Just like they always do on alternate years. Mark Savard was injured with a concussion that still gives him problems. Zdeno Chara had an off-year. Patrice Bergeron still hasn’t broken through to become the superstar he should be. Only one player (Marco Sturm) scored at least 20 goals. And the list goes on.
But the Bruins made some tweaks, traded for some offensive help and were able to draft a player that many believe could have gone #1 overall.
Some of the players will improve this season (there’s no way they’ll all regress). And that will be enough for them to have a successful season.
Best offseason move: Trading for Nathan Horton. Horton is a pretty consistent 25-goal, 60-point range player. And that’s without a lot of help. Playing with good players every night should see Horton do better in almost every category. Plus, having his wife around to ogle is a good perk.
Worst offseason move: Not dealing with their salary cap situation well. Despite being pretty tight against the cap, they signed Dennis Seidenberg to a four-year, $13 million deal, Johnny Boychuk for two years at $3.75 million total, Mark Recchi for a year at $1.7 million and Mark Stuart at one year and $1.675 million. That’s a cap hit of $8.5 million total, but to make everything fit, they were trying to trade Marc Savard, who is their best offensive talent and signed a long-term deal for cheap because he loved Boston so much. Not a good public relations move at all.
Dark horse trophy candidate: Tuukka Rask for the Vezina.
Pool pick: Blake Wheeler. Wheeler will probably play with Recchi and Bergeron on the second line. If not, then he’ll probably play on the top line with Savard and Horton (when Savard is healthy). Or if he sucks, he’ll be stuck playing with rookie phenom Tyler Seguin. In other words, expect a monster year from Wheeler. Who to stay away from: David Krejci. He had a not-so-great rookie year (27 points), followed it up with a monster season of 73 points, and then had only 52 points last year. You don’t know what to expect from him, so it’s safer to stay away.
Best hall of fame choice: Mark Recchi. The guy should be a sure-fire first-ballot hall of famer. Despite the fact he’s played on half the teams in the league, Recchi has own Stanley Cups, had a 50-goal season, three 100-point seasons, more than 500 goals, almost 1,500 points, etc. He’s 13th all-time in points, and 21 all-time in goals (and should move into the top 20 this season).
Blog to follow: Stanley Cup of Chowder
My Prediction: First in the Northeast, second in the East
Famous celebrity from that city: Eliza Dushku