Bruins Offseason Thread

burstnbloom

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Kind of a PITA player. He's big? probably Kuraly replacement

Is Haula the fourth line C or 3rd line LW? I don't really understand.
 

NYCSox

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I don't know if I like the cap number, but signing a PKer/3rd liner at ES tells me they're possible done with DeBrusk... using him as trade bait to get a top-4 defenseman would make me a pretty happy camper all told.
So working off this post what about something along the lines of Jake and Gryz for Ekholm? He's the Preds oldest player and a pending UFA. They are likely not a competitive team this season. Maybe have to include a pick as well (second/third) but the Bruins need a true LD1 to have some success in the playoffs. And the Preds have cap space to work with.

The other thought and this comes into play if Krejci doesn't come back, Jake, Gryz and Wagner (no pick) for Ekholm, Johansen (younger and less onerous of two awful deals) and Kunin along with some combination of salary retention by Preds and/or third team laundering? Johansen plays 2C and Kunin 3RW with Haula and Coyle.
 

cshea

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Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak
Hall - XXX - Smith
Haula - Coyle - DeBrusk
Frederic - Lazar - Nosek
Kuhlman, Blidh

Grzelyck - McAvoy
Reilly - Carlo
Forbort - Clifton
Zboril - Moore

Swayman
Vladar

I think they are probably done, but we'll see.

~$8.3 million in cap space left for Krejci and any other moves. This factors in $1.675 million for a Swayman/Vladar duo in net. $5 million-ish for Krejci and they enter the year with $3 million or so in cap space. Can tinker a bit with the depth guys like Blidh and Kuhlman being waived. Some of the cap space will likely be taken by Rask at some point. The rest will accrue as the year goes by, hopefully they have something to work with at the deadline again.

I would've liked more, but I also don't think they've missed the boat on anything significant. Any moves at this point of the off season likely requires money going out.
 

ColdSoxPack

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Per the Globe 2 hours ago. Seriously? I hope he got his Nick's wrong.


• After looking at other bottom-six winger options, the Bruins brought back Nick Ritchie, according to the Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont via a league source. Terms of the deal were immediately unclear. A restricted free agent, Ritchie was due a qualifying offer of $2 million. The Bruins balked at that, but Ritchie and agent Patrick Morris found common ground.
 

Scoops Bolling

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Per the Globe 2 hours ago. Seriously? I hope he got his Nick's wrong.


• After looking at other bottom-six winger options, the Bruins brought back Nick Ritchie, according to the Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont via a league source. Terms of the deal were immediately unclear. A restricted free agent, Ritchie was due a qualifying offer of $2 million. The Bruins balked at that, but Ritchie and agent Patrick Morris found common ground.
Considering the source, I'd be far from surprised. Assuming the Foligno news is accurate, my best guess:

Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak
Hall - Krejci - Smith
DeBrusk - Haula - Coyle
Foligno - Nosek - Lazar
Kuhlman, Blidh

Grzelyck - McAvoy
Reilly - Carlo
Forbort - Clifton
Zboril - Moore

Swayman
Vladar

If anyone would bite, I'd certainly love to see DeBrusk and Clifton packaged for an upgrade (or DeBrusk and Grzy). But that forward group is really fucking deep.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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I think the other thing that might be happening is going into the season with Swayman and Vladar, no safety net until Rask is back, and that’s assuming he comes back.
 

veritas

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So working off this post what about something along the lines of Jake and Gryz for Ekholm? He's the Preds oldest player and a pending UFA. They are likely not a competitive team this season. Maybe have to include a pick as well (second/third) but the Bruins need a true LD1 to have some success in the playoffs. And the Preds have cap space to work with.
I wouldn't trade Grz for Ekholm straight up...
 

cshea

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Trades pretty much have to happen. They were at $10 million in cap space before Foligno, Ullmark and Krejci. Foligno is reportedly upper $3's. so calling it $4 million leaves them with $6 million which won't fit both Krejci and Ullmark.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Trades pretty much have to happen. They were at $10 million in cap space before Foligno, Ullmark and Krejci. Foligno is reportedly upper $3's. so calling it $4 million leaves them with $6 million which won't fit both Krejci and Ullmark.
Which is why I'm scared that Krejci is gone. None of the players on the roster are good enough to middle the second line.
 

