Heading into NHL free agency, which began today at noon, it was reported here earlier in the day that Bruins GM would likely take the trade route to make a big splash rather than jump into the free agent frenzy. An NHL source even confirmed the Bruins were targeting depth forward and tough guy Bobby Farnham.

That was still true as of 11:47 AM Monday, but earlier this morning an NHL source told Dirty Water Sports that Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs had put team President Cam Neely and General Manager Don Sweeney on notice prior to the draft, “Make the playoffs next season or else!” Or else is translated as Neely and Sweeney could be looking for work at this time next year if they didn’t improve a roster that has missed the postseason two straight seasons now and got them back to contending for the Cup with their offseason moves. The same source claimed Neely and Sweeney have been given “carte blanche” to build a playoff team this summer but if they fail, there will be serious consequences.

This is likely why despite things being mighty quiet around Causeway Street and Don Sweeney not indicating any big moves being in the works to the media on Thursday, it was reported by Bob McKenzie of TSN that the Bruins had suddenly become the frontrunners for prized free agent forward David Backes, who captained the Blues to the Western Conference Finals this season.

What looked to be a quiet free agency period for the Bruins now suddenly may get quite louder as Neely and Sweeney try to satisfy their disgruntled boss.