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Cracks of Don: Bruins get a bargain in DeBrusk

The Boston Bruins must have done some shrewd negotiating to get restricted free agent Jake DeBrusk’s name on a two-year deal with a average annual value of $3.67 million. USA TODAY
The Boston Bruins must have done some shrewd negotiating to get restricted free agent Jake DeBrusk’s name on a two-year deal with a average annual value of $3.67 million. USA TODAY

Don Sweeney deserved a pat on the back and a big ole’ attaboy from his boss for exemplary work on Monday.

The Boston Bruins GM must have done some shrewd negotiating to get restricted free agent Jake DeBrusk’s name on a two-year deal with a average annual value of $3.67 million.

Only five players selected before DeBrusk was picked 14th overall in the 2015 draft have scored more goals than the slick winger.

Their names, and their AAV, are: Connor McDavid ($12.5 million), Jack Eichel ($10 million), Mitch Marner (10.9 million), Timo Meier ($6 million) and Mikko Rantanen ($9.25 million).

Marner doesn’t have a 27-goal season on his resume like DeBrusk put on his over just 68 games in 2018-2019.

And somehow, Sweeney was able to convince DeBrusk to accept what he did while just 15 months ago Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion was presenting Colin White with a sparkling new six-year, $28.5 million deal.

White was picked 21st overall in the 2015 draft, seven spots behind DeBrusk.

His AAV is $4.75 million.

DeBrusk has 62 goals in 203 games.

White has 23 in 155 games.

DeBrusk has played 49 playoff games.

White has played one.

“We’ve identified Colin as one of our core young players who will help drive our team’s success in both the short and long term,” Dorion said in a statement the day the pact was consummated.

More than a year later, White hasn’t even been identified as a winger or a centre by the team.

“He’s just scratching the surface of his potential in this league,” said Dorion that day. “We’re very happy Colin will be a Senator for the next six years.”

For almost $30 million.

For a guy who is projecting to be a third liner.

If Ottawa’s lucky, White’s contract won’t be something it regrets.

Boston knows it has a bargain in DeBrusk.

CONNECTING DOTS: Brooke Henderson played her first LPGA event in a month on the weekend and there wasn’t a spot of rust on her game, posting a 7-under that left her tied for sixth in the Pelican Women’s Championship near Tampa. In case you’ve forgotten how good the 23-year old Smiths Falls product is, it was the 53rd Top 10 finish of her LPGA career. In eight events this season, she has finished inside the Top 15 six times and missed the cut once. Henderson should be among the top contenders at Champions Golf Club in Houston for the 75th U.S. Women’s Open Championship Dec. 10-13 … It has taken two seasons, but former Calgary Stampeders star linebacker Alex Singleton has become an every-down starter with the Philadelphia Eagles. Singleton, who played only special teams last season, was on the field for every defensive snap in the team’s last two games. In fact, while also playing 96 and 90 percent of the special teams snaps in those games, he’s been the most utilized player on the team. That also makes Singleton very much underpaid at a salary of $675,000 … Conversely, Eagles wide receiver Alshon Jeffery played five snaps in Sunday’s 22-17 loss to the Browns. He was targeted twice, caught neither and was paid $718,750 for his day’s work.

THEY SAID IT: Along with being supremely talented, we found out how tough Joe Burrow is on Sunday when he was able to tweet his vow for a bounce back not long after having his knee completely blown up. One of the best compliments a guy can receive is that which Cincinnati Bengals receiver A.J. Green paid the rookie quarterback, who is nine years his junior. “He’s just a guy’s guy.” … Great line Monday night from the Twitter feed of Sam Farmer, the outstanding Los Angeles Times columnist I’ve forgiven for interrupting my interview with Laurent Duvernay-Tardif in the Chiefs locker room after they won the Super Bowl in Miami nine months ago: “(Patrick) Mahomes could sprint from one side of the bar to the other, flick a bullseye, and never spill his beer.” … Jon Gruden, on how proud he was of the effort his Raiders produced in Sunday night’s loss to Mahomes and the Chiefs. “I wouldn’t trade any of our players for anybody.” They should get that in writing.

BACK TO THE POINT: You have to feel bad for Frank Gore, whose exceptional career could end this season on the sourest of notes. The Jets, who fell just short of a comeback against the 3-7 Chargers on Sunday, may not have a better chance to win a game. Their final six games are against the Dolphins, Raiders, Seahawks, Rams, Browns and Patriots. “We’re thinking about that every day,” Gore, the third-leading rusher in NFL history, told the New York Post about the possibility of a winless season. “We’ve got to get one. You don’t want to go 0-16, especially (since) this might be my last year. I can’t go out like that.” …

ON THIS (Nov. 24) DATE: Exactly 69 years ago, the Clem Crowe-coached Ottawa Rough Riders won their fourth Grey Cup, defeating the Harry Smith-coached Saskatchewan Roughriders 21-14 in front of 27,341 fans at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium. It was the first championship showdown of the similarly named teams … Exactly 60 years ago, the 7-foot-1 inch Wilt (The Stilt) Chamberlain set a NBA record with 55 rebounds in one game. Chamberlain is also the only player to set at least two other untouchable marks – the 100 points he scored Mar. 2, 1962 for the Philadelphia Warriors in a 169-147 victory over the New York Knicks, and the 50.4 points he averaged in the 1961-62 season. Last spring ESPN ranked Chamberlain No. 6 on the list of the NBA’s all-time best players because his teams only won two championships in his 14-year career. For the ridiculous individual records he set, he should be No. 1 … Exactly 34 years ago, the great Gilbert Perreault announced his retirement after a Hall of Fame NHL career that saw him rack up 1,326 points in 1,191 games for the Buffalo Sabres (1970-87) … Among those celebrating birthdays are former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue (80), former Dodgers catcher Steve Yeager (72), former NHL first rounder Keith Primeau (49) and former Smiths Falls Bears (and veteran of nine NHL seasons) goalie Fred Brathwaite (48).


Kendall Coyne Schofield is getting all the attention after being hired by the Chicago Blackhawks, and understandably so. But the Blackhawks also hired Erik Condra as a player development coach on Monday. Prediction: Condra will be a head coach in the NHL someday.

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