Salem's Lot

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Trades pretty much have to happen. They were at $10 million in cap space before Foligno, Ullmark and Krejci. Foligno is reportedly upper $3's. so calling it $4 million leaves them with $6 million which won't fit both Krejci and Ullmark.
With Ullmark coming in at $5 million and $4 for Foligno, DeBrusk has to be traded for futures.
 

IdiotKicker

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I want to believe this means Coyle DeBrusk a goalie and a bunch of picks going out for Eichel. I know it probably doesn’t, but I’m gonna believe.
 

lexrageorge

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Which is why I'm scared that Krejci is gone. None of the players on the roster are good enough to middle the second line.
Krejci was already confirmed as returning. I doubt anything has changed on that front. They will slot his salary in once all the other moves are done.
 

cshea

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Dizzying series of events here, but Cap Friendly has us at $4.8 million in space not counting Krejci, Foligno or a backup G.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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They are too cavalier with middling outside free agents in the times they have ventured out on the market. I realize that is the cost of bringing in outside players but the track record is poor.

If this is setting up a trade or trades I’ll be happier as the track record is much better there.
 

Scoops Bolling

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They don't need to sign Tuukka. He's a UFA, and if he's only going to play in Boston, they can wait until January, ship Vladar to someone, and then open space for a prorated Rask deal. Unless they're worried about him signing elsewhere, they have no reason to sign him until he's healthy.
 

cshea

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Cap Friendly has the B’s with $1 million in cap space after today’s moves.

Obviously need to move money to facilitate Krejci if/when that happens.
 

McDrew

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I think the B's could arguably have won day 1 of free agency. They got a a top G FA, and multiple depth pieces while there was still a good selection/market for depth pieces. Yes, they have the obvious Jake Debrusk/Top 4 D trade to make, but I think they've put themselves into a more complete position that a lot of other teams in their division.
 

Salem's Lot

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I think the B's could arguably have won day 1 of free agency. They got a a top G FA, and multiple depth pieces while there was still a good selection/market for depth pieces. Yes, they have the obvious Jake Debrusk/Top 4 D trade to make, but I think they've put themselves into a more complete position that a lot of other teams in their division.
They don’t have the cap space to trade DeBrusk for a top 4 defenseman unless they want Coyle to be the #2 center.
 

McDrew

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That didn't stop Tampa Bay last year.

Edit: I'm not necessarily saying LTIR, but some combination of retention and draft picks could probably make it a lot more feasible than it seems at face value.
 

PedroSpecialK

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All things considered, I like the direction with these FA signings. I'm still left wanting more from the defense, but it's at least a better overall group we're seeing on the blueline.

Forwards

In: $7.925m
  • Foligno ($3.8m AAV)
  • Haula ($2.375m AAV)
  • Nosek ($1.75m AAV)

Out: $5.374m
  • Kuraly ($1.275m AAV, signed for $2.5m AAV)
  • Ritchie ($1.499m AAV, unsigned)
  • Kase ($2.6m AAV, unsigned)
  • Likely, but not counted above: DeBrusk, $3.625m

None of the moves stick out as particularly sexy, but neither was watching this at 5v5 last year:

Coyle - 51 GP, 5G, 8A, 51.3% oZS, 13:03 ATOI
Kuraly - 47 GP, 4G, 4A, 24% oZS, 12:08 ATOI
Ritchie - 56 GP, 10G, 4A, 62.2% oZS, 12:36 ATOI
DeBrusk - 41 GP, 3G, 8A, 57.8% oZS, 12:46 ATOI
Frederic - 42 GP, 4G, 1A, 41.8% oZS, 10:42 ATOI
Wagner - 41 GP, 2G, 3A, 25.1% oZS, 10:05 ATOI
Bjork - 30 GP, 2G, 3A, 42.1% oZS, 10:36 ATOI
Kuhlman - 20 GP, 2G, 0A, 54.2% oZS, 10:18 ATOI
Studnicka - 20 GP, 1G, 2A, 58.1% oZS, 11:08 ATOI

