. For example, I’m already including Anton Stralman in my calculations, but the second his visa comes through, and he can play, a body needs to be sent to Providence.

In the end, impossible to answer today, but you get the gist of the hoops they are going to have to jump through.

I never say never. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the World Juniors in December-January and then getting a look the same way, the Bruins did with David Pastrnak. But I urge everyone to hold their expectations here. There is still some work to be done.

How can anyone argue with anything Jim Montgomery has implemented so far? The thing is, it’s not a finished product yet in terms of lineup and the players being 100 percent up to speed on the changes. There are still some areas – see in the d-zone – where the players sometimes don’t look sure. That will come. But you have to be impressed.

I won’t deny, in fact I think I was pretty vocal about it before the draft, that if Goyette was there, he was my guy. But I’m fine with the Poitras pick. One has to remember that going into last season, there are lists that projected him as a late first rounder. The problem was there was no previous season to base his growth on – which was the same for any OHL player. But there are definitely things about Poitras game to be excited about. I certainly am.

It may appear that Studnicka is the odd man out when everyone is healthy to a lot of people, but not to me. When healthy, the Bruins need to move out salary whether by trade or sending players to Providence that will put a dent in the cap overage. Studnicka’s cap hit doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what needs to be moved out.  

If I’m Dallas, I am not trading Wyatt Johnston for Fabian Lysell. I’m assuming you meant straight up because that’s all that was in your proposal. As for other centers you should keep an eye on. I don’t know of any that are available and until we know there are others available, I try not to get involved in trade proposals that are not going to happen. As for NCAA free agents? Parker Ford if he decides to turn pro.

Tough question, but I think the Bruins will be looking to make a trade to clear cap space. No one is going to be “sitting” otherwise. They will need to send bodies to Providence, and I don’t know that they can clear the cap space they need to clear by doing just that. The name that keeps coming back to me is Craig Smith.

No denying Clifton played a great game. But I’ve seen this too many times from Cliffy. Looks great for stretches and then looks like he should be scratched in others. Consistency has always been an issue with him and I’m not going to say those issues are long gone after just 3 or 4 games. So, to answer your question, it may make Jakub Zboril the odd man out for a while, but I doubt permanently.

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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