The Boston Bruins can claim they are still in win-now mode all they want, but the fact remains the post-Patrice Bergeron era has begun, and like it or not, a transition period has begun.
That transition has been evident in the first week of training camp as the roster is littered with new veteran faces and plenty of youngsters, with many still possessing legit chances to make the 2023-24 Boston Bruins roster. Armed with the likely knowledge that he would lose Patrice Bergeron and longtime center David Krejci and being forced to trade wingers Taylor Hall and Nick Foligno due to salary cap constraints, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney went bargain shopping in NHL free agency and on the NHL trade market.
Sweeney acquired Ian Mitchell, Alec Regula, and Reilly Walsh on the NHL trade market. He then signed Jesper Boqvist, Patrick Brown, Morgan Geekie, Milan Lucic, Jayson Megna, Anthony Richard, Kevin Shattenkirk, and James van Riemsdyk. Sweeney also signed forwards Alex Chiasson and Danton Heinen to professional tryouts.
Prospects Mason Lohrei, Fabian Lysell, Georgii Merkulov, Matthew Poitras, Brett Harrison, and Johnny Beecher have all been giving legit shots to steal a roster surprise.
According to the NHL insiders at ESPN, any assortment of the players listed above will still lead to the expected down years ahead for the Boston Bruins. The folks at ESPN even think the Bruins have a bleaker future than perennial bottom dwellers, the Arizona Coyotes, ranking the Bruins 24th and the Coyotes 23rd.
Here’s an explanation of how the teams were ranked and the final tally.
These rankings consider how teams are set up for success this season as well as the next three seasons. We had a panel of writers and editors rate each team in four categories — roster (with an emphasis on players 26 and under); prospects, cap situation, and contracts; and front office, ownership, and coaching — using this scale:
- 100: A+ (elite)
- 90: A (great)
- 80: B (very good)
- 70: C (average)
- 60: D (very bad)
- 50: F (disastrous)
After averaging the results from the panelists, each of the four categories was weighted to create the overall score: roster (35%), prospects (25%), cap/contracts (20%), and owner/GM/coach (20%). The result is a comprehensive ranking based on how well each team is positioned for the future, plus insights on every team from Ryan S. Clark, Kristen Shilton, and Greg Wyshynski.
#32 Calgary Flames
#31 Vancouver Canucks 😳
#30 New York Islanders
#29 San Jose Sharks
#28 Washington Capitals
#27 Montreal Canadiens
#26 St. Louis Blues
#25 Philadelphia Flyers
#24 Boston Bruins
#23 Arizona Coyotes
— Nathan "Grav" (@NathanGraviteh) September 26, 2023