Total: 348 man-GP and about 4,074:20 of ES ice time - grand total of 33G, 33A, average of ~15 ES points (7.7G, 7.7A) in an 82 game season with 11:45 ATOI. Essentially, a season's worth of an entire bottom 6 of 4th liners

Obviously, not all those guys are gone, and the methodology is much less than perfect - but it's safe to assume the best performances out of what's left from the above group combined with what's coming in will be a much more effective bottom 6:

Foligno - 49 GP, 6G, 9A, 43% oZS, 14:08 ATOI
Nosek - 38 GP, 8G, 9A, 60% oZS, 11:33 ATOI
Haula - 51 GP, 6G, 10A, 43.8% oZS, 12:32 ATOI

Total: 138 GP and about 1,778 of ES ice time - total of 20 G, 28 A, average of over 29 ES points (11.9G, 17.3A) in an 82 game season with 12:53 ATOI. Basically, if the three new guys perform close to their historical norms and without even factoring in any kind of bounceback for Foligno, their bottom 6 output is up markedly, and they're arguably better defensively. Considering it's likely that Coyle bounces back as well as Foligno to some degree, IMO you're looking at a more-than-reasonable overall improvement in the bottom six, at a small increased investment in terms of AAV (net savings if DeBrusk is dealt).

Defense

This is where I'm a bit more underwhelmed by the sum of the B's moves. I'll start with the good:
  • They didn't trade for Duncan Keith
  • They didn't surrender two 2nd round picks for Brenden Dillon
  • They didn't give Codi Ceci 4 years, $3.25m or Tyson Barrie 3 years, $4.25m
  • They didn't give Goligoski a $5m cap hit
  • They re-signed Reilly for a below-market deal

I'm not that thrilled with the Forbort deal; it doesn't suck compared to other deals made today, but that's not really saying a whole lot on day 1 of UFA. Thinking of the opportunity cost with other UFA defensemen - we'll likely never know if Suter was realistic / wanted to play in Boston, or if the B's ever really considered him. Dougie, no thanks and it was never happening anyway. I wouldn't have minded a gamble on Nate Schmidt for a mid-round pick, and in the back of my mind I'm unrealistically hopeful they can turn DeBrusk / Studnicka / Moore / futures into some kind of quantity-over-quality package for Dunn. Not likely either.

In any event - I wish they could have used some of the available cap space to make Reilly - Carlo the third pairing. Didn't happen, Forbort / Clifton isn't the worst third pairing in hockey, but they'll need reinforcements (again) come deadline day if this is it for the blue line for now.

Goaltending

I like the targeting of Ullmark. The term and AAV are what you'd expect for a guy with league-average numbers behind a couple of the worst defensive rosters in the cap era. Getting a 3rd rounder back for Vladar instead of losing him to waivers is a win. Getting another guy like Grosenick makes sense as 3-4G.


Overall grade for today, I'd give them a solid B. Bottom six got a lot better, blue line improved but not significantly, the cap space was flexed but not necessarily locked up - there weren't many immovable contracts on the roster, and Sweeney didn't really add any today either that couldn't be sweetened with a pick to ship away if the need arose. End of the day, seems like Sweeney's job is riding on Ullmark being a .920+ guy outside of Buffalo, seems like a reasonable gamble to me.

edit: I should say, all of this is assuming they bring Krejci back on an incentive-laden deal with DeBrusk moved to clear space for him
 
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BigMike

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They don’t have the cap space to trade DeBrusk for a top 4 defenseman unless they want Coyle to be the #2 center.
Well they also are paying 3 defenseman around 10 million combined, so all 3 of them have to play.

