The summer offers a lot of things, but despite the number of pools I swim in, bottles of Aloe Vera I purchase, cheeseburgers and slushes I eat, there is still a void, an emptiness, because there is no hockey to be watched.
Fourth of July weekend is one of my favorite times of the year. There’s beach bashes, awkward tan lines (or burn lines if you are Irish like me), barbeques, ice cold beer and fireworks. But this year’s holiday weekend was pretty gut-wrenching for Bruins Nation. After a frenzy of media notifications, internet searches and panicky text messages, we learned that Andrew Ference (our on- and off-ice leader) would not be returning to the locker room next year, Anton Khudobin was becoming a Hurricane, our real life “Bash Brother” Nathan Horton was exploring other options, and the encore (drum roll please)… Peverly and Seguin were being traded to the Dallas Stars. No amount of Coors Lights or BBQ fare could cure that harsh reality. But as they say, “every cloud has a silver lining,” “it ain’t over till it’s over,” “all that glitters is gold” or something like that. But no matter how many cheesy Bed, Bath and Beyond posters I read through, it took me a long time to see the other side.
These trades created opportunities for us here in Boston. Now, of course, change can be scary – scratch that downright terrifying – but as a nation we have to have some sort of trust in the coaching and management staff. This summer we acquired Loui Ericksson, a 6’2” Swedish Left Winger. In his best season, 2010-2011, he scored 27 goals, 10 of which were power play goals, and 46 assists for a total of 73 points. He’s no rookie, people.
The second time’s the charm with Jarome Iginla, who approached the Bruins after the season ended. The franchise was able to acquire Iginla for real this time! Iginla, a 36-year old future Hall of Famer, signed a one-year contract to add to the B’s offensive arsenal.
Cap space was freed up with these heart-wrenching trades, which allowed the organization to sign Tuukka Rask and Patrice Bergeron to 8-year contracts, committing them to Black and Gold through the 2020-2021 season.
Like any sports fan, it is hard to see certain players go, despite how controversial they were off-ice. Note to self: It is better to famous with no Twitter than to be famous with Twitter. Tyler Seguin and Amanda Bynes have confirmed that for me. But at least we know there will be some jerseys marked down this summer.
Many speculators think we might be closing a window to another Stanley Cup run this year with our off season decisions. I couldn’t disagree more with those knuckleheads. Let’s allow the Bruins to do the talking Mr. Sportscaster man and come September we will see whose closing windows and whose kicking them wide open. The Bruins are most effective when they play with grit. With men lost and men gained, we are at the very least maintaining our ruggedness.
I guess I’ll just have to sit pretty on the couch and continue to watch America’s reality show nonsense and talent shows on steroids until that glorious start to the 2013-14 season.