How have the Boston Bruins done this offseason?
The grades are actually pretty decent across the board despite losing their No. 2 center David Krejci without adequately replacing the loss, which could have significant implications to the team offense. Most of the positive grades center around the Bruins retaining Taylor Hall with a pretty reasonable contract, as well as their ability to re-sign Mike Reilly and add depth with Nick Foligno, Derek Forbort, Erik Haula and Tomas Nosek.
Certainly, securing Linus Ullmark, with Tuukka Rask’s future very much in question, was another important piece as well given the long list of things that Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney had to accomplish this summer. Still, the idea that the Bruins are looking at either Charlie Coyle or Jack Studnicka to replace Krejci as the No. 2 center this season means the B’s will continue to be looking at a top-heavy forward group where the Perfection Line is shouldering much of the offensive load. Perhaps Hall can drive that second line, but that’s asking a lot for a left wing that’s still fully getting his game back together after looking lost in Buffalo.
And we’re also talking about players like Forbort, Matt Grzelcyk, Mike Reilly and Jakub Zboril not exactly being the left-handed compliment to Charlie McAvoy that they really need on their top defense pairing. Sure, Forbort should be a stopper-type with McAvoy as Jeremy Lauzon was last season and Grzelcyk can be a great puck-moving compliment to McAvoy when the Boston Bruins are really looking to attack offensively.
But this humble hockey writer might have been closer to a C+ for the offseason rather than the B+ given to the Bruins by FOH (Friend of Haggs) Greg Wyshynski in his ESPN grades for the NHL offseason. It’s absolutely within the realm of possibility that all of these moves work out for the Boston Bruins, and they become a difficult, deeper hockey team to play against.
But it’s also tough to see the Bruins being any closer to the Tampa Bay Lightning despite significant roster losses to the back-to-back Stanley Cup champs this summer due to the salary cap finally catching up to them.
Now on to the BHN Puck Links:
*Flyers goaltender Carter Hart isn’t making any excuses for last season, but he’s excited for a “clean slate” after signing a new contract with Philly. (Philly Hockey Now)
*A rundown of who is signed, and who is still out there, for the former Pittsburgh Penguins players that hit free agency this summer. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
*Here’s the breakdown from FOH Kevin Allen on the three-year contract freshly signed by Jakub Vrana on Tuesday. (Detroit Hockey Now)
*How do the San Jose Sharks suddenly have a top-5 prospect pool around the NHL? (San Jose Hockey Now)
*Congratulations to Bruce Cassidy on being named a part of the Team Canada coaching staff for the 2022 Winter Olympic Games in Beijing, China. It’s a well-deserved honor for the Boston Bruins bench boss that he badly wanted. (Boston Hockey Now)
*Speaking of the Boston Bruins, the numbers are in for the new players.
Get your numbers here. pic.twitter.com/17aZYo0svk
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) August 10, 2021
*The road ahead for Evander Kane is going to be a rocky one given the allegations and investigation that he’s facing. (Hockey News)
*Are Ken Holland the Edmonton Oilers getting love from the fancy stats community for their offseason? It sounds like they are, but not sure what that is going to get them aside from a pat on the back from Hockey Twitter. (Edmonton Journal)
*Ethan Bear sure seems like a class act to me. Well done!
Ethan Bear is a class act! What a gem ! pic.twitter.com/s7TQueOrpg
— Diego (@Diego_PRBarros) August 9, 2021
*For something completely different: Another day, another negative MCU review from Forbes from their content guy clamoring for SEO. Sigh. (Forbes)