Let's talk about depth, baby. Don Sweeney spent a lot of money bolstering the B's roster but was it enough to bandaid David Krejci's departure to the Czech Republic? Time will only tell. Here's a full breakdown of the B's summer...
OUT: David Krejci, Sean Kuraly, Nick Ritchie, Ondrej Kase, Jaro Halak, Jeremy Lauzon, Kevan Miller (retired)
IN: Nick Foligno, Linus Ullmark, Derek Forbort, Erik Haula, Tomas Nosek
The Boston Bruins did some in house work before free agency, re-upping Taylor Hall (is a Boston Bruin) for 4 more years (at $6 million per) and Mike Reilly for three (at $3 million per). Perfect deal for Hall although David Krejci has gone back to the Czech Republic, would've loved to see them play together for a full year. I was surprised to see Reilly back, I thought he had priced himself out of Boston, but he returns on a 3 year deal.
After not qualifying Ondrej Kase and Nick Ritchie (after saying they were going to qualify them) each of them signed respective deals with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Bruins dug in on free agency, singing Nick Foligno, Linus Ullmark, Derek Forbort, Erik Haula and Tomas Nosek. Forbort signed after playing last season in Winnipeg. Not the splashy top four defenseman that I expect the Bruins to bring in, but Forbort is a big (6'4, 220) guy who will eat minutes and block a ton of shots. He'll also slide in on the penalty kill since Jeremy Lauzon was plucked by the Seattle Kraken.
Nick Foligno had a short stint in Toronto before signing a 2 year deal at 3.8 million per in Boston. He gives the Bruins a ton of flexibility and plug and play in the lineup, but may be a shell of what he once was in CBJ. He will still bring leadership to the room that will be missed with Krejci's departure, and hopefully he can find his rhythm in Boston. I project he'll start at 3RW.
Erik Haula and Tomas Nosek were both depth pick ups. There is now a ton of competition in the bottom six, especially with Sean Kuraly's departure to CBJ. Wagner, Frederic, Lazar, Haula and Nosek should round out a very solid bottom six, something that has plagued the B's in the last year and a half. Haula and Studnicka will be battling for 3C.
By far the biggest investment the Bruins made in free agency was bringing in Linus Ullmark to the tune of a four year deal worth $20 million. With Tuukka Rask out until christmas time (and yet to be signed) the Bruins brought in some insurance in net. Ullmark was a bright spot on a baaaad Sabres team, he went 9-6-3 with a .917 SV% on a team that went 6-28-4 in it's other 38 games he was not in net for. There will be some competition in camp for the starting role with Jeremy Swayman, we'll see who wins the starting position. Never say never for Tuukka Rask though, who says he'd like to re-sign in Boston when he's ready (coming off hip surgery).
Dan Vladar would have required waivers to be sent to the AHL, thus the B's flipped him to Calgary for a 3rd round pick.
Have I mentioned David Krejci (where he is scoring nearly every game) went home to the Czech Republic? Their season wraps up in January… so you're saying… there's a chance he's back for the playoffs? He told Czech media no, but…
never say never.
With Krejci gone, Charlie Coyle will get the first crack at 2C. He's mentioned numerous times to the media about how he has to "earn it", Coyle is coming off knee surgery that it sounds like he desperately needed (bothering him last 2+ years). Glad he's healthy, he'll be limited to start camp, we'll see how Hall - Coyle - Smith do as a 2nd line unit.
Patrice Bergeron will be playing out the final year in his contract before deciding what his future holds. After Chara and Krejci left, I truly don't think I could handle Patrice Bergeron hanging them up. Gonna stay #PositiveVibesOnly and just cherish this year, and pretend he'll re-sign in the summer. Please God. Please.
It truly is a different look to the B's this year, starting the year without Krejci AND Rask is going to be weird. I've said it a million times but the Cup window is closing at a rapid pace, buckle up.
Ty Anderson joined me on Marina's Morning Skate for a full in depth breakdown of the B's summer. Have a listen, smash that subscribe button and "thumbs up" the video. You can also find the show wherever you get your podcasts. Feels great to be blogging and talking about Boston Bruins hockey.