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It’s Boston Bruins day on PHT

Aug 6, 2013, 8:15 AM EDT

2013 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team?  The Eastern Conference champion Boston Bruins.

The Boston Bruins came as close as you can to winning the Stanley Cup without doing so. They were moments away from winning Game 6 against Chicago but gave up two goals 17 seconds apart with about a minute to go and saw their dreams dashed on their own ice.

Now they’re heading into next season with a drastically different team and the same lofty level of expectations of winning another Stanley Cup. It’s never not boring in Boston.

Offseason recap

What didn’t happen to the Bruins this summer? They sent apparent party boy Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverley to Dallas for Loui Eriksson. They watched Nathan Horton (Columbus), Jaromir Jagr (New Jersey), Andrew Ference (Edmonton), and Anton Khudobin (Carolina) all walk away in free agency.

Their lone signing in free agency didn’t come without drama as they signed the guy who turned down a trade to go there last season in Jarome Iginla. That makes for an awkward return to Boston, especially after the Bruins knocked out the team he did opt to go to (Pittsburgh) in the Eastern Conference finals.

Two areas they didn’t tweak were ones they’re all set at. Losing Ference may hurt them on defense, but guys like Dougie Hamilton, Matt Bartkowski, and Torey Krug are ready to tackle big minutes regularly.  Tuukka Rask was snubbed for a Vezina Trophy finalist spot but proved he’s the man in goal. They’ll have healthy competition to see who backs him up between Niklas Svedberg and Chad Johnson.

Next season will hinge on how the virtual new set of forwards works out. Coach Claude Julien’s ability to get his team on the same page will be more than tested.


Introducing: PHT’s ‘Team of the Day’ summer series

  1. tuuuuuuukka - Aug 6, 2013 at 8:26 AM

    It’s never not boring in Boston? So … it’s always boring in Boston? Booooo

  2. stepanup - Aug 6, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    The roster changes aren’t going to affect the standings. They’re still elite. I love the Eriksson trade, mostly because I think Eriksson is vastly underrated, and it didn’t seem like Seguin was ever going to pan out in Boston. I wonder if Leaf’s fans will be the ones chanting ‘Thank you Kessel’ now when the B’s play the Leafs.

    Iginla probably is not a 6 million dollar man at this point, but I understand the move. The Bruins had cap space and want to win while they’re still in Chara’s window. That said, I dont know when the window will really be closing for Boston with the new wave of young defensemen coming through. Their forwards are also younger than you’d think. Things are set up well for the spoked B.

    • nhbsfan - Aug 6, 2013 at 9:47 AM

      The $6 million for Iginla is not what it seems though. It’s a contract that allows up to $6 million if he hits all the performance levels in the contract. From the PHT article when the Bruin’s signed him…

      Base salary: $1.8 million
      Games played bonus: $3.7 million
      Goal-scoring/team playoff performance: $500K

      The cap hit this year is only $1.8 million and if he ends up getting the full $6 million, the remaining $3.75 million will hit the cap next year when the cap likely goes up.

      Just wanted to clarify because it’s not quite the same as the contract just being a straight $6 million.

    • joey4id - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:27 PM

      Hmm! I don’t know that they have an elite D core. However, they do have great potential at that position, and that potential has to be developed. It takes years to become an elite top notch D man in the NHL. I mean play big minutes with very few mistakes with respect puck management, making the first pass out of the D zone, positional play in all three zones, let alone the all difficult D zone. Adjusting to the full 82 game schedule will take time. We’ll see… Certainly the Bs team D play will help these newbies adjust. And! I think Iginla and Eriksson are equal replacements for Horton and Seguin on paper. Not so much on the ice when the puck drops in Oct, but, they’ll have 82 games or so (minus injuries) to adjust to a new system, city and teammates. We’ll see.

      • stepanup - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        Yeah, I never said they have an elite D-corps in particular. However they are deep up front, have youth coming in at all positions, are very solid in net. Classic case of sum is better than its parts.

  3. jcmeyer10 - Aug 6, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    Usually when a team let’s a bunch of solid vets walk it’s a bad thing but the young Dmen proved themselves in a trial by fire.

    Krug practically carried the B’s past the Rangers. When the best Dman prospect is a healthy scratch due to the other young bucks playing too well, you have a good problem. I think a full season of the young Dmen playing will only strengthen a back line that will eventually have to replace Chara and Sides (not this year mind you but you gotta have a plan).

