What to look for- Bruins Edition

The Boston Bruins is a team that has relied on drafting and smart trades. With a potential cap, the Bruins can once again perhaps see a Golden Age.

Before I go on, I have decided to skip Atlanta’s edition, or just postpone it due to cwthrash’s post of Altanta’s preview. I respect cw, and his opinions, and his team, therefore I won’t even bother submitting a Thrasher report at this time. Also I don’t know if there is just no interest in the Ducks, or if I nailed it right on the head, but 4 comments by members other than me…? I’ll try my best to make these more controversial I guess

Back to the Bruins.

September 3, 1966 the beginning of the last Golden Age in Boston when Bobby Orr signed a contract to play with the Bruins. They win in 1970, and 1972. Then Jeremy Jacobs becomes the owner in 1974. Not only have the Bruins not won since ’72, but the last time they even made the finals was in 1990!

So what effect will a cap have on the Bruins? Lets say that it is a 35 million, because we all know the NHLPA doesn’t like 31. The Bruins have about 17 million tied up, as Gonchar was just rewarded 5.5 million. So the Bruins if there is a cap will have a lot of money space to bring in depth players, AND RESIGN THEIR PROSPECTS! When is the last time the Bruins kept a big name guy? Geurin Allison, Oates, Ranford, Dafoe, Sweeny all were traded or lost via free agency.

The Bruins have a very solid goaltending with Andy Raycroft, probably another vet goalie, Hannu Toivonen, their 2002 first round selection, among other minor leaguers. Needless to say, unless something tragic, or very stupid happens in the front office, the Bruins are set in nets.

Their defense, well, was good. They have yet to resign some, like O’Donnell, Dan McGillis, and Jiri Slegr. Mark Stuart, 2003 first round pick, Milan Jurcina, and Lars Jonsson 7th overall in 2000 are all projected to be top 2-4 defenseman in time.

And upfront. The Bruins needless to say are a one-line team…again. Thornton, Samsonov, and Bergeron lead the pack. Players like Andy Hilbert, Ivan Huml, Brad Boyes among others will probably make the team and be asked to do checking roles, and 2nd line roles… not the best plan. So as of right now, here is what the Bruins are looking like





Gill – Gonchar

Jillson – Boynton

Dallman/Moran – Girard


Samsonov – Thornton – Lapointe

Huml – Bergeron – Samuelsson

Axelsson – Hilbert – Fitzgerald

Vernarsky – Boyes – C. Orr [who has not relation to #4]

Now doesn’t everyone know about these guys on the Bruins active roster. I seriously have my doubts on this team, but then again I have since the Allison “dump.” I really think the Bruins need some depth and character players. This is a small team with the departures of Slegr, McGillis, and O’Donnell. Sullivan is still a young and inexperienced coach, and hopefully Raycroft and Bergeron don’t have an aweful sophomore year.

Like I said before I still see this team missing the playoffs, but they will somehow find a way to make it and lose to the Habs.

Projected finish: NE division 1-3rd; East, 3-10th; and in the league, 7th- 20th

20 Responses to What to look for- Bruins Edition

  1. raine_kalisz says:

    They really need to sign Nylander, and get Thornton some linemates. I want to see the rebirth of the Nylander-Bergeron-Samsonov line that dominated the playoffs last year, the only Bruins line that played. As for the departures of Knuble, Rolston, the imminent departure of Murray, and the departures of McGillis and O’Donnel i don’t see them as huge losses. These guys are fairly old and can be replaced by younger stars for less money. I think they’ll resign Slegr though, making the Bruins a very nice, low cost, young team with a Bright future. They need Nylander back though. I’m confident in Raycroft too. They took their time raising him and he’s a very complete goalie.

  2. EmptyNetter says:

    Always good to see a Bruins article, even if I disagree with some of your points. First, even if some big spending NHL teams are hamstrung by a salary cap, that won’t automatically make the Bruins a stronger team. There are plenty of other teams now that are building on a budget through the draft, trades and a few careful free agent signings.

    The one thing I’ll never understand is why the Bruins fail to realize that they always go cheap/inexperienced with their coaches. I like Mike Sullivan, but for the Bruins to sign quality players and always rely on unproven coaching is short sighted and a key reason they fail to go deep in the playoffs.

    You mentioned O’Donnell twice in your article, once as a person we have yet to resign and once as “departed”. He’s gone (oh why?) and will be missed. I haven’t heard anything regarding Slegr either as being released or as having received an offer. I’d really like to see him back in Boston. Anybody heard anything definite?

    Expect Nylander back. He’s a priority signing, but IMO Mike O’Connell is waiting to see how much of his allowance will go to Thornton in arbitration before committing to anybody else right now. Zinovjev will get another chance to prove himself, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Corazzini (sp?) or Zamuner signed if free agents are too pricey or too picked over. I prefer the 4th line to be for scorers rather than goons, and Zamuner has skills to make the 2nd or 3rd line if he decides to show up.

  3. EmptyNetter says:

    BTW, Jillson was traded to Buffalo last season.

  4. Heinzee57 says:

    Not a bad article.

