It seems that almost every team in Boston has been rather busy this off-season. The Celtics make some major roster changes, the Patriots have to deal with on and off the field issues and the Bruins made some big changes as well. The Bruins made a tough decision to send Tyler Seguin and Rich Peverly to Dallas in exchange for Loui Eriksson (along with other players), they acquired Jerome Ignila, and lose players like Andrew Ference through free agency. There have been many rumors regarding other players possibly getting dealt, players such as Brad Marchand and Chris Kelly. As of right now it seems that the Bruins are pretty much done when it comes to cutting ties with players, and the roster that is in place will be the roster that takes the ice this upcoming season. Let's take a close look at what the B's front office has done this off-season, and give them an overall grade, what do you say?
The Bruins front office gave up some young talent to bring in the all-star from Dallas, which is leading some fans to question whether this was the correct move or not. Eriksson has had a magnificent career in the NHL to this point, and is known for his uncanny ability to get pucks in the net. Most would agree that the Bruins are an amazing defense team, but what they lack is goal scoring. Eriksson can play on both sides of the ice at a high level, meaning that he can make good defense plays, then skate down into the offensive zone and get the B's a goal. From 2009-2012, Eriksson got the Dallas Stars at least 70 points each season, which is something that you don't see too often. He has a tremendous I.Q, and rarely seems to make mistakes on either end of the ice, which is vastly different than the player the front office traded away to receive Eriksson. At the end of the day, Eriksson will come into Boston and be an instant celebrity by the third week of the season.
The first thought that came to the mind of most fans when regarding Ignila was this, he didn’t want to be here at first, what’s so different now? Yes, Ignila did decide to shun Boston before the playoffs last season and take his talents to Pittsburgh, but he is here now. There is no question that Ignila is an amazing talent in this league, and his been for his whole career. Before last season, he had been very loyal to Calgary, but the time for being loyal had all but run out for the all-star player. Much like Eriksson, Ignila is known to be a goal scorer, but his physicality that he brings shouldn’t go unlooked either. While he may bring goal scoring to the table for a team, he doesn’t mind mixing it up with other players, and plays stellar defense for the most part. At his age, there is no telling how long his career will last in Boston, but make sure that you enjoy his play while you have the opportunity to do so.
Tuukka Rask & Patrice Bergeron
The Bruins front office weren’t playing around when they decided to send offers to these two players. Both Rask and Bergeron received eight year deals, which lefts some fans scratching their heads a little bit. Most fans understood the eight year deal for Bergy, but the Rask contract seemed to be a little bit too long for most people. Rask is a tremendous goaltender, but only for a season because his stint with Boston before this year was a bit shaky. Going into this season most fans could only remember the utter collapse Rask had against Philadelphia in the 2010 playoffs. He answered to all those questions this year, as Rask went on to have an outstanding regular season, and added even better playoff performances. Goaltenders are always a hard position to predict, as most of them have a few good years followed by a few mediocre years. There is no telling how well Rask will play in these upcoming eight years, but if he performs like he did this past season then it was money well spent. Bergeron is a warrior, and a proven leader of this Bruins team. The man suits up no matter what, and plays through the most excruciating injuries possible, as he demonstrated this in the playoffs this past year. Both of these players are still young, which means that the B’s should get the absolute best out of them during these next eight seasons. The acquisitions that were listed above were obviously the biggest moves the Bruins made this off-season. The loss of players were made up for in the minds of the B’s front office, and only time will tell if that’s the case.
Overall Off-Season Grade
I couldn’t give the B’s any higher than this because Ignila will still be somewhat of a question mark because of his age; the Rask eight year deal really brought down the grade down as well because eight years is just too much for a goaltender, especially one who has only had one great season. The Eriksson deal brought it up quite a bit because he will fill the scoring department void, and they cut ties with players like Seguin who was a bit of a head case, and Peverly who just wasn’t performing consistently like the B’s had hoped for in the process of acquiring Eriksson. The loss of Andrew Ference also brought the grade down as well because losing him was a huge blow to the organization.