By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
Not that it was expected given the relatively affordable status of his current roster, but Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has officially confirmed that the Bruins will not explore buying out a contract this summer.
If Sweeney’s telling the truth, this will be the first summer to not feature a B’s buyout since 2015.
Sweeney first started his buyout bonanza in 2016 when he decided to cut ties with Dennis Seidenberg.
Thinking that the German-born defender was ‘done’ after looking severely limited after a torn ACL, the Bruins swallowed the remaining two years of Seidenberg’s $4 million cap hit with a four-year buyout dead money number that began in 2016.
That buyout was at its most expensive this past season, with Seidenberg’s number accounting for over $2.1 million on the Boston books in 2017-18. The Bruins have two more years of that buyout on the books, too, with $1.166 million of Seidenberg money counting against the Black and Gold’s books in both 2018-19 and 2019-20.
Seidenberg, for what it’s worth, was not truly ‘done,’ and caught on with the Islanders after a strong showing with Team Europe at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. He’s recorded five goals and 27 points in 98 games in two seasons in Brooklyn.
The Bruins also (mercifully) cut ties with Jimmy Hayes by way of a buyout last season.
Hayes was an unmitigated disaster in Boston, with just 15 goals and 34 points in 133 games over two seasons, and had no role with the franchise moving forward, especially with an abundance of young forwards entering the picture. To get out of paying Hayes $2.3 million in 2017-18 or having him toil in the minors, the Bruins instead had over $500,000 of dead money on their books via Hayes, and will have over $800,000 of dead money from Hayes on their books this upcoming season.
It also goes without saying that the Bruins didn’t have many ‘viable’ buyout candidates on their roster this upcoming season.
Adam McQuaid, who may be a healthy scratch to begin the season if everybody’s at full health, is in the final year of a contract that comes with a $2.75 million cap hit and is a more than serviceable seventh-defenseman option. David Backes, meanwhile, has another three years at $6 million per, leaving the Bruins to simply hope that a healthy Backes gets back to the 20-30-50 level. Optimism certainly beats the alternative of a buyout, which would see Backes count against your cap until 2024 (including an over $5.7 dead money cap hit for Backes in 2019-20).
Instead, the Bruins will stick with their $2.03 million of dead money via buyouts on their 2018-19 books.
Ty Anderson is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Ty? Follow him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.