The Boston Bruins season is finally here! After losing in game 6 of the Stanley Cup finals to the Chicago Blackhawks last June, the Bruins are back and ready to go. Their goal every season is to make it to the Stanley Cup finals and eventually win it. After coming so close, but failing to do so, they had to make some changes. With free agency and the trade market open, the Boston Bruins organization had some tough decisions to make. First they had to find out which players would be leaving from free agency. With a small salary cap space limiting the amount of money they could spend on players, they would have to make some hard decisions. First they made sure they resign their most valuable players, Goalie Tuukka Rask and Center Patrice Bergeron. They were both signed to an 8-year deal.
One player they had to lose was defenseman and Alternate Captain Andrew Ference, whose contract had expired. Even though the Bruins would have loved to keep such an amazing player and person, they had to let him go because of the small cap space. He is now Captain of the Edmonton Oilers. They also lost their top line right wing Nathan Horton to free agency. Horton, unlike Ference, did not want to come back to Boston for a 4th year after making it to the Cup finals twice in 3 years and winning one.
After losing many players to free agency, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli decided to make a trade. A big 7 player trade. He decided to trade Tyler Seguin, Rich Peverly, and Ryan Button to Dallas, for Loui Eriksson, Joe Morrow, Matt Fraser and Reilly Smith. The Bruins had many new players to welcome to Boston. Losing former players made room for new players, and prospects. During free agency, the Bruins acquired Jarome Iginla from Pittsburgh. Iginla was not loved by Boston fans at first after choosing to go to Pittsburgh over Boston at the trade deadline last season. He proved himself in the preseason as the team’s top scorer, skating top line with Milan Lucic and David Krejci in place of Nathan Horton. Loui Eriksson was great in place of Tyler Seguin on the second line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. The Bruins team has been 4 lines deep, and they wanted to keep it this way, but the third line was a problem. After losing Rich Peverly and Jaromir Jagr the 3rd line needed some work. With many prospects it was open to almost anyone. The preseason gave the prospects a chance to show what they can do. It ended up being a battle between Jordan Caron, Carl Soderberg, and new teammate Reilly Smith on who would play the wings with Chris Kelly on the 3rd line. Soderberg ended up having an injury so the line is Caron-Kelly-Smith as of now. Of course the 4th line, or Merlot Line as it was known for the players’ cranberry-colored practice jerseys, is Shawn Thornton, Gregory Campbell and Danny Paille as always.
There is a lot to look forward to with the Bruins this season. It will be exciting, and interesting to see how the new players will work in the team. It is bound to be a great season.