The Boston Bruins are rebuilding.
GM Jason Gallant made the announcement in May indicating that the team would move forward with a rebuild. The Bruins are coming off a season that saw them in the playoff hunt until the 81st game of the year when they were knocked out of contention. The rookie GM, after reviewing the team’s performance, upcoming free agents and prospect pipeline, determined that the negatives outweighed the positives.
“It wasn’t an easy decision,” GM Gallant said. “Ideally we ice a competitive team year after year, but the cupboards have been emptied and the franchise needs a reboot of sorts. The management team came to a decision and we’re committed to it.”
The announcement was still fresh when the team announced a duo of trades. Longtime Bruin Brayden Schenn was traded back to the team who drafted him 4th overall in 2009, the Vancouver Canucks, who are looking to make an impact in the 2018-19 season. Coming back to Boston are a pair of 1st round picks in 2018, young defensemen Victor Mete, Haydn Fleury and Karlis Cukste along with forward Adam Erne. Each of the 4 players acquired are under the age of 24.
GM Gallant was very pleased with the outcome of the trade. “As hard as it was to let go of a player like Schenn, who’s been so valuable to us, getting 6 important pieces back for Schenn is huge. It’ll certainly help us jumpstart the rebuild.”
Schenn was traded twice before joining Boston in 2012. He is coming off back to back 30+ goal, 70+ point seasons and saw him announced to the All-Star team in 2018. In total, he has played 411 games in a Bruins uniform and notched 300 points in the span. He missed only 8 games in the past 4 seasons, with 7 of those coming in 2018. He was a Stanley Cup champion with the team in 2014.
Just two days prior saw the Bruins trade veteran forward Zach Parise to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Edmonton’s own 2nd round pick in 2018. Boston also sent the team’s 7th round pick in 2020 to the Oilers to finalize the deal.
Parise was coming off a disappointing season, having scored his lowest amount of goals since 2007 and lowest point total since his rookie year in 2006. The winger, 34, no longer fit into the team’s new direction.
“Zach’s had a few tough years here,” GM Gallant acknowledged. “He’s missed some time and that’s affected his offensive totals. His presence will be missed though. Edmonton’s getting a player who can still make an impact.” The three-time All-Star has played 998 career games in the NEFHL notching 715 points.
At the time of this article, Boston will have 12 picks in the upcoming Entry Draft. The team may not be done, as they’ve put GMs on notice that certain players are no longer available. It remains to be seen if such players have been traded, or if they now fit into the team’s plans going forward.