    I take issue with people who re write history as to “never kept a big name guy.” Bourque did 20 years in Boston standing on his head.

    The cir*****stances surrounding each “big name guy” were different.

    Dafoe – AWFUL at the end of his Bruins tenure and has done nothing since. Injury-prone egomaniac.

    Allison – Branded lazy since his Jr. days and wanted the big payday 5 years prior to his UFA. Not to mention he refused to go to arbitration.

    Oates – Vocal in the media requesting B’s management aquire a goal scorer once Neely was done. (big mistake, just ask Rob DiMaio)

    Ranford – Did nothing after leaving the B’s. His spot was filled with a 22 year old Vezina trophy winner. Decent risk on Mgt’s part. Even though Jim Carey was a joke.

    Sweeney – Are you talking about Bob or Donny? Don Sweeney was taking ice time from larger, younger guys. There was no reason to resign him. (I believe he’ll be back in a front office capacity for The B’s someday). Boston loves him.

    Guerin – I personally screamed for management to resign the guy. He was everything a Bruin should be. However, 9 mil a year over 5 would have blown the very plan O’C has set in place. 32 year old 9 million dollar guys will bite you in a salary cap situation. Wasn’t Dallas trying to get out of his contract his summer?

    You raise a good point regarding the Bruins having room under a “Salary Cap” to sign other players and they will. I would expect to see Nylander and Travis Green added in the near future. (after Thornton’s arbitration hearing)

    Boyes, Huml and Zinovjev will get a loooong look in camp this fall, provided labor issues are resolved.

    All will be well with the Boston Bruins in the event we have hockey this winter. They won’t be making a serious run at the cup with this roster but they’ll make the post season.

    Would you rather they spent 75 Mil and missed the playoffs?


  5. Heinzee57 says:

    Pat Burns and Mike Keenan are not cheap or inexpensive.


  6. EmptyNetter says:

    I liked Pat Burns when he was here, and remember Ray Bourque saying, “he did as well here as anybody could be expected to do” but never understood quite what he meant. Anyway, I got the impression that he, Keenan and Ftorek were not getting many offers to coach around the league at the time, but could be wrong.

  7. Heinzee57 says:

    You may recall Pat Burns being criticized by Sinden for not playing a more offensive style.

    Burns response: “Get me some offensive players and I will.” That was the end of his tenure ala Adam Oates and Rob DiMaio.

    I’m a big Burns fan.

    Ftorek could go down in Boston history as one of the worst, most alienating coaches. He had favorites on the team and let the rest rot on the bench.


  8. ranger_fan says:

    The day Jacobs spends 75 mil on a team, even if inflation was as bad as depression Germany, I won’t be around to see it. I did not approve of Sathers shopping spree. He was a huge hypocrite, but a true fan sticks with his team, even in the worst of times.

    I was talking about Don. He could still be used on this team. I hate to keep using NY as an example, but Messier last year was a 3rd, 4th liner. Sweeney could easily be a 4-6 defenseman. The Bruins don’t have a lot of depth at the position.

    Also, Jim Carey is still in the league. He was in the Blues organization. Perhaps the Bruins organization are not goin to resign Potvin, but rather stick with their plan of last year and get John Blue, or Blaine Lacher out of retirement.

  9. LeafyMcLeaf says:

    Not a bad article. I am writing a series of season previews and I just finnished Boston (these will be posted in September.) And I agree with alot of this. Although I think Boston will come in last in the North East and about 10th in the East.

  10. Heinzee57 says:

    I hear Jon Casey and Vincent Riendeau are also available.

    One thing I failed to mention is that the Bruins ALWAYS make a profit. ALWAYS.


  11. ranger_fan says:

    Andy Moog was also considering a return if Orr could help out on the blue line. I am not sure if the made a profit when Jacobs put in 100+ million on the Fleet Center, then a couple of losing seasons.

  12. Flyaz says:

    Just for the record Jiri Slegr is older (although marginally) then anyone else you put on that list.

  13. SabresAreCool says:

    Jillson was traded at the deadline and wound up in Buffalo. I would be really disappointed to be a b’s fan right now, the situation just looks bad

  14. 19Yzerman says:

    The Bruins ALWAYS make a profit! Well thats nice but, its what they are giving in exchanged for those profits that I question. 16 post season wins and 3 did not qualifies in the last 10 years. Wouldn’t you like to hear Dave Shea or Andy Brinkley say these words “and the boston bruins have won the stanley cup”? The answer to how will a cap effect the B’s? Well we will have to wait and see. I would say that the B’s managment won’t be doing much changing in the way they do things. So a cap would simply allow them to maximize the squeeze they put on players.

    One thing I would like to know. Is #77 a retired # hanging from the rafters at the fleet?

  15. Heinzee57 says:

    Well, that’s where you need to learn how to be a Bruins fan.

    We never expect to win the cup. There is nothing to even suggest we could win the cup. Two rounds of the playoffs would be a huge victory these days.

    I’d probably be taking this harder if the Patriots weren’t so good.

    I could switch teams and be a front runner like many on this site but I’ll stick with the Black and Gold.

