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Offseason Report: Boston Bruins

Jul 19, 2012, 1:19 PM EDT

Andrew Ference, Chris Kelly, Gregory Campbell AP

From July 16-Aug 16, we’ll be profiling all 30 NHL teams by recapping what they did this offseason and previewing their upcoming campaigns.

2011-12 season

49-29-4, 102 points. First in the Northeast Division, second in the Eastern Conference. Lost in opening round of playoffs to Washington (4-3).

Additions

Aaron Johnson, Garnet Exelby, Christian Hanson

Departures

Tim Thomas, Joe Corvo, Benoit Pouliot

2012 Draft

1st round, 24th overall — Malcolm Subban (OHL Belleville)

Looking back

It was a quiet offseason for Boston save one incident: Tim Thomas taking a year’s sabbatical to focus on “friends, family and faith.”

This put Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli in a unique position — after consciously retaining most of his Cup-winning roster from 2011 (and adding few pieces to it), he proceeded to lose the guy most responsible for winning it.

Not to say Boston didn’t inquire about some key acquisitions. Chiarelli reportedly made an offer for Zach Parise and only recently announced he was out of the running for Rick Nash/Bobby Ryan.

Looking forward

The Bruins will likely keep the trade doors open (most popular names are David Krejci and Milan Lucic) in the event they need to add offense at some point. It’s still unclear what kind of condition concussed forward Nathan Horton is in, and Boston did lose a bit of goalscoring with Pouliot (who netted 16 last year.)

For a team laden with veterans and experienced players, Boston’s 2012-13 campaign could rely heavily on a pair of youngsters. Tuukka Rask, 25, will be the opening-night starter for the first time in his career and the Bruins will need him to shoulder a heavy workload — probably more than the career-high 45 appearances made in 2009-10.

On defense, hopes are high for OHL Niagara product Dougie Hamilton, taken ninth overall in 2011. Hamilton, 19, was named the OHL’s best defenseman a year ago with one scout calling him “the best defenseman outside the NHL.” Hopes are high he can come in and play a top-four role, possibly sparking a Bruins power play that only scored 43 times last year, 22nd in the league.

Have your say

Vote in our poll and let us know what you think of the Bruins’ 2012-13 outlook in the comments section.

  1. bildomatic - Jul 19, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Actually Tuukka started the 2010-2011 Season as the Bruins starter after earning the #1 job the season before, but it didn’t take TT very long to take it back as he posted a shutout in the 2nd game of the year en route to a 6-0 record and eventually winning the Cup/Vezina/Conn Smythe. Granted he wasn’t expected to shoulder as much of the burden that year as he is now but did enter the season as the starter. The Bruins are what they are and Chiarelli is smitten by his Stanley Cup core and is gun shy to make a move after Kaberle didn’t pan out (Not entirely true given that the team won the Stanley Cup and Joe Colborne hasn’t established himself as an NHL regular). But I feel that this team is in need of a change aside from that run to the cup (which included 3 Game 7’s including 1 in OT and 1 decided late in the 3rd 1-0 win) they have been bounced from the 1st rd twice and the 2nd rd twice. I just feel like a bounce the other way in ’11 vs MTL or TB and this team is a constant disappointment in the postseason, but PC is intent on keeping core guys together, but now 3 of the most important pieces of that cup are gone (Thomas, Recchi, Ryder). Time for PC to buck up and make a move and acquire a Bobby Ryan for say Krejci and a 1st rounder and potentially a prospect not named (Hamilton)

    • pajabroni - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:27 PM

      Im sure thats a great wealth of knowledge posted above, but for goodness sake–break it up into smaller paragraphs bro.

      Its not a sprint.

    • odj810 - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:30 PM

      wimple have delusions about players from other teams. You don’t shake things up just because. Bobby Ryan is good not great. He’s a young Nathan Horton. Think o the talent he plays with in an offensive system. Dont assume the numbers translate over. Give the core another year.

      • bildomatic - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:59 PM

        Horton is 27 and Ryan is 25 so I’m not sure how he is a “Young Nathan Horton” In 7 season Horton has reached 30 goals 1 time and never has with the Bruins. Ryan has scored 30 in all 4 of his full NHL seasons. You are right that there is no guarantee that these numbers translate, but DK’s numbers last year as a minus player on a team with a great goal differential and not going over 62pts in any of the last 3 seasons doesn’t exactly make me worry about losing that production for Ryan.

      • bildomatic - Jul 19, 2012 at 3:32 PM

        And an argument can be made that a replacement for Horton is exactly what the Bruins were lacking last season when he went down with concussions and could very well happen again this season and then where are they? They are a team destined for a 1st round exit in the playoffs once again.

