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Could Bruins Be Preparing for Seismic Changes to Their Roster?

Are the Boston Bruins preparing for a major roster shake-up? A number of signs seem to be pointing that direction.

Bruins Chara DeBrusk

The Boston Bruins could be in for a major shakeup. Sentiments echoed by a number of media insiders close to the team, including Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic and Kevin Paul Dupont of suggest the team might be gearing up to make some interesting moves.

For example, on his latest episode of the 31 Thoughts podcast, Friedman noted that unlike a team like the Philadelphia Flyers, who might want to make another run with the roster they have, the Bruins could be among the busier teams with some significant turnover. He highly doubts many of the Bruins players who made up this past season’s roster will be back next season.

Why Would the Bruins Need to Make So Many Changes?

Here’s what we already know:

One, Torey Krug has said it’s time for him to make good on a career that has led him to the opportunity to test free agency. He’s not terribly interested in taking a home town discount and he’s completely ruled out a one-year deal with the Bruins to help navigate the less-than clear trail that will be the flat NHL salary cap.

Two, Zdeno Chara wants to return, but there are questions about how effective he’ll be, what kind of contract he’ll ask for or should receive and what the Bruins can afford to pay. In fact, it’s not clear if the Bruins are even interested in the big guy coming back.

Three, Tuukka Rask says he plans to return to play out the final year of his NHL contract, but, fair or not, there have been questions raised about his passion for the game.

Four, there have been rumors that perhaps Brandon Carlo’s name is out there in the rumor mill as the Bruins know there’s a huge market for defenseman and they might be curious to see what they can get. As Friedman noted on the podcast, “The Bruins are a team that don’t think they score enough.”. Moving a defenseman for a forward might be part of their game plan.

Five, all anyone really knows is that Team president Cam Neely hinted at significant change when he noted the need to be “brutally honest” about where the franchise is headed in the next couple of years. Further to that, GM Don Sweeney said Wednesday “We actually have the space to do the things necessary to do internally. Whether or not we do those or execute those, that still remains to be seen.”

All of that hints the Bruins are thinking what they have needs improvement.

Related: Senators Among Four Teams Who Could Shake Up NHL Trade Market

How Good Are the Bruins?

The Bruins led the NHL in the regular-season standings with 44 wins and 100 points. They also just had their coach Bruce Cassidy named coach of the year, a decision Jeff Marek called a pretty easy one to make because he “kept a great team great.” But, clearly, if the Bruins are thinking about shaking things up, and quite dramaticaly, how great are they? Maybe the better question is, ‘How great do they think they are?’

An early exit from the postseason at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning seems to have them guessing. The Bruins were badly outscored, so it seems strange to think the team would look at moving Jake DeBrusk, or letting Torey Krug walk. But, they are. Perhaps they think they can do better.

That Carlo and a player like Anders Bjork — and to a lesser degree, Jack Studnicka, Urho Vaakanainen and Trent Frederic — are fielding interest, the Bruins have decided to listen. For example, Sweeney said of Bjork, “At some point, he’s either going to have to score, or be even better as a stronger checking forward and penalty-killing player. That’s to be determined.”

Not exactly a glowing review. It’s also an interesting statement considering the team just extended him for three years this past July.

Who Are They Making Space For?

This is also a time where the Bruins have to really assess their prospects, many of which came from the 2015 draft. It’s been five seasons and they had three picks in the first round, seemingly missing on two of them.

So too, veterans like David Krejci will be up for renewal after next season and the Bruins can’t realistically be interested in bringing him back at anywhere near the $7.25 price tag he’s commanding now.

Needless to say, the Bruins realize they need to take a good hard look at their roster and see if there might be better options shaking loose in what is shaping up to be a particularly wild offseason with a ton of movement.

Next: Canadiens and Hurricanes Make Trade Involving Edmundson



  1. Rick Murray

    September 13, 2020 at 6:56 am

    Bruins need size, speed and scoring I’ll go a step further I don’t Chara will be part of the roster next season too slow. I think they will trade Rask for another Goalie how bout Anderson. Rask doesn’t seem interested in helping the team only his own interests he’s always been a very selfless player. Krejci will also be on the move unless he’s willing to take a huge discount and I don’t he will! Ritchie is
    Useless, gone.

  2. Egg

    September 13, 2020 at 9:09 am

    The window is closed. Time to open the door. The cap is frozen. The core is aging.

    Trade Rask now hopefully for a first round pick. Go with Halak and Vladar to start the year. Let Lagace Keyser and Swayman fight it out in Providence. At the trade deadline trade Halak for pick and promote the winner.

    Do not sign Krug. Sign Chara as third pairing defenceman and penalty killing specialist with the plan to trade him at the deadline for a pick. Time for McAvoy to assume the teacher role. His student…Vaak Lauzon or Zboril. If not on the first pairing in Boston heavy minutes in Providenca. The second pairing Grz with Carlo. The third pairing is Chara with Clifton who could use the mature guidance. Extras are Moore and Kampfer. Assume Miller will not be re-sign due to knee.

    First line Marchand Bergeron with Studnicka. As a future centre Studnicka will learn a lot by playing with these two.
    Second line De Brusk Krecji and Pasta…finally a legit second line winger.
    Third line Bjork Coyle Senyshun…let me finish.
    Fourth line Kuraly Frederic Kuhlman.
    Extra forward Lindholm.
    Have left Ritchie and Kase out…not impressed.
    Let Nordstrom walk. Wagner’s heart issue makes him questionable.
    Some rfas included here.
    At the deadline trade Krejci. Coyle becomes second line centre. Studnicka third. Promote from Providence.

    Overall create cap space. Get some picks.
    Give the kids some exposure. Too soon to play free agent market.

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