There have been many words used to describe the offseason for the Boston Bruins, and most of them haven’t been all that complimentary. Some like NBC analyst Pierre McGuire called it a “pedestrian” effort in terms of improving the roster, and others have simply labeled it as incomplete with it feeling like there’s another big move to be made.
But now the offseason grades are out for the Score’s hockey blog, and the Boston Bruins were given the worst grade among the Atlantic Division teams: D+. The Tampa Bay Lightning were given a “C” as they try to navigate through major salary cap issues after winning the Cup, and the Panthers were given a C- that’s at least in part due to some major turnover in their management group.
But the biggest concern is about a Bruins team that “feels as though the perennial powerhouse has taken a step backward for the first time in years after the Bruins‘ rather lackluster offseason.” Ouch, but they are certainly not wrong.
The Bruins made a nice free agent depth signing in Craig Smith for reasonable dollars, and they re-signed Kevan Miller, Matt Grzelcyk and Jake DeBrusk while setting up prospect Jakub Zboril for his first real audition with the NHL club. But they lost Torey Krug in free agency, have Zdeno Chara in free agent limbo and look like they are going to be in store for some immediate problems with an aging core group of players next season.
In other words, the grade kind of fits what’s happened with the Bruins unless GM Don Sweeney has some kind of rabbit to still pull out of his hat prior to the 2020-21 regular season. Now on to the links:
*Inspiring story about Philadelphia Flyers prospect Zayde Wisdom and his trajectory from an impoverished upbringing to being a Flyers draft pick that’s just a couple of steps away from being an NHL player. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
*Austin Watson is looking for a fresh start with a new team in the Ottawa Senators after issues both on and off the ice over the last few seasons with the Nashville Predators. There’s something to be said for second chances and Ottawa has been a place where a number of other NHL players have had luck with that. (Ottawa Sun)
*Oh. My. God. We’ve found the Bruins guy standing behind Marty Walsh from that press conference back in March.
— Rob “Bruins Guy” Mahoney (@rebelrocker1971) November 29, 2020
*Straight from GM Kyle Dubas’ mouth, the Maple Leafs’ young core group need to “sacrifice a little bit more” for the Leafs to have success in the playoffs. He’s sure isn’t wrong. (The Score)
*FOH (Friend of Haggs) Dan Kingerski recruits a Hall of Famer to opine on whether or not the Pittsburgh Penguins are in danger of getting bullied next season. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
*An update on the top free agents still available on the open market, with Mikael Granlund looking like the consolation prize for whichever interested teams lose out on Mike Hoffman. Could Granlund be somebody that’s on the radar for the Boston Bruins? (Sportsnet)
*For something completely different: RIP to David Prowse, the massive, big-hearted English actor that was inside the Darth Vader suit for the first three Star Wars movies. (Screen Rant)