Boston sports frustration

Dear Beloved Boston Sports Fans,

In case you haven’t noticed, the Boston sports teams are all in a state of disarray. The Red Sox are quickly becoming the laughing stock of Major League Baseball with one of the highest payrolls in the league and a collection of underperforming players.

The only bright spot on the team thus far has to be the emergence of left handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez. Since being called up on May 29th against the Texas Rangers, Rodriguez has posted impressive numbers by going 2-0 with a microscopic 0.44 era and 21 strikeouts.

In probably the most disappointing team of the year, the Boston Bruins have to make some much needed changes this offseason. It started with Peter Chiarelli departing for Edmonton and hiring Assistant General Manager Don Sweeney to General Manager. The team also decided to part ways with Carl Soderberg. Recent trade speculation has been swirling around that defenseman Dougie Hamilton is seeking a deal worth up to $8 million per season, which may be too rich for the Bruins’ taste and a possible trading partner could be no other than Chiarelli and the Edmonton Oilers, as stated by Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.

Even though the Celtics made the playoffs this year, they may have been better off going into the lottery as they are trying to reposition themselves in the draft to get a higher selection. They have four draft choices this year. They are unlikely to keep all of those picks, as they will be looking for trading partners or use a few on European players and stash them overseas for a few years. Even though a man appearing to be LaMarcus Aldridge was spotted at Logan Airport last week, it is likely that he will sign with a team from Texas, according to ESPN’s Ric Bucher. It will be interesting to see what Danny Ainge has up his sleeve this summer, but if they keep to this model, it will be a few years until they can seriously go themselves serious contenders and out of the purgatory which is being mediocre in the NBA.

The Patriots have made a lot more noise off the field than they would have preferred. Star quarterback Tom Brady could potentially miss up to four games and they have released their first three starting cornerbacks in Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, and Kyle Arrington respectively. Longtime staple in the defensive line, Vince Wilfork, has moved on to play for the Texans. The Patriots will also have to forfeit a 2016 first round pick and 2017 fourth round pick. The Patriots have to turn to second-year quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to fill the void of Brady’s absence.

In order of fan base confidence, it has to be the Patriots, Bruins, Celtics, and last and certainly least, the Red Sox. One might feel as though the Bruins and Celtics can be interchangeable based on the number of draft assets that Danny Ainge has to work with and the high volume of question marks surrounding this Bruins team. The two that are not debatable, however, are the Patriots and Red Sox. The Patriots are coming off of a Super Bowl win. Albeit difficult to repeat in the NFL, it anyone can do it, it is Bill Belichick and the Patriots, especially in a weak AFC Conference. As John Breech of CBSSports.com noted, the Patriots have the 11th easiest schedule in the league.

It is tough to look someone in the eye these days and say that you have confidence in these Red Sox. They blew a 7-run lead to the Toronto Blue Jays last night, which is nothing short of an embarrassment. Take into account the clubhouse, especially Wade Miley’s meltdown with John Farrell in Baltimore Thursday night. As a fan, you always want your team to succeed. However, this team doesn’t deserve to win the way they have been playing.

It is an interesting time to be a fan in Boston with a lot more question marks than answers. Hopefully they will be in our favor sooner rather than later.

Sincerely,
John O’Callaghan, an objective Boston Sports Fan

Tags: , , , ,

See You Later, Carl Soderberg

June 10, 2015 at 7:55pm in Bruins, Featured, News
Soderberg celebrates

On Sunday, Carl Soderberg’s agent J.P. Barry, officially announced that the Boston Bruins decided they will not make an offer this offseason to keep Soderberg. A major part of the Bruins’ decision was their tight salary cap situation.

Soderberg has played on the Bruins since 2012, scoring 94 points in 161 games. He played in all 82 games last season. Continue reading See You Later, Carl Soderberg »

Tags: , ,

According to his agent via CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, the Bruins and Dougie Hamilton have not done any negotiating towards a long term contract. Hamilton, 21, is a restricted free agent. This means that another NHL team could sign him to an offer sheet and lure him away from Boston. Don Sweeney has a lot of work to do as Boston’s new General Manager, but getting Hamilton back for the long haul is at the top of the list.

Any team that signs Hamilton to an offer sheet would have a steep price to pay. Not only is Hamilton seeking $6-7 million per year according to reports, but the signing team would also have to give the Bruins a first, second, and third round pick.

