Depending on your perspective, you headed into Friday’s happenings one of two ways: either filled with hope that the Bruins were going to do something big or filled with dread that the Bruins were going to do something dumb.
As Friday night comes to a close, the truth falls somewhere in between.
The Bruins didn’t really do anything big, but they didn’t do anything dumb either.
Truthfully, they didn’t really do...anything.
No offense to Kevan Miller, but re-signing an oft-injured veteran defenseman doesn’t really move the needle on a day where people expected big money and flashy signings.
The biggest news of the day ended up being what the Bruins didn’t do, which is re-sign Torey Krug.
Krug instead elected to take his talents to St. Louis, and while his loss will certainly have an impact, you have to be relieved, to a degree, that the Bruins didn’t commit seven years to an undersized defenseman rapidly approaching 30.
Still, it’s hard to blame Bruins fans: the team flamed out big time in the bubble, then had an underwhelming draft (mostly due to not having a first-round pick).
Then, on the first real day of the new league year, their moves were to let their best offensive defenseman walk and to re-sign a 7th defenseman. CATCH THE FEVER.
However, if you read between the lines, it appears that the Bruins may be working on something else behind the scenes.
On Friday afternoon, the Bruins’ media team announced the schedule for the afternoon’s proceedings, namely that general manager Don Sweeney would be available to the media at 5 PM.
Later in the afternoon, the team abruptly announced that the availability was postponed, and that the team would inform the media shortly before Sweeney would be available.
As the evening wore on, I was one of the many people telling himself/herself/themselves that surely, the Bruins didn’t postpone a press conference just so they could announce Miller’s signing.
Surely, there was something else, right?
(Awkwardly, the Bruins Tweeted about re-signing Miller right around the time all of the insiders broke the Krug news, so...yikes.)
As Friday evening wore on, the Bruins eventually announced that the availability would be scrapped entirely for Friday night, with Sweeney instead meeting with the media Saturday at 1 PM.
Some cynically suggested that Sweeney just didn’t want to face questions, which, of course, is silly.
What made the proceedings especially intriguing was a note by Elliotte Friedman, who reported that the Bruins didn’t make an offer to Krug today, and, in fact, told his camp that their previous offer was no longer an option.
(Interestingly, Krug confirmed that the Bruins “pulled their offer,” but also seemed to claim that the Bruins didn’t make an offer for more than a year, which I find pretty hard to believe...)
You can’t blame fans for reading between the lines: the Bruins (reportedly) cleared the decks by taking Krug out of the equation, then pushed off any sort of media availability.
Surely, something must be up?
The biggest fish on the market remains out there in Taylor Hall, and plenty of reporters have said that the Bruins have expressed their interest, with at least one claiming that an offer has been made.
Mike Hoffman remains out there as well, and there are plenty of other secondary/tertiary scorers who are still available.
It’s not hard to imagine that the Bruins had conversations with Player X and determined it was realistic enough a possibility to pull any semblance of a Krug offer, just to be sure.
Such a scenario makes even more sense when you consider the Bruins have acknowledged that 5v5 and secondary scoring are their biggest issues: if you need to let Krug walk in order to bring in a bonafide scorer, you make that swap.
There’s still the flip side of this though: maybe we’re all just nuts.
Maybe we’re convincing ourselves that the Bruins are up to something to cover for the fact that fans are just disappointed that the Bruins have done nothing to address any of their weaknesses.
However, there’s enough going on here that it makes sense to not stray too far from your favorite Bruins news source tomorrow morning.