    Bourque’s number was retired at the Fleet. The gifts he received were cheap too. A snowmobile and a grandfather clock. Pretty lame.

    Many people don’t understand who Jeremy Jacobs is. He is the owner of the largest privately held company in the US. He’s a businessman first, franchise owner second. He always make a profit. Even when he built the Fleet. (he got 20-30 mil for the naming rights alone)


  16. gobruins08 says:

    i think that was a good comment though, but Knuble was a big part of the team!

  17. gobruins08 says:

    typical leaf fan

  18. gobruins08 says:

    if there is a salery cap, which looks like it will happen, the Bruins will pick up all of those teams that need to cut off half of their pay rolls (Toronto) good players.

  19. gobruins08 says:

    and i don’t know what the point is to show a starting line up when there is going to be drastic changes before the season.

  20. Gaby says:

    ok…first of all…as all Bruins fans already know this is not a surprise. Every summer we have to watch the Jeremy Jacobs enterprise laugh at us and make payroll cuts which completely dismantle our nucleus of players. Whether it’s O’Connell or Sinden doesn’t change much. i.e.- Allison, Carter, Guerin, Mclaren…and now Rolston and possibly Murray. What I don’t undertsand however, is how people have taken the top team in the North east division and now predict they will miss the playoffs when they only have 6 or 7 players under contract.

    Although Rolston was a valuable member of this team for the past few seasons, he was still only pivoting the 3rd line. As far as the other two departures, we lost O’donnell and Knuble. When Knuble came here he was a nobody and O’Donnell was a 5th or 6th D before people in Beantown made him a top 4 guy. Now its easy to see why Bruins fans loved these two because I did myself. “They lacked talent but played a rough and gritty game”…the kinda of game O’reilly and Cashman made a signature of in Boston.

    The thing is Knuble played on the first line and for a couple million the Bruins can surely fill that whole and give Joe more talent on left wing. I’m not even sure a kid from the minors wouldnt score Knubles 25 goals playing on a regular basis with Joe. As far as O’Donnell…well we have Girard back and Gonchar all year now, so why are we not better than last year?

    What I’m trying to get at is that a cap or no cap…the Bruins will contend in the East…although everyone gave up on him Thornton will still be a dominating force in the East throughout an 82 game schedule…the Bruins have finished a top the standings 4 times in the past 5 years…and they did it without a workhorse on the blueline and without a solid goaltender. Gonchar and Raycroft anyone…its easy to imagine the Bruins would miss the playoffs with the roster posted up here by our buddy Ranger fan, but seriously…the Bruins will not bring have the farm up from Providence…they are waiting to see how much they need to commit to Thornton before signing anyone else.

    Here is my opening night roster wish after everything is complete:

    Thornton – Bergeron – Bondra

    Nylander – Samsonov – Zinovyev

    Boyes – Axelsson – Lapointe

    Green – Hilbert – Fitzgerald

    ex: Huml, Samuelsson, Vernarsky, Corazzini

    Brad Boyes is ready for the NHL as he proved it last year in Cleveland of the AHL…Bergeron Hilbert, Fitzgerald and Green can all play wing and center which leaves Sullivan with flexibility

    Now remember…all this takes is to add Bondra which the sens don’t want…and he and Gonchar are great friends who could man the point together on the PP again…

    If Nylander Doest want to come back…give Stumpel a try in LA,Stumpy/Bondra/Demitra/Palffy are all Slovakian contrymates so why not just try to get Stumpy and a winger…

    As far as Zinovyiev, he will come back…he wants to play in the NHL, not in the American hockey league…and from articles I’ve read he’s a better winger than center…move him to RW and lets have someone center Sammy and him…they still scored the nicest goal all year last year…

    Now the Big D.

    its no secret Gonchar loves to play is off wing so we start him on the right side…

    – Gonchar

    Gill – Boynton

    – Girard

    Moran is # 7 D-Man

    Mark Stuart, Milan Jurcina (6’4″ 233 lbs. wow!) and Lars Jonsson are gonna fight for jobs…

    McGillis could resign and fill the 5th spot to form a nifty pair with Girard…and the best pickup of all…would be Alexei Zhitnik. Could form a devastating pair with Gonchar giving the B’s three great duos of strenght and skating paired up.

    So we drop Murray and give his share of the payroll to Bondra at a small paycut…Bondra had his worst season since 2000 last year and should be attainable at around the 3.5 million mark since Shanny went at 4 million and Recchi at 3.

    So all in all, just wanted to say I’m one disapointed

    Bruins fan, yet it might be finally time for the B’s to spend their money on a bit of talent to surrond their talented stars such as Joe and Sammy instead of finding bargain prices and turning them into top line players…i-e-Knuble

    I’ll make a bet with anyone Knuble doesnt play on the first line in Philly and he doesnt score 30 goals ever agian…

    And for those who think a team cant win with one line…

    does this ring a bell:

    Simon – Conroy – Iginla

    Nieminen – Nilsson – Donovan

    Gelinas – Yelle – Clark

    Oliwa – Kobasew -Saprikin


    Theres not even a line in there…Lol!

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