Thought Thomas was 35, but even at 31, he certainly leaves upstairs wide open to the shooters, and goes down too fast.
3 years was too long a contract to sign him for, in my opinion, but then again, I don’t really care what the Bruins do.]]>
1. Letting players walk from 2003-04 was not his idea — Sinden or Jacobs or both thought they could replace the lost talent cheaply and easily with free agents once the salary cap was in place. Free agents were still expensive after the lockout and by then all of Boston’s players had signed with other teams.
2. Thornton trade had to be done — Since Thornton wasn’t resigned before the lockout the Bruins missed the 24% rollback. Thornton demanded $6.7m per year and that buddy Glen Murray be signed for $4m per year. Bruins didn’t have enough cap space left to sign a full defense corps and relied heavily on rookies. It didn’t work.
3. New Bruins provided a much needed spark — Thornton is a great scorer but he’s no leader. Bruins brought aboard 3 experienced guys who played well together to add some much needed heart to the team. Stuart provided defense, Primeau provided grit, Sturm provided grit and a great “never say die” attitude. Plus, Joe’s departure provided Patrice Bergeron and Brad Boyes with much deserved minutes on the 1st line. It’s been said O’Connell should have gotten more but I say he got what the Bruins needed.
4. Kept the coach for a change — The Bruins have a terrible habit of firing coaches 2 years or less into their tenure. I give O’Connell credit for trying something new and having the guts to choose the coach over the franchise player. After beating Ottawa in each appearance after the trade it was clear that the coach’s system wasn’t to blame but certain players refusing to “buy into it”. Unfortunately there was not enough scoring talent left on the team to make an adequate playoff run. Injuries also took a heavy toll.
5. Firing O’Connell now provides no benefit — The Bruins have not selected a GM replacement so assistant GM Jeff Gorton (with the George Bush squint) will serve as interim GM. The party line is that Mike O’Connell would not be a part of the team’s future so they didn’t want him involved with resigning players. O’Connell had recently resigned goalie Tim Thomas and Olympic gold medalist PJ Axelsson each to 3 year deals before they could become UFA’s at the end of the season. And that’s a bad thing because. . . ? Only plausible reason is that this is a token firing to appease the season ticket buying fans.
As others have posted here, Harry Sinden needs to be removed also. BUT. . . owner Jeremy Jacobs does not know enough about hockey to run the team without Sinden. The clock is ticking for Harry to find suitable replacements for himself and for O’Connell before retiring himself from hockey. Sinden is 72 years old, croaks like a frog and shouldn’t buy any green bananas. Despite the undying loyalty shown to Harry by Jacobs, Harry shows no apparent loyalty to another human being so firing O’Connell, while unnecessary, is not really surprising.]]>