Another interesting offseason in beantown as the Bruins had several goals to address over the summer. Number one was more grit/IT. That was addressed when they traded James 'the real deal' Neal to division opponent Buffalo in exchange for toughman Milan Lucic. His impact so far in the preseason is being felt, even on the 3rd line with 3 goals in 4 games.
Second was improving the defense. Jeff Petry was added in a trade with the Rangers. Gunnarsson was added in UFA and Nik Grossmann, Jason Garrison and David Schlemenko were also aquired via trade. The only returning dman is Patrick Weircock who played limted mins last season and will most likely be replaced before the season begins.
Lastly the Bruins improve team depth. While they added some depth in UFA such as those aforementioned plus McClement and backup goaler McElhinney, the Bruins were very active on the trade market. The biggest deal was bringing in Zach Parise for Gus Nyquist, a deal that helped replace some of the SC that left town with James Neal. The Bruins also added David Desharnais, Ben Smith, Brody Sutter and Devante Smith-Pelly. Not the big house hold names fans are used to seeing come and go each season but notheless, still important pieces for a team in transition.
The team is optimistic about its chances this season, a top end goaltender, improved defense, improved size, improved depth could mean the Bruins are in the hunt in the East. But if the team is not treding water, this could signal the end of an era and mean the begining of a long, painful rebuilding effort.