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FlightZone: The Rehabilitation of Don Sweeney

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Effigies were prepped, but are now on standby.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't long ago that Boston Bruins' GM Don Sweeney seemed dead on arrival. There had been questions over his handling of the Claude Julien decision, but those became angry mobs when news of the Dougie Hamilton trade broke. The return for Zdeno Chara's heir apparent was stunningly low, and fury only intensified when word broke that an arguably better package of picks from the Oilers was turned down because of Peter Chiarelli's existence. Elliotte Friedman cited a source comparing it to "Harry Sinden running the team again", which is not a quote you want said about you. Boston did better by the Milan Lucic trade, which left them selecting at the 13th, 14th and 15th slots. But in terms of optics, it was a no-win situation with their back-to-back-to-back picks for the simple fact that they were less recognizable names being selected. The re-signing of Adam McQuaid wasn't great either.

Things seemed to hit rock bottom when the Bruins traded for Zac Rinaldo, leading to my favourite headline of the 2015 offseason:

But since then, Don Sweeney hasn't been terrible. I know the Matt Beleskey deal probably still isn't a good idea, but it's not nearly as bad as it could have been and in the NHL that does mean something (not to mention he'll still have Krejci and/or Bergeron as the tides lifting his boat). After being obtained from Florida for Reilly Smith, Jimmy Hayes was signed to a completely reasonable contract, not to mention the sweetheart deals Brett Connolly and especially Ryan Spooner were inked to. The breaking point for me was when the Bruins brought aboard Matt Irwin for $800,000, which I personally think is an insanely good deal.

There is still a long road ahead before we might start speaking of Don Sweeney's redemption, but for now, rehabilitation is pretty good.

And now, the lazy Sunday news.

Central Division

Greg Wyshynski described the loss of Trevor Daley as "addition by subtraction". He clearly reads Arctic Ice Hockey. (Yahoo! Sports)

Anyone who thinks scrimmages are the point of NHL development camps is a dodo. (Mile High Sticking)

A top-six of Benn, Seguin, Nichushkin, Sharp, Spezza and Hemsky will make for a few tough battles over the next couple of seasons. (ProHockeyTalk)

Giving Mike Reilly time to develop with the Iowa Wild makes for far too easy a solution to Minnesota's slight defensive logjam. (StarTribune)

A look from outside Fort AIH at both the Jets' 2015 Draft and Top 5 prospects overall. They went so far as to say that Chevy "has been downright visionary". (Today's Slapshot)

And All The Rest

If you thought the Anaheim Ducks weren't big and heavy enough for the Western Conference, do I have Chris Stewart news for you. (Orange County Register)

Over 17,000 folks went to watch a Sabres' development camp scrimmage. I think Buffalo hockey fans are excited about their team's future. (ProHockeyTalk)

Perhaps not for 2015-16, but Noah Hanifin should be Justin Faulk's top-pairing partner for a long time to come. With regards to next season, it'll be interesting to see who grabs hold of the 3-7 spots and in what order. (Bleacher Report)

I can very easily imagine Jeff Blashill having Jon Cooper-esque success with 'his' Grand Rapids players, several of whom are now with the big club. Also, prospect Dominic Turgeon seems to be improving. (Detroit Free Press)

Regardless of whether Gerard Gallant is one of them, the statement of "Though he could have done better with the roster he was given, he also could have done much worse" seems to describe every successful Head Coach in the NHL. They all have their idiosyncrasies and head scratching moments. (Litter Box Cats)

Am I crazy for thinking that Los Angeles has to re-sign Milan Lucic? Seeing both Andrej Sekera and Lucic walk in consecutive offseasons after trading valuable 1st round picks and prospects for them would not be a good look. (NHL)

This story on new Windsor Spitfires' Head Coach Rocky Thompson reminded me of how George Parros majored in economics at Princeton University. Don't judge a book by its face-punching cover. (TSN)

Without knowing potential financial details, Alex Semin continues to make far too much sense for the Montreal Canadiens. Also, when it comes to targeting Carolina scorers I would probably lean towards Jeff Skinner rather than Eric Staal. (The Hockey Writers)

Pavel Zacha is going to have to drive the forward corps bus on the arduous journey back to competitiveness. At least New Jersey's defence and goaltending have the makings of a solid foundation. (isportsweb)

It continues to be prospect summary season across the hockey blogging world. Now is your chance to read about such New York Rangers' selections as Ryan Gropp and Robin Kovacs. (Along the Boards)

Our Pittsburgh frenemies are growing antsy over the team's cap space or lack there of. Enter eternal trade conversation pieces Brandon Sutter and Rob Scuderi, again. (Pens Labyrinth)

Barracuda Head Coach Roy Sommer sounds pretty high on Sharks' prospect Dylan DeMelo. He's about two degrees away from being Justin Timberlake in The Social Network. (Mercury News)

Yesterday I mentioned how Oliver Kylington was one of 2015's 2nd round steals. Adam Erne is a 2013 equivalent. (NHL)

Finally, Washington GM Brian MacLellan was quoted as saying that "If you’ve got to go to arb, you’ve got to go to arb." Please, no one tell arby_18. (Washington Post)


Thanks for reading! Be sure to mock me in the Comments section below for thinking that trying to end on a clever note every day was a good idea.