With the Don Sweeney/Claude Julien and Cam Neely/Jacobs’ press conferences in the rear view mirror, there is this overriding opinion that the Bruins lack a “clear plan,” or “direction” to get the team back to the playoffs and competing for a Cup.
The questions I have are 1. Why are you asking this question? and 2. Do you think they’re really going to tell you their plan?
The season ended two weeks ago. As Neely said yesterday, the groundwork has likely been laid for moves to acquire defensemen (plural) and forward help. So, the Bruins know what they want to try and do this summer. Now, whether those plans actually come to fruition obviously remain to be seen, but to think they don’t have a plan is insane.
Let me ask this … do you think the Patriots have a plan in place every offseason for free agency and the draft? The answer to that is a definitive YES. Do they tell us what that plan is? The answer to that is a definitive NO. But because they’re not telling us what the plan is doesn’t mean they don’t have one. Same with the Bruins.
Plus, Neely gave us their plan yesterday:
“We talk about it as a group, improving our defense is No. 1,” said Neely, who emphasized that they will be looking at every opportunity they can to improve the blueline, including exploring the free agent pool come July 1.
Next up, “I’d like us to get a little bit heavier on the right side,” said Neely. “I think we need that element on the forward group. I’d like us to get a little heaver up front. We have some skill, we just have to have a little bit more of the gritty piece.”
“And then we have to take a look at the backup goaltending situation. With [Malcolm] Subban’s injury this year, it kind of threw a wrinkle in maybe that development there. We have to look at that.”
Make sense? It’s a three pronged approach: 1. Defense, 2. Forward help, and 3. Backup Goalie. How they get there remains to be seen, but there is a plan.
And don’t get me started on this crap about the Bruins “hoping” their plan works, or that they’re in essence spinning their wheels in trying to simultaneously rebuild and retool. Every team hopes their plan works! And would you rather be in the Bruins’ position, with a good core and about $24M in cap space, or say, Edmonton/Toronto/Columbus with a constant rebuild and really, no hope. Well, maybe except for Toronto but who knows if their plan will work out????
The bottom line is this. The Bruins have a plan. They’re not sharing it with you, at least not specifically. And sure, there is still some question about whether this is the right group to execute the plan, given last offseason. Everyone likes to point to the Zac Rinaldo trade as a bad deal. And it likely was. But just see what the Bruins have done to replenish their prospect pool, which is pretty strong but somehow overlooked when everyone screams about asset management.
Like I said, it’s been two weeks. So let’s just see how it all shakes out before we kill Sweeney and Neely and everyone else.