While many Boston Bruins fans are still hung up on the Bruce Cassidy firing or understandably grousing about a dysfunctional player development system that’s missed on a lot of draft picks over the last five plus years, it’s also always important to gauge outside perspectives when it comes to the Black and Gold.
The passion of the hockey fan can turn things hyper-critical when it’s not always as bad as it seems, but that being said the Boston Bruins are also coming off a season where they were first round playoff victims, even if they pushed a strong Carolina Hurricanes team to a Game 7 scenario. There’s also the undeniable fact that the Bruins are up against the salary cap ceiling with Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney trying to figure out ways to move out contracts like Mike Reilly and Nick Foligno that simply haven’t worked out the way Boston hoped they would.
The bottom line, though, with this Boston Bruins team is that they still look like they will be playoff caliber in an improved Atlantic Division, and that Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci returning will make then an infinitely better, more entertaining hockey team capable of at least a shot at greatness eight months down the road.
Old friend Shawn Thornton works for the Florida Panthers as Chief Revenue Officer these days, but even he recognized what Boston Bruins have staring right in front of them as the last bastion of the 2011 Stanley Cup team gathers together for one last run.
“That core has been together for a long time,” said Thornton, while a guest on with WEEI’s Gresh and Keefe during the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon last week, “I think this town has been pretty fortunate about that core being able to stay together. They’ve brought in some ancillary pieces around them, some really good ones like Pasta [David Pastrnak] and some other guys.”
“For them to come back another year, the town should be excited. You don’t have that run forever. It doesn’t last for 20 or 30 years, so we should probably embrace what’s going on this year. Who knows how long they’re going to be around?”
Panthers exec and former Bruin Shawn Thornton (@ThorntonFDN) joined the show today as part of the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon and shed some light on the infamous incident involving rapper Kodak Black at a Panthers/Coyotes game this season… pic.twitter.com/5xihXd1IxI
— Gresh & Keefe (@GreshKeefe) August 23, 2022
So while Boston Bruins fans will be, perhaps understandably, hung up on what they don’t have or anxiety-ridden about David Pastrnak’s future entering the last year of his current contract, perhaps it’s time to take a breath and realize that longtime B’s mainstays like Bergeron, Krejci and Marchand aren’t going to be around forever, just as we’ve seen with B’s pillars like Zdeno Chara, Kevan Miller and Tuukka Rask moving on in recent years.
It may be a lot worse a couple of years down the road unless the Boston Bruins begin finding young replacements for these players that are gearing up again this season and doing it at a reduced rate to make certain the team is a competitive one again this season.