    Loui Loui is vastly underrated (stepanup is right). Participated in fantasy hockey and was shocked that kid didn’t get a lot more love. As a 70 point guy he has been more consistent than Seguin and is more of a grinder. I know goals are fun but points are points and as long as someone is finishing, who cares who gets the assist or goal. The prospects they got back could make a huge difference in a few years.

    Overall, if this team gels, they could find themselves in the same place with a different crew. I do not expect them to come storming out the gate but with a full 82 games this year, there is time to find themselves without ruining a chance at home ice in the first round.

    Go B’s.

  4. letsgopens8771 - Aug 6, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    The Bruins gave away guys like Oprah gives away iPads and money this offseason! Wow! Although, I still don’t think any less of them. They are still a strong team and a serious cup Contender.

    • ethanmacleod1685 - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      Remember the Joe Thornton trade? That was pretty big

  5. flydommo - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:01 AM

    The Bruins will again be contenders this coming season in my view.
    Loui Eriksson is a team guy with excellent overall skills and should fit in very well. Iggy isn’t as strong as he used to be but he can still fill out a second line winger role and brings great leadership plus the type of physicality you’d expect from the Bruins. They have a number of great two-way Forwards and there have only been smaller changes keeping the structure of this roster intact,
    The B’s depth at the blueline is impressive and Tuukka Rask is an elite netminder. I think defensively they are the best team in the league right now. I expect Krug to play a bigger role this season, especially on the PP while Chara and Seids will remain their top shutdown defense pairing.
    Barring injuries, they will at least make the Conference Finals in 2014. This is from a Flyers fan, by the way.

  6. dolanster - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    The simple math is Eriksson is likely to be better than Seguin, and Iggy is likely to be better than Jagr. The one hole is who is a viable third-line winger to skate alongside Kelly and Soderberg (and please don’t say Caron). Maybe Paille moves up and someone new joins Merlot? If someone is able to step up into that last forward roster spot, and the key guys stay healthy, this team is as strong or stronger than they were last season. With the starter experience under his belt, Rask is going to be more mature and better — and still has something to prove. I like it. Go B’s!

  7. dolanster - Aug 6, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Also, really hoping they let Chad Johnson wear #85.

  8. BurkieInBoston - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    From what I’ve read, Reilly Smith sounds like favorite to play on 3rd line w/Kelly & Soderberg, or on 4th line if they play Paille on 3rd line. I think he has more to offer than any of the other candidates: Fraser, Nick Johnson, Caron, Spooner, Camper, Cunningham, & Knight.

    • dolanster - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      Caron just looked awful during his brief appearances last year. Not great speed, not great hands, and weak on the puck. No battle. He just looked like what he was — a guy playing up a league and out of his class. I’d vote for anyone but him at this point.*

      * except Pandolfo

  9. nhstateline - Aug 6, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Let’s see what the first three months are like and where they are at the end of that. The added pieces but a lot of this team is going to get an off-season of 78 days or so. That’s not much and there were all those intense playoff games. Those add up.

    I think all they have to do is play around .500 in the first couple of months and then get it in gear for the rest of the season. This is the question to me: can they keep it together enough in the first half to not get absolutely buried. If they can do that then this team has a shot to win the whole thing. If they can’t that’s mostly because these are people and people get tired.

  10. The Hockey Fan - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    I thought cap geek said you get 4.8 mil in bonuses that don’t count against the cap at all.

    • bstnstrong - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:47 PM

      Where did it say that? All performance bonus count towards the cap not signing bonus.

    • bstnstrong - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:23 PM

      They still count you just get a cushion, via Capgeek The performance bonus cushion allows teams to exceed the upper limit with performance bonuses to a maximum of 7.5 percent of the upper limit.
      For example, if the upper limit is $64,300,000, teams can exceed it by $4,822,500 in performance bonuses. Any performances bonuses in excess of that total do not fall into the cushion and are counted as part of the team’s cap payroll.

  11. bstnstrong - Aug 6, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    Signing bonuses are capped at 10 percent of the player’s salary

  12. bstnstrong - Aug 6, 2013 at 2:13 PM

    Yes you’re right you can exceed over the cap by 7.5 percent according to capgeek.

  13. bruinsfan1953 - Aug 6, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    What has Joe Thorton won lately ?

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