Coach decision tops priority list for new Bruins GM Don Sweeney
Time has been on Don Sweeney’s side. The ex-Bruin, named general manager of his former team on Wednesday, has been busy in his role as assistant GM since Peter Chiarelli’s firing on April 15. Sweeney has been thinking about the most significant decisions he’ll have to make as GM.
1. Determine Claude Julien’s future
Julien’s new contract becomes active in 2015-16. He will be one of the highest-paid coaches in the league. Last month, CEO Charlie Jacobs and president Cam Neely said the next GM will make the decision on Julien. If it’s truly Sweeney’s call, Julien could stay. If it’s Neely’s decision, Julien is out.
2. Prepare for the combine and draft
The combine starts on May 31 in Buffalo. The first round of the draft is on June 26. The Bruins have the No. 14 pick.
3. Gauge the trade market for Milan Lucic
Sweeney has to listen to offers on the left wing. Lucic will be entering the final season of his contract. This could be the Bruins’ best window to acquire assets for Lucic instead of letting him walk after 2015-16. According to one agent, Lucic could command $8 million annually on the free market.
4. Re-sign Dougie Hamilton
The defenseman will be restricted on July 1. Hamilton’s asking price will be high. He will also be eligible to sign an offer sheet. The Bruins will match at any price.
5. Acquire a backup goalie
Malcolm Subban will be a third-year pro in 2015-16. He’s not ready to be Tuukka Rask’s No. 2.