The only way a deal for a defenseman makes sense is if you can find a way to turn Gryz and Debrusk, plus maybe other pieces into a legitimate top pairing LHD

Gryz can play the role in regular season, but hasn't been able to hold up to the postseason level. Especially when you want to shorten the bench a little and play your top pairing a bit more, and Gryz can't take the added load.

Anyway, still very much an incomplete for the team. I suspect Krejci will be back, but on the chance he isn't they simply don't have anyone who can legitimately replace him. I will admit, I am also not thrilled with the idea of paying Krejci on a bonus laden contract basically counting him against next year's cap. Last time the Bruins tried that, it blew up badly in their face, and basically cost Chiarelli his job.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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I seem to be the only one ringing this bell - so, speaks volumes unless it's in my 18% quota - but I remain nervous about Krejci. Even more so after the above quote.

Everyone seems to be assuming he'll be back and we'll trade Debrusk+ to free cap space. I'm concerned that the lack of cap space is an anticipatory move of Krejci retiring. Hes a 15 year vet, 36 years old, and has had his share of injuries. His personality type is also very laid back. I'm sure he loves hockey - youd have to in order to play it your while life - but him walking away wouldnt be the most shocking move in the world.

And with the roster as currently constructed, it would be a huge fucking blow to a championship run.

IF he were to not return - who plays 2C? They're paying Coyle a 2C salary, do they hope he returns to the form that earned him his contract? Is this why we heard they were heavily after Getslaf? Do they move Smith to C and try someone like Foligno at RW to create a solid 2way/grinder/high energy lineup?

Maybe this is it's own thread so I can have a panic attack for a few days before he signs.

What happens if Krejci retires?
 

cshea

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I listened to Sweeney's press conference and I couldn't really get a read on what's up with Krejci. There was way more clarity on Rask (we'll see when he's healthy), Said the doors open for a return for David, but also spent a lot of time talking about center by committee and how they wanted to add versatile guys into the lineup. Foligno and Haula can play C. Not too sure about Nosek.

I guess if Krejci does leave, then Coyle gets first dibs at 2C. Haula/Foligno at 3C. Studnicka with some sort of camp opportunity but unclear on how he would fit.

Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak
Hall - Coyle - Smith
Foligno - Haula - DeBrusk
Nosek - Frederic - Wagner
Lazar

Grzelyck - McAvoy
Reilly - Carlo
Forbort - Clifton
Zboril - Moore

Ullmark
Swayman

Edit: That roster of 23 with 13F, 8D and 2G would leave them with $1.69 million in cap space. It necessitates waiving Blidh and Kuhlman.
 
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veritas

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I think if Krejci retires they'd bump Coyle up and give Studnicka a sheltered role to start the season. Then acquire a C near the deadline for the playoffs.

I think a line with Hall and Smith on the wings is gonna be pretty dominant with any above average center between them. Maybe even throw Studnicka in the deep end to start the season. They're basically a lock to make the playoffs, they can take the first half of the season to see what exactly they have/need and adjust at the deadline. They should also be giving the vets maintenance days. There is no reason Bergeron, Krejci (or anyone) should play 82 games even if they're healthy.
 

BaseballJones

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So what's the general sense here? You know more about these signings than I do. Should I, as a slightly more than casual Bruins fan be pleased with these moves? Are they closer to a Cup than they were this past season?
 

burstnbloom

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I listened to Sweeney's press conference and I couldn't really get a read on what's up with Krejci. There was way more clarity on Rask (we'll see when he's healthy), Said the doors open for a return for David, but also spent a lot of time talking about center by committee and how they wanted to add versatile guys into the lineup. Foligno and Haula can play C. Not too sure about Nosek.

I guess if Krejci does leave, then Coyle gets first dibs at 2C. Haula/Foligno at 3C. Studnicka with some sort of camp opportunity but unclear on how he would fit.

