January 22nd 2017.


That is the day that the NEFHL Commissioner Barry announced that Jason Gallant would be taking over the Boston Bruins as the team’s new General Manager after the now-GM the Winnipeg Jets, Chris Ransom, left his position. The team wasn’t in the greatest of shape when he took over, but there were some good pieces. Corey Crawford was minding the goal, while Brayden Schenn led the charge up front. Jeff Petry manned the backend while Josh Anderson was waiting in the shadows for his moment to shine. Zach Parise’s days were seemingly numbered but was later able to rejuvenate his career after leaving the Bruins a few years later. GM Gallant was content to let the season ride out for the most part before trying to stamp his name on the team. Boston finished 12th in the Eastern Conference, 10 points out of the final playoff spot.


During the 2017-18 season, Gallant’s first full season steering the ship, Alexander Steen and David Perron were brought in. Despite finishing 2nd and 3rd in team scoring respectively, it was not enough. GM Gallant brought in some other fresh faces, but the team ended up in 9th place, just 4 points out of the playoffs. Tired of seeing the cupboards empty, GM Gallant was able to draft 10 players, including Joe Veleno among their 3 first round picks. Despite missing out on the 2nd season, GM Gallant was relatively happy with the progress made.

After evaluating the team in the off-season, GM Gallant determined that it would be the right move to use the 2018-19 season as a year to semi-rebuild. Steen, Petry, Crawford and Schenn all left the Bruins, while Perron and Zetterberg led the youngsters including Josh Anderson, Kasperi Kapanen, Brandon Carlo and Victor Mete. Boston finished the season dead-last in the Eastern Conference and were poised for a top pick in the upcoming entry draft. As it usually occurs, several teams jumped up in the draft and Boston fell to the 5th position. They traded down and added additional picks in the process, drafting another 10 players including Victor Soderstrom, Samuel Poulin and Jakob Pelletier, all in the first round.


2019-20 saw a change in direction, and a drastic one. GM Gallant threw out 1st round picks like they were candy and brought in Matt Duchene, JT Miller, Ryan Dzingel, then signed Paul Byron and Carter Hutton. GM Gallant did not enjoy the previous season and wanted to make a push to make the playoffs. It seemed as though too many teams were selling, so they hoped that this would be enough to make some noise. They were calculated risks, but they were still risks. And none of them panned out other than JT Miller’s rise. Duchene struggled all year, as did Dzingel (who was then dealt for Haula). Byron struggled through an injury-riddled year and Hutton couldn’t stop a beach ball and lost the starter job almost immediately.


So, it’s time to course-correct. Why the flip flopping? Partly because NEFHL is nothing like I’ve ever experienced. Never have I sunk in this many hours into a fantasy team and come to the realization that it still might not even be enough. There are so many little intricacies, so many things to consider. It’s a true juggling act and I’m not afraid to say that I made some obvious mistakes, especially last season. Did I still have fun despite it all? Damn right. And it’s really something to say that you have fun losing, and credit the NEFHL for what it is for someone to be able to say that. Three and a half seasons later, I think I finally have an idea on what it is I need to do to succeed, and that includes something that I’ve never demonstrated in fantasy sports: patience. Obviously that’s a small part of it. I look around and I see some other trades happen and I think, man that GM’s been around for years and I’m surprised that they made this deal. To be fair, a lot of those same GMs probably said the same thing about me last year.