Hamilton was the ninth overall selection in the first round of the 2011 draft by the Bruins, using a pick from Toronto that was acquired in the Phil Kessel deal. The two prized pieces of that deal were Tyler Seguin and Hamilton. The Bruins have already lost one and will not want to lose another one.

Hamilton has shown promise that he can be the elite defenseman to replace Zdeno Chara at the top of Boston’s depth chart. He played in 72 games in 2014-15, registering 10 goals and 32 assists, all of which were increases over the previous season. He was also adept at power play operation. Hamilton was always on Boston’s top pair of defensemen and when Chara was out injured, Hamilton was elevated to the top of the depth chart.

Although only 21, Hamilton has shown he is the type of player that Boston will want to keep around for the future. Although his price tag will be steep, the Black and Gold are much better of fixing the salary cap by moving another player instead of running the risk of letting Hamilton leave.

Tags: , , , ,

tuukka-rask

There is no doubt that one of the biggest concerns facing Don Sweeney and the Bruins this offseason is the vacant back-up goaltender position. Last season’s back-up, Niklas Svedberg, has left the country to play in the KHL and using the eye test, one can only assume that young Malcolm Subban is not ready for the big leagues yet. Subban may be ready in a few years, just not now.

So with all that being said, the Bruins are almost forced to check out what is available for back-up goalies on the free agent market this offseason. Tuukka Rask may look like Superman on some nights but even Superman needs a few games off.

Here are the top 3 goalies on the market that Boston should consider. They are ranked by their ability to be a competent back-up and if they would cheap enough to fit into the B’s salary cap situation. Continue reading Assessing The Bruins Back-Up Goalie Situation »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Claude Julien

After 2 weeks in the general manager position, Don Sweeney has still yet to make an official decision on Claude Julien’s future as head coach of the Boston Bruins. However, Don Sweeney has met with Julien behind closed doors and word is that Sweeney would rather switch up Julien’s assistant coaching staff instead of letting the veteran coach go right away.

Claude Julien’s staff during the 2014-2015 consisted of Joe Sacco, Doug Jarvis, Doug Houda, and Bob Essensa, the latter two have been with the B’s since 2007 when Julien became head coach.

Julien has always been loyal to his personnel and everyone around him since he was hired so this might not settle well with Claude in the beginning if it happens. Continue reading Look’s like Claude Julien will be Don Sweeney’s Head Coach…for now »

Tags: , , , , ,

Stanley Cup Final Preview

June 2, 2015 at 7:03pm in Bruins, Featured, NHL
cup final

In a match-up that is sure to be entertaining, the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning will battle for the Stanley Cup. The action kicks off with game one on Wednesday in Tampa Bay. The Blackhawks are playing in their third Final since 2010 and are looking for their third championship in that span. The Lightning return to the Final for the first time since hoisting the cup in 2004.

Both teams boast elite forwards in their captains, for Chicago it is Jonathan Toews and for Tampa Bay it is Steven Stamkos. The Blackhawks have an elite scorer in Patrick Kane with the Lightning’s Tyler Johnson has been excellent at lighting the lamp this postseason. Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook lead the way on defense for Chicago while Victor Hedman has taken his game to another level for the Lightning.

The Blackhawks have the edge in experience and coaching, as Joel Quenville has been at the helm for both of Chicago’s championships. They are also the more complete team, boasting not only Toews, Kane, Seabrook, and Keith but also Marian Hossa, Patrick Sharp, Andrew Shaw, along with Johnny Oduya. All of these players have performed in big moments for Chicago and have Championship experience.

Tampa Bay is not as deep as Chicago but boasts some impressive talent. J.T. Brown, Brian Boyle, Valterri Filppula, and Anton Stralman should all make an impact. Ben Bishop has been solid for the Lightning in net and the battle between him and the Blackhawks’ Corey Crawford will be a big element in the series. Both teams were top ten puck possession teams this season (via CORSI advanced stat) and can also score. Chicago is third in goals per game this postseason while Tampa Bay is fourth.

In the end, both teams play exciting and physical hockey. However, the Blackhawks just have too much experience and are too solid top to bottom for the Lightning. Tampa Bay will be contenders for the next several years, but Chicago remains the NHL’s gold standard.

Tags: , ,

Joonas Kemppainen

Finnish forward Joonas Kemppainen has signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Bruins.

Kemppainen, 27, scored 11 goals and tallied 21 assists for the Oulun Karpat of the Finnish Elite League last season, finishing with a +15 rating in 59 games. He added 10 goals in 19 playoff games.

Tags: ,