March 2016, the Boston Bruins looked destined to return to the playoffs after a
one year hiatus. However, the team limped to the end of
the season, losing 9 of 12 games and missing out on the postseason because of a
tie breaker with the Detroit Red Wings. Once a perennial championship
contender, the Bruins have been only average the last two years and may be on
the verge of some major changes.
was led by a trio of 30 year old forwards: Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and
Loui Eriksson. The three scored the most points on the squad, while 28 year old
Brad Marchand was tops with 37 goals (4th in points). They finished
as the 5th highest scoring team in the league, but their defensive
and goaltending shortcomings kept them from the postseason. Tuukka Rask, the
former Vezina Trophy winner, was simply average this season, in part because of
a weak defensive group in front of him.
Free Agents: 30 goal scorer Eriksson is an
unrestricted free agent and will almost assuredly take a big money deal
somewhere else. With the money the team has invested in Krejci, Bergeron,
Marchand, Rask and 39 year old defenseman Zdeno Chara (total of almost $33M),
Eriksson will likely find a new home.
Torey Krug is a restricted free agent, but as one of the few young, bright
spots on defense, the team will have to give him an extension. Backup
goaltender Jonas Gustavsson played well, but the team may move on and give the
spot to 2012 first round pick Malcolm Subban.
Picks: The Bruins have two first round picks in this year’s draft after
acquiring San Jose’s. While neither of the picks are very high (14th
and 30th), the team could use them to either move up in the draft or
trade for a quality pro. The team desperately needs youth on defense, but at
14, they may be stuck taking a forward instead of reaching for a less talented
Agent Additions: There are not many top pairing defensemen available as free
agents, but the team could make a play for Keith Yandle or Alex Goligoski. Both
would be a major improvement over what they have now, but they won’t come
cheap. Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie would be an expensive trade
target, but he would fill a huge need. Sami Vatanen and Jonas Brodin are also
potential trade targets.
Labels: Eric Bokobza