So the Bruins season didn't end how any bruins fan expected it to end last year. They came out and beat the Red Wings in four and then faced a much tougher competition in their much hated rival the Montreal Canadiens. I don't think anyone exactly knew what was going to happen this off season since the B's brass was battling the war on the cap. Unfortunately early in free agency we lost 30 goal scorer and one year stud, Jarome Iginla. This came as a total shock to me. It seemed like Iggy loved being in Boston last year and he certainly fit in perfectly with Lucic and Krejci on the first line. It was interesting to me because I know that all Iggy wants to do is win a Stanley Cup since he still hasn't and I don't see the Avalanche as more of a contender than the Bruins. Next we saw the loss of Shawn Thorton which was less of a surprise. Thorton was a fan favorite in Boston and although he didn't put up major points he played a gritty blue collar style of hockey that Boston fans liked. The Bruins announced at the end of the season that they weren't going to be resigning Thorton and although it hurt, it wasn't a huge surprise. The game is changing and his role was declining and his age was getting up there. Those were the two major losses the Bruins had in the off season.
After this the Bruins had to resign young guns Torey Krug and Reilly Smith. Both coming off tremendous seasons and looking for big contracts. Unfortunately due to the Bruins fighting off the cap, they were forced to take a hometown discount and both settled for 1 year/ 1.4M contracts. I expect them both to be in Boston for a while so I expect them to sign big contracts in the next off season. I think/hope they'll be integral parts to the Bruins for a long time. Although these two didn't get signed before training camp started, I couldn't be more excited to have them both in black and gold for at least another season.
After those happenings everyone knew that the Bruins still had to move a defenseman. All summer there was a ton of speculation about who would be leaving. There were rumors of Bartowski and Boychuk leaving, I knew that who ever was leaving I didn't want it to happen. I loved the D-corp we had last year and personally felt that Mcquaid should be traded. As training camp approached Peter Chiarelli announced that they were going to make the trade after camp was over to see who gelled. I think everyone knew it was going to be Boychuk though. Last saturday the Bruins announced that they traded Boych to the Islanders for two 2nd round picks in 2015 and 2016. I hate this move a ton. I personally feel that if we're going to trade away a key component of the team, we should at least be getting something in return. While this may benefit the team in the long run, you never know. If we got back a proven player, you would see immediate benefits. So I want to take this minute to thank Johnny for playing a great style of hockey and being an important part of the Bruins team. After the trade he made it pretty public that he was upset about leaving the Bruins, I understand that. You never want to leave your boys and a city you love so you can see why he's upset. He's an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season so I guess there's a hope of him coming back to the Bruins after this but I'm not going to count on that since the Bruins are still under cap restraints.
Lucic- Krejci- Eriksson
Marchand- Bergeron- Smith
Kelly- Sodberg- Spooner
Paille- Spooner- Robbins
I'm excited to see Eriksson take over Iggy's role on the first line. As long as he doesn't catch the injury bug again I think he can easily step into the role and put up some solid points. Robbins was a surprise to make the Bruins roster but I like the move. He's a very solid player that plays a tough style of hockey and finishes all his checks. He's also been known to hold his own when time comes to drop the mitts.
It'll be interesting to see who gets more playing time between Miller and Bartowski since they do have an extra defenseman.
The B's are easily a cup contender again this year. If everyone stays healthy and they can replace the 30 goals that Iggy put up last season I wouldn't be surprised to see them in the Eastern Conference Championship again. Their top 2 lines have been together for a while which is a huge advantage for them. Obviously Rask is a stonewall in net so that's no worry.
I can't really think of too many concerns going into the season. I couldn't be more excited to get going.