Marchand - Bergeron - Pastrnak
Hall - Coyle - Smith
Foligno - Haula - DeBrusk
Nosek - Frederic - Wagner
Lazar

Grzelyck - McAvoy
Reilly - Carlo
Forbort - Clifton
Zboril - Moore

Ullmark
Swayman

Edit: That roster of 23 with 13F, 8D and 2G would leave them with $1.69 million in cap space. It necessitates waiving Blidh and Kuhlman.
I think this is right. Bergeron, Coyle, Haula, Nosek, Frederic and Lazar are "centers" an Foligno has also played center (poorly) before. They also have Studnicka, as you mentioned. Hall is such a play driver and Smith such a shooter that if Coyle is back to 40 point Coyle, he'd actually be ok. It's not a super deep deep down the middle with quality, but they could find a way to be successful.

So what's the general sense here? You know more about these signings than I do. Should I, as a slightly more than casual Bruins fan be pleased with these moves? Are they closer to a Cup than they were this past season?
I think the general sense is "this is incomplete?" The two largest issues with the team the last couple of years has been size on D and productive forward depth. I'm skeptical they have effectively solved the former (though I'm also less worried about that then the average bruins fan) but it seems like they've really solved the latter. Nosek is better than Kuraly and upgrades the fourth line. Foligno and Haula are significantly better players than Nick Ritchie and Kuhlman. 5 of their top 6 are elite compared to their peers around the league and if Krejci comes back, they have a top 6 that is as good as any of the contenders. I think their depth compares favorably as well.

This was a really good team last year and this version of it (with Krejci) is probably a tick better. The real question that needs to be answered is whether or not you believe a tick of improvement is enough to get them out of the second round. It remains to be seen.

For my perspective, my largest worry is that they aren't quite good enough and we settle into a long rebuild and waste the primes of a great defenseman and RW. They didn't solve that problem so far (nor do I know how they can?) but they also didn't REALLY hinder themselves from fixing it going forward. They have $21M in present cap space after this year with Bergeron, McAvoy and Debrusk needing new deals. I expect Debrusk will be gone and Bergeron and Mac will cost approx $12.5 to bring back. They would have a lot of options to move additional incremental dollars in a really big UFA market next summer. I think I'll take that. I was really worried they were going to sign too many bad contracts with their cap space and get them stuck. They didnt do that, so its a win for me.
 

durandal1707

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I'm not convinced this team is noticeably better than last year's squad, even assuming that Krejci returns. The biggest flaws of this team have been its lack of scoring depth and a defense corps full of specialists that are a liability at one end of the ice or the other.

Most of the acquisitions strike me as marginal upgrades. Bringing in Forbort and retaining Reilly feels like Miller and Krug redux - they still need a legit two-way top-pairing defenseman. Nosek, Haula, and Foligno should be better than Ritchie, Kuraly, and the revolving door AHL-callup winger but not demonstrably so.

Ullmark is a legit catch, though. I wholly approve of that deal, despite being a Swayman advocate. Far too many young goalies have started brilliantly and flamed out. This allows the Bs to find out what they really have with Swayman before committing to him.
 

leetinsley38

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It seems like Krejci would be a great candidate to add as a mid-season UFA (like Rask except without the surgery). Give the guy some time off to heal his body, rest, spend with his family, then ramp up for a few months and then unleash Playoff Krejci. Save the B's some cap space, give the younger guys an opportunity and chance to develop. The trust and relationship is there and been well earned between the two sides. Is that a horrible idea?
 

jezza1918

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Is them signing the likes of Forbert, Nosek, etc., and not just letting guys like Zboril, Vakk, Studnicka, etc get consistent playing time, indicative of the FO's lack of faith in their ability, desperation to 'win now' and don't trust them quite enough for that, or something else? Because my non-expert opinion is I'd much rather let our homegrown guys get on the ice regularly and see what we have than sign FAs to round out the bottom six forwards or last D pair.
 

cshea

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So what's the general sense here? You know more about these signings than I do. Should I, as a slightly more than casual Bruins fan be pleased with these moves? Are they closer to a Cup than they were this past season?
I don't think this question can be answered until we get an answer on Krrejci. If Krejci is back, they aren't done and will need to clear salary.

