The season may be over for the Boston Bruins, but the evaluation period and offseason is under way for president Cam Neely and the front office. This offseason, the Bruins will be taking a hard look at their roster. And with seven free agents, re-assessing is critical to making decisions on who comes back and who does not.
“We have to really be honest with ourselves in assessing our team and assessing our players in the organization,” Cam Neely said. “See where we’re going to – where we think we really are going to be. I mean, if we have to be as honest – as brutally honest as possible about where we think we’re going to be in the next couple years and we have to react accordingly to that.”
One area on the roster that management will have a look at is the core group, as many of them are showing signs of wear and tear and have contracts winding down. Players like Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and Tuukka Rask are all near 35. Neely said that this factor may have an effect on short-term decisions when it comes to resigning these players.
“We’ve got some guys that have played a lot of good hockey for us, a lot of years for us,” Neely said. “Their careers are somewhat winding down and we have to really take a hard look at where we are as an organization. Can we compete for a Stanley Cup and if we can, what do we have to do to our roster to do that?”
For a team to compete for a Stanley Cup, they have to show physicality and have size. Neely said that was an area where he felt the Bruins lacked during their playoff run.
Going forward, Cam Neely said that he hopes to see if someone will step up and that it was definitely something he and management have been talking about since Boston’s run came to an end against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
“I think internally we have to see if someone can make the next step like a [Trent] Frederic for example if he can play on a regular basis in our lineup,” Neely said. “[Nick] Ritchie I think was the add that we thought was going to be helpful in the forward group that added some size, but unfortunately we didn’t really get as many reps with him as we would have liked. But it’s something we’re certainly talking about since we’ve left the bubble of what does our roster makeup need to look like moving forward.”