On the team's attitude as free agency opens:
"A lot has transpired over the last little while and we’re now entering free agency with the intent to try and improve our hockey club. It’s never an easy process in the free agent market, but we’re going to look at every different opportunity to try and do that. We set ourselves back in a position now where we have a little bit of cap flexibility, which was paramount in the whole exercise."
On the criticism he's faced over the past few days:
"I knew going in that the chair would be warm, accepted that challenge, and knew there would be some hard decisions to make...our staff went about trying to make the best ones and as I said, referencing the fact that we’ve been in cap purgatory for quite some time and wanted to extradite ourselves from that going forward to improve our club hopefully from this point forward and in the future."
On acquiring Zac Rinaldo:
"[We] felt he was a player that...you know, we wanted a little more energy, I talked about playing with a little more energy in our lineup, and it’s ready-made in that regard. He’s a player that’s still young and he plays with a tremendous amount of courage. We need to get him to make sure he finds that line because he’s crossed over it a few times."
On his restricted free agents:
"We did not qualify three players: Matt Lindblad, Rob Flick or Adam Morrison. Doesn’t mean that we won’t revisit, but we were looking at a bunch of different things to explore and that was the direction we went. So we did qualify Spooner, Connolly and Jones."
On whether or not he'd use an offer sheet on another team's RFA:
"If you’ve got the space to be able to do it, and certainly teams that are pushed up against it, you feel that pressure. So yeah, there’s not a general manager, I don’t think, that wouldn’t look at every opportunity to improve their club. An offer sheet is definitely a possibility from every angle, for every team."
On talking to UFAs:
"We have spoken to representatives. We have not physically visited, or had players in to Boston, to visit with us, but I’ve been in touch with representatives of particular players, yes."
Is it a rebuild, Don?
"No, I don’t think it’s a rebuild. We didn’t strip this down. We have a tremendous core group of guys that are going to obviously carry an even heavier load here in the short term while these other kids can come in and start to take footing."
Then what is it, Don?
"I look at it like we’re going to try and improve our team between now and September and October going forward as incremental as it may be. But, we are also going to be a team for the future as well. Next week when we get by this time, you go into development camp that’s the excitement piece that people probably can’t see right now to get past this initial onset. We’re going to have a plethora of players that hopefully you and everybody else will turn around and say ‘wow, they’ve got some really good assets and those guys are going to develop into all NHL players’."
Sweeney also noted that the Bruins have $969,000 in bonus overages that will count against the salary cap this season. Between those overages and the retained money from the Milan Lucic trade, the Bruins have nearly $3.7 million in dead cap space this season.