      • odj810 - Jul 23, 2012 at 6:42 PM

        no doubt krejci had a down year last year. But he’s still a pretty good player. I just think you don’t make drastic changes and the main reason i don’t want krejci traded is because he just signed an extension. I don’t like what it does to players looking to give the team a discount if you trade someone who just signed and extension. I see march lucic and seguin all signing for less than they would make on the open market. And bobby ryan plays with prerry and getzlaf. I was making a statement that bobby ryan and nathan horton are similar players and I stand by that comment. Ryan is a better player yes but i’m not ready to say he is head and shoulders above him when he plays in an all out offensive system and horton plays a defense first system. Ryans icetime is also much higher. He is not going to get 20 min a night in boston. it’d be more like 16.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:44 PM

      That’s not true, both goalies were going to be switching back and forth and Thomas ended up starting 6 of the first 8 games.

      Not sure how starting 2 games in the first month is a starter but ok

      • bildomatic - Jul 19, 2012 at 2:51 PM

        Who started the opening game? Tuukka. Who usually starts your teams first game? Your starter. Who played every playoff game the prior season? Tuukka. I also stated that he wasnt expected to shoulder the same kind of burden he is this season, but for all intents and purposes Tuukka was the 1 and Timmy was the 1A. Then Tuukka lost a game and Timmy caught fire and just like that Timmy became 1 and Tuukka was 1A.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jul 19, 2012 at 3:18 PM

        Rask backstopped one of the worst collapses in the history of sports the prior season and there was never a doubt who the starter was after the European trip

      • bildomatic - Jul 19, 2012 at 3:35 PM

        Keyword being AFTER the european trip… Entering the season Tuukka was 1 and Timmy was 1A. My point was that he entered the 2010-2011 season as the Starting goaltender for the Bruins.

      • hockeyflow33 - Jul 20, 2012 at 5:25 PM

        No, after October the starter was determined but before that it was a “ride who’s hot” rotation

  2. jovocop2112 - Jul 19, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    Absolutely cannot wait for Rask to start having one of his famous meltdowns more and more often this season. Hopefully the acquisitions of Buffalo and Montreal pan out, because i’m dying to see Boston get knocked down a peg

  3. jasol20 - Jul 19, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    I’ve heard Milan Lucic’s name thrown around as a likely trade consistently for this entire offseason. Am I the only one who thinks trading Lucic would drastically alter the identity of the Bruins? He’s consistently around the 20 goal mark (30 in their cup-winning year), and he plays with what is, like it or not, the Bruins’ signature on-the-edge style. 6’3″, 228 lbs, 20 goals and 100+ PIMs is perfect for this team. I’m not saying he should be the first line LW, but he definitely shouldn’t be traded away.

    • capesouth - Jul 19, 2012 at 4:36 PM

      Couldn’t agree more with you. I don’t understand the trade talk with him in Boston. I think most people would agree with you though. It is more than just his stats, which are pretty good. It is that he is a huge part of their identity. I don’t think he is being shopped at all by PC anyways though. People have these unattainable expectations for him but since when is a huge, power forward who puts up 60 pts, hits harder than anyone else, and can fight with the best of them not good enough? He is a beast. He does need to show more in the post season but I’m not going to trade him bc of that. People are looking for complaints with Krejci and Lucic just to bring in the ‘sexier’ name, like Bobby Ryan, who puts up the same numbers. Krejci is the only player I would consider trading given the right return. That’s it though. Plus it being a contract year for Lucic could bring out the best.

      • bildomatic - Jul 19, 2012 at 6:25 PM

        IMO the only untouchables up front are Seguin, Bergeron and Lucic and on the back end it is Chara/Hamilton and Rask between the pipes. Everyone else is up for negotiation and given the right return I would pull the trigger on a deal. You can keep watching the Stanley Cup DVD from 2011 PC and continue the love affair with that squad, but the reality is that there are MAJOR pieces from that cup run no longer here that need to be replaced.

        However in PC’s defense I think he has stocked the farm system considerably over the past few seasons with moves that gave us Seguin, Hamilton, Spooner, Knight, Subban and even more to a lesser extent signing a Torey Krug outta college. The faster these guys can develop and really start to push the guys ahead of them the more apt I think PC may be to move guys not mentioned as untouchables.

      • homelanddefense - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:12 AM

        its because 50% of our fans dont watch the games during the regular season. Then they watch in the playoffs (where he struggled) and listen to Felger and Mazz on the radio.

        Lucic sets the tone for this team, trading him would be a huge mistake. There is a reason he was voted the toughest player to play against by his peers.

  4. ct14flyers - Jul 19, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    I wouldn’t trade Krejci at this point. This core (Chara, Bergeron, Lucic, Seguin, Krecji, Marchand) is as good as any in hockey and Rask will develop into a beast. Plus this team is mean and nasty, which is awesome. I like this team to win a couple of Stanley Cups over the next ten years.

    • homelanddefense - Jul 20, 2012 at 10:14 AM

      I would trade Krejci in a heartbeat for Ryan. Krejci is realistically a 2nd line center (a very good one) that doesnt really score. Ryan will be a top line goal scorer and on your #1 PP unit.

      Its not like you are trading Krejci for nothing.

  5. cloudniner9 - Jul 19, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    No need to worry this team will contend and be an elite team for years to come, with the strength of their core and the depth in their system there will be plenty of stanley cups for all of us to enjoy.
    Welcome to Bruins nation

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