Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Early Stages Of The Offseason

I am going to keep this one short and sweet. It is tough being a prisoner of the moment after what happened last night. The Bruins are Stanley Cup champions of the 2010-2011 season. Before we know it, the 2011-2012 season will be approaching. The management for the Bruins must act quick about who to bring back for the next season.

We already know that with last night's win, Mark Recchi announced his retirement. Michael Ryder is an unrestricted free agent and he will most likely not be back. The biggest question of the offseason is simple: will Marc Savard return? He just recently signed a seven year extension worth $28 million. His health is a big concern. I believe that he will return, but one bad hit and his career will be over for his sake.

If he does not return, certain trades will be made. We know that Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, Patrice Bergeron, and David Krejci will be the core forwards next season. Most importantly, we need to re-sign Brad Marchand because he is a restricted free agent. He can name his price and the Bruins better give it to him. All of our defensemen, with the exception of Tomas Kaberle, are signed through at least until next season. I think Kaberle will be out. Steve Kampfer is our puck moving defenseman of the future and he should be in the top six. It was unfortunate that he missed time this season with a concussion. Colby Cohen and Mart Bartkowski are also in the AHL and they are solid defensemen.

As far as forwards, we have Jordan Caron. I have always said that he will be Recchi's replacement. He played the first 20 games or so this season due to injuries to Krejci and Savard. Jamie Arniel and Zach Hamill are also solid forwards that have seen action this season. The Bruins have a great group down in the minors. Even though they will be under the salary cap next season, they do not need to go out and spend a great deal since they have the talent in the minors. The Bruins even have their goaltender of the future in Tuukka Rask. With Recchi gone, the second alternate captain spot will be open. Look for Krejci to take that honor.

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