Monday, July 13, 2009
Could Bitz Be The Odd Man Out?
Could Bitz be on the move if the Bruins sign Kessel?

Peter Chiarelli went on NESN and interviewed with the vivacious Kathryn Tappen. He told Bruins Nation that Phil Kessel will be back as a Bruin in the fall.

"Yes, yes he will. You know I don't like to talk about negotiations but he's a player of impact with speed and he's still a young player. There's been reports of us trading here and there and I can't dismiss me talking about players to trade, cause that's my job..."

My thoughts on it are posted here

So who gets moved when Kess comes back?

I'll be honest, I wouldn't be surprised to see a guy like Byron Bitz moved.

Think about it. Bitz is a young, scrappy player who is playing with a very movable contract (2 years, 675K/yr). Would it make sense for Chiarelli to move someone like Bitz? Sure. He is an easier player to move than Sturm and Bergeron because of contract/injury history and you could get a draft pick out of him. Bitz provides 3rd or 4th line depth for a team who is looking for someone to go out there and start a little bit of trouble.

Sure, Bitz is no Avery or Brashear, but he also isn't afraid to drop the gloves if need be. We saw it first hand here in Boston. The guy has the drive and the work ethic to get better, though he won't be a superstar in the league.

So what does Chiarelli get from dealing a guy like Bitz?

Well one would tend to believe that moving a guy like Bitz will get you a prospect or a lower draft pick. You cut out cap space, although not much of it, and drop a guy like Blake Wheeler into the 4th line so he can learn the game without having a disastrous second half of the season (and subsequently benched in the playoffs).

To be fair, I wouldn't mind seeing Wheeler moved as I was never high on him like most people in the Hub are. Anyways, I'm getting off-topic.

I believe Bitz would be the most attractive player on the Boston roster. Not many teams can afford Bergeron/Savard, not many teams would want Sturm so it's either a guy like Kobesew or a younger guy like Bitz or Wheeler.

What do you think? There is no doubt a forward would have to go somewhere and I don't believe anyone on the roster has a 2-way clause in their contract.
I think the issue here is cap space, not roster size. Bitz can get moved down to the minors, I don't see why moving his tiny cap hit contract is a good idea.

Blogger Pezell said...
True, I was thinking more on roster size. Is Bitz' contract a 2-way contract?

I don't see Bitz getting sent down, actually. He's a good player and we got him for cheap, which is exactly the kind of player teams need to succeed in a salary capped world.

I could easily see him playing on one of Bergeron or Krejci's wings on a pretty permanent basis, depending on how much wheeler develops over the summer.

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