Photo Credit: Stephanni Phillips
The NHL offseason is a busy, yet exciting, time for teams and fans alike. This is when fans get to see their teams building for the future. However, not every team makes the moves necessary to become a legitimate contender. With the 2012 NHL draft complete and free agency beginning very shortly I will be looking at every NHL team, taking into account the moves they’ve already made, what players are free agents, who looks to be coming back, what prospects are already under contract, etc, and then deciding whether that team will, in the next two years, be more of a “contender” or “pretender”. This week we’ll be taking a look at the Boston Bruins.
The Bruins return most of their big name forwards, such as Milan Lucic, Patrice Bergeron, Tyler Seguin, David Krejci and Brad Marchand to name a few. That will certainly help them when it comes to scoring goals as all five of them scored 20+ goals during the 2011-2012 season. They’re also very good defensively, as four of the five are near, or over, a plus-10 in the plus/minus category. (Source: http://www.tsn.ca/blogs/scott_cullen/?id=397742). They did, however, lose winger Benoit Pouliot, scheduled to become a restricted free agent, in a draft day deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Pouliot, though streaky at times, was coming off a career year (16 goals, 32 points and plus-18 rating) with the Bruins and they’ll certainly miss him in Beantown. The Bruins also could lose Chris Kelly, along with his 39 points and plus-33 rating, as he’s an unrestricted free agent. (Source: http://www.tsn.ca/blogs/scott_cullen/?id=397742)
The Bruins also seem to be set defensively, returning big Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg and Adam McQuaid to name a few. Each is more than capable of producing offensively while putting up solid numbers defensively, combining to produce 85 points and a plus-64 rating. They do have the potential to lose Joe Corvo, as he’s scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent, but with all the returning players the Bruins should be able to absorb possibly losing him. (Source: http://www.tsn.ca/blogs/scott_cullen/?id=397742). The Bruins also have top prospect Dougie Hamilton waiting for his chance to come up and join the big club.
This is the only position that looks a little bit murky, with starter Tim Thomas first stating he planned to take the upcoming season off and then stating that he was open to a trade. The Bruins, however, just re-signed Thomas’ backup, Tuukka Rask, to a new contract which should help settle the issue of who will start in net next season. Prospect-wise, the Bruins drafted Malcolm Subban, the second-best goaltender available, in last weekend’s NHL draft and he could challenge for the backup goaltending position in a few years. The team, though, still needs a backup goaltender for the upcoming season.