So, it’s the offseason and while the NHL playoffs have so far been great, as usual, we Bruins fans are pondering what the team will do this summer to improve. Sure, the D needs help, yada yada yada. But what else? Well, there’s a new 5-part series on CSNNE.com that takes a look at rebuilding the Bruins, and I thought it would be fun to take a point/counterpoint approach to each part.
Note, this is in no way a criticism of the series or the viewpoints. Just one person’s opinion.
Part Four is “Fixing the Defense.” Off we go ….
The Bruins had a master plan to upgrade the defense last summer. It quickly morphed into a dumpster fire. They torpedoed a better draft-pick package offer from their ex-general manager, Peter Chiarelli, by demanding Edmonton’s young stud D-man Darnell Nurse. How is it torpedoing a deal if they asked for Nurse? Nurse for Hamilton is too much? Maybe the decision to gas Chiarelli was a good one, huh?
The problem for the Bruins after trading Hamilton was in the follow-through. Yup, yup, and yup. That is one thing no one can disagree with. Argue about trading Hamilton all you want, if the return was better there wouldn’t be any problem at all with that deal.
Beyond those two, the Bruins’ defensive prospects aren’t bright. Botton line: It simply doesn’t feel like the Bruins have the answer to their defense woes, at least in the short term, within their system. Disagree, and the article goes on to mention Carlo, O’Gara, Zboril and Lauzon which is a decent prospect base if you ask me. And Matt Grzelcyk wasn’t even mentioned. That’s five guys to point to, and sure, maybe not in the short-term but long-term (which may only be a year or two) the future looks OK.
The Bruins can hope their amateur scouting and development group can unearth a gem. Wait, didn’t we just rattle off 5 prospects? Seems like they’ve got some potential in the pipeline.
The Bruins don’t have a prime, #1 defenseman right now, and they aren’t anywhere close to competing for a Cup until they get one. So how do you get one? Easy, a trade, as the free agent market isn’t great. And if someone asks for Spooner, fine. He’s replaceable if you ask me. Pastrnak or Vatrano would have to be in a “blow me away” deal. My pipe dream has always been an Andersen/Vatanen for Rask and a 1st type of deal, which gives you a decent to really good goalie and your D-man. Plus you likely have a bit more cap room to find another D or perhaps a top-6 forward.
Both their jobs, and the immediate health and well-being of a Bruins organization currently in distress, may very well depend on it. Again, totally agree.
Of course the Bruins need a number one D, that is obvious. But to say the prospect pipeline is empty isn’t true, it’s just a question whether any of them will work out. Law of averages says one, at least, will but you never know.
There is NO WAY the Bruins go into next season with the same 6-man D corp. If they do, then they all deserve to be fired.