After an almost unsettlingly quiet offseason so far, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli did some catching up this week, announcing a number of transactions as training camp