In total though, they revamped the bottom 6 which was has been a major problem since 2019. They have some more options here in terms of deployment. Foligno and Haula are versatile guys so they can be moved around a bit and Cassidy can use them in offensive and defensive situations. I'd argue both are better players than Nick Ritchie whose only real production came when he was net front on the 1st PP unit. He had no other value. Nosek's a pretty good scorer for a 4th liner, but he was also used more offensively in Vegas with 71% ozone starts. Cassidy has always burred the 4th line with dzone draws so we'll see if something gives. Nosek is much better offensively than Kuraly, though in Kuraly's defense he didn't have much of a chance.

A full year of Reilly will be good, he was great post-acquisition. Don't love Forbort. Probably a push with Lauzon but at least with Lauzon you have the "maybe he'll take a step forward this year" possibility since he's younger. Feels like they need to do more, but there also wasn't anything out there that I wish they did. I guess maybe the Nate Schmidt trade but he's a $5.9 million cap hit for 5 more years. Acquiring him precludes pretty much the rest of the acquisitions.

In goal they're probably about the same? Ullmark has put up very good numbers behind a really bad team. With the Bruins defensive system in front of him, he should be excellent. Swayman was obviously fantastic in a small sample last year and they're comfortable with him as the primary backup. To be honest, the most surprising move from yesterday, IMO, was the Vladar trade. I kind of figured they'd hold on to Vladar as long as they could and kick any decisions down the road. It would give them a little bit of a safety net if Swayman took a step back. They were obviously much more proactive than I thought.

We'll see how things shake out the rest of the way. The assumption is that if Krejci returns DeBrusk is gone so we can re-evaluate if that comes to fruition.
 

NYCSox

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Yeah good summation cshea. I'm still on board with Jake plus Gryz to get Ekholm but I get others may not place the same values.
 

Dummy Hoy

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It seems like Krejci would be a great candidate to add as a mid-season UFA (like Rask except without the surgery). Give the guy some time off to heal his body, rest, spend with his family, then ramp up for a few months and then unleash Playoff Krejci. Save the B's some cap space, give the younger guys an opportunity and chance to develop. The trust and relationship is there and been well earned between the two sides. Is that a horrible idea?
This is my feeling...I expect we'll see both Krech and Rask as mid season acquisitions for another kick at the can, but I'm way less tuned in than a lot of people around here.
 

Scoops Bolling

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It seems like Krejci would be a great candidate to add as a mid-season UFA (like Rask except without the surgery). Give the guy some time off to heal his body, rest, spend with his family, then ramp up for a few months and then unleash Playoff Krejci. Save the B's some cap space, give the younger guys an opportunity and chance to develop. The trust and relationship is there and been well earned between the two sides. Is that a horrible idea?
The bigger concern with Krecji is basically: is he done in the US. He's talked about wanting to go home to Czechia so his children learn the language and the culture while they're still young. I actually think that family discussion is what Sweeney was alluding to, as David and his wife and kids are probably still discussing the what/where/when of his post-NHL career.

Is them signing the likes of Forbert, Nosek, etc., and not just letting guys like Zboril, Vakk, Studnicka, etc get consistent playing time, indicative of the FO's lack of faith in their ability, desperation to 'win now' and don't trust them quite enough for that, or something else? Because my non-expert opinion is I'd much rather let our homegrown guys get on the ice regularly and see what we have than sign FAs to round out the bottom six forwards or last D pair.
Development in hockey is a bit different than other sports, in that getting more time at the AHL level can do a young player more good than a guy spending a bunch of time in AAA or a NBA guy spinning his wheels in the G-league. Vaak, Studnicka, and their other young guys who are eligible to go to Providence without waivers are better served getting lots of ice time in all situations than being forced into Bottom 6, last pairing roles that aren't necessarily what we even want out of them down the line. Given how bizarre the seasons have been the last two years, I don't really see a downside in letting those guys get back into a normal flow of things in an environment they succeed in so that they're ready to step into a bigger role in 2022-23 and beyond as some of these veterans start to trickle out. It'd be one thing if the last year+ had been normal and all those young guys had a chance to play normal seasons, but given how FUBAR it's been...it's probably not a bad thing for them.
 

burstnbloom

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I'm not convinced this team is noticeably better than last year's squad, even assuming that Krejci returns. The biggest flaws of this team have been its lack of scoring depth and a defense corps full of specialists that are a liability at one end of the ice or the other.

Most of the acquisitions strike me as marginal upgrades. Bringing in Forbort and retaining Reilly feels like Miller and Krug redux - they still need a legit two-way top-pairing defenseman. Nosek, Haula, and Foligno should be better than Ritchie, Kuraly, and the revolving door AHL-callup winger but not demonstrably so.

Ullmark is a legit catch, though. I wholly approve of that deal, despite being a Swayman advocate. Far too many young goalies have started brilliantly and flamed out. This allows the Bs to find out what they really have with Swayman before committing to him.
I don't think this is wrong necessarily. Going into the playoffs, the bruins were a legitimate cup contender. It felt unlikely they'd beat Tampa but they were better than anyone in the east. Post acquisition they were one of the top 2-3 best teams in hockey. they dominated possession, got a ton of high danger chances and limited those chances for their opponents. The narrative that the D corp is a liablity at end of the other isn't really true unless you count Carlo in the oZone (and now Forbert, I guess). The rest of the group was pretty successful on both ends and remained so in the playoffs. Some crazy shit happened against the Islanders. they gave up 4+ Goals more than expected on the power play and Carlo got hurt. Sometimes weird things happen in the playoffs.

I felt that the real issue with the team was their secondary scoring and puck possession by the bottom 2 lines. Carlo and Lazar's lines gave up an insane amount of goals to the Islanders and were the difference in the series. These upgrades will likely solve that or help anyway. The d, in my mind, is roughly the same but they were one of the best defensive teams in hockey so that doesn't stress me that much. I would love a stud LHD 2 way D, I just didn't feel like that was really out there for them this year. I think people will feel about these upgrades how they felt about the team last year and how they diagnosed why they lost to the islanders. To me it was the bottom 6 and some bad injury/puck luck. They overhauled the bottom six so I'm good. As long as Krejci comes back.
 

burstnbloom

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SoSH Member
Jul 12, 2005
2,192
The bigger concern with Krecji is basically: is he done in the US. He's talked about wanting to go home to Czechia so his children learn the language and the culture while they're still young. I actually think that family discussion is what Sweeney was alluding to, as David and his wife and kids are probably still discussing the what/where/when of his post-NHL career.


Development in hockey is a bit different than other sports, in that getting more time at the AHL level can do a young player more good than a guy spending a bunch of time in AAA or a NBA guy spinning his wheels in the G-league. Vaak, Studnicka, and their other young guys who are eligible to go to Providence without waivers are better served getting lots of ice time in all situations than being forced into Bottom 6, last pairing roles that aren't necessarily what we even want out of them down the line. Given how bizarre the seasons have been the last two years, I don't really see a downside in letting those guys get back into a normal flow of things in an environment they succeed in so that they're ready to step into a bigger role in 2022-23 and beyond as some of these veterans start to trickle out. It'd be one thing if the last year+ had been normal and all those young guys had a chance to play normal seasons, but given how FUBAR it's been...it's probably not a bad thing for them.
This is a really good point.
 

5dice

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SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2001
633
Out of town
The bottom 6 thing is important. Comparing some of the 3rd and 4th liners we saw from the Caps (Hathaway, Dowd, etc...) and Isles (Cizikas line), I felt jealous that Bruins had nothing like that in terms of nastiness or talent.