Summer is here and unlike our livers the NHL news wire has quickly dried up. All the marquee players have signed new deals and even blockbuster trades involving players P.K. Subban and Taylor Hall have gone down.
Still, we are about two weeks into the new NHL year yet no roster is set in stone for the upcoming season. Depending on how you look at it the Bruins have made a few surprising changes, or lack thereof, and even though it’s quiet for guys like us at BostonPucks.com more action is still on the horizon.
Here is a quick 3 Thoughts on some of the hotter Bruins offseason topics:
1) Looking At The Current Roster, Trading David Krejci And Replacing Him With David Backes Would Be Wrong
The biggest acquisition the Bruins have made so far was signing David Backes to a 6 year contract. There is no denying that Backes is a “Bruins” type player and he brings more to the organization than just his play on the ice. His toughness, experience, and leadership is going to be a great addition.
Everyone knows that when you dip into the free agent market you are going to overpay in both term and dollars. So it was not long after the signing of Backes that rumors the Bruins could now trade David Krejci to get their coveted defenseman emerged.
That would not be a good idea.
David Backes has only gone over the 60 point mark in a season once (2010-2011) and that was five seasons ago. David Krejci scores over 60 points on a regular basis even when he misses a significant amount of time due to injury. And in general, when he’s out of the lineup the Bruins offense isn’t nearly as productive.
Although I cannot see David Krejci playing out his contract in Boston, moving him and replacing him with Backes as the 2nd line center would make the Bruins a worse team. At this point of Backes’ career, with the point output that he provides, he is a 3rd line center and you cannot pay your 3rd line center $6 million a year. But if the adaptable Backes plays right wing as he has before that changes the conversation. A right wing who scores over 20 goals and 40 to 50 points has a lot of value in the modern day NHL.
Backes needs to be a right wing on this Bruins team. Personally, I would like to see him play on Krejci’s right side and have Pastrnak play with Marchand and Bergeron. Then you could have Vatrano play the left side with Krejci and Backes. This way Vatrano and Pastrnak are protected a little bit by playing with strong defensive veteran forwards.
One thing we know for sure is kitty litter sales will skyrocket and more pets will be adopted in the Boston area over the next six years while all-world animal lover Backes is playing in the Hub.
2) Have The Bruins Improved This Offseason?
Honestly, I thought there would have been more roster movement in the NHL this off season than there has been. With that being said, a lot of teams in the Eastern Conference still have gotten better on paper.
As of now it is easy to say 6 of the 8 teams that made the playoffs in the Eastern Conference this past season are still better than the Bruins (Washington, Pittsburgh, Florida, Tampa Bay, New York Islanders, and Philadelphia). Plus, a few clubs that were behind the Bruins are better on paper today than they were in April and they are closing the gap fast with their young prospects on the verge of being everyday NHL players (Carolina, New Jersey, Buffalo and Toronto).
Carolina was only 7 points behind the Bruins last season and they have added some offense to go along with their young defensive core. New Jersey has added Taylor Hall and they have a world class goalie in Cory Schneider. Buffalo and Toronto both have improved and I think Buffalo will challenge for a playoff spot this season, but Toronto is probably still a year away.
Adding Backes in my opinion is a wash from losing Loui Eriksson. They both score similar types of goals but that is where the similarities end. The Bruins have done nothing to fix their defense. I do not think the Bruins have done enough so far this offseason to say they are a better team than the team that choked away a playoff spot again last season.
3) Senyshyn Will Miss Development Camp
Bruins rookie development camp starts this week and it is disappointing that Zach Senyshyn is not going to be participating due to having mono. I understand that people get sick and mono has some serious effects on a persons body and their recovery timetable. In sports culture it is surprising that it does not happen more. According to WebMD 90% of people 35 and older have been infected by the virus, but most of the time it gets passed off as a common cold.
My only concern with Senyshyn getting sick is it could hurt is development. If he is not able to train for a couple of weeks at the NHL level it could cause some muscle and conditioning loss. Although Senyshyn is not expected to make the Bruins this season, there’s always the chance this is going to set him back a bit.
Senyshyn has been invited to Hockey Canada’s talent camp for the World Junior Championship team this summer. Making this team would be fantastic for Senyshyn’s development to be able to participate in a world class event that the WJC is. Because of Senyshyn’s age he cannot play in the AHL. If he is not able to make the Bruins he should go back to the Soo Greyhounds, dominate the OHL, and also make Team Canada for the WJC. It would go a long way for his development.
Hopefully the mono does not prevent him from being able to participate at Team Canada’s camp this summer and he can enjoy a fully productive Bruins training camp as well this coming September.