The Boston Bruins are the defending Stanley Cup Champions, and really don’t have to do much this NHL offseason to improve their team. They have the best goaltender in the league, one of the best defenses and fairly prolific offense. However, the Bruins have undergone some minor turnover this offseason. Let’s take a look at the moves the Bruins have made and what to watch for…
Out With the Old…
The Bruins have lost two players this off season, Tomas Kaberle and Michael Ryder. Ryder was a key part of the series against Montreal early on, but over his three year tenure in Boston he was viewed as a disappointment. Ryder signed with Boston after he was let go by Montreal, and he had a fabulous first season in 2008-2009. It was all downhill from there, as he was benched at times last season. He was signed by the Dallas Stars on the first day of NHL free agency.
Tomas Kaberle was acquired by the Bruins on the trade deadline of 2011. He was shipped over from Toronto for two draft picks and prospect Joe Colborne. Kaberle had a good first few games on that seven game road trip that swung out to west Canada, but for the most time he struggled and became a whipping boy for Boston fans. He signed with the Carolina Hurricanes this off season.
In With the New…
On the first day of NHL free agency the Bruins signed former Montreal Canadiens forward Benoit Pouliot. Pouliot has a chance of potentially being a fourth line player and filling the former role of Steve Begin from two years ago. Pouliot was the #4 overall pick by the Canadiens in the 2004 draft and he never seemed to pan out. The Bruins are hoping he can be a grinder and get a few goals, but their expectations are low.
Joe Corvo comes in as the puck moving defenseman that the Bruins have always wanted. A little bit older, Corvo’s best days might be behind him but he is capable of creating offensive plays. He will play on the other point on power plays with Zdeno Chara, which the Bruins hope can create a new dynamic on the man advantage.
What To Watch For…
The Bruins’ roster seems set heading into training camp next month. Here are the possible line combinations:
Nathan Horton- David Krejci- Milan Lucic
Brad Marchand- Patrice Bergeron- Tyler Seguin
Rich Peverley- Chris Kelly- Daniel Paille
Shawn Thornton- Gregory Campbell- Benoit Pouliot
Zdeno Chara- Dennis Seidenberg
Joe Corvo- Johnny Boychuk
Adam McQuaid- Andrew Ference
During training camp, watch out for players like Jamie Arniel and Jordan Caron. Either one of them could make the NHL roster and will be competing with Pouliot. Also watch to see what the power play does during the early preseason to see how Joe Corvo fares with Zdeno Chara. Also, how will Marchand and Bergeron adjust to playing without Mark Recchi on that line? Does Tyler Seguin take the next step? As we inch closer to NHL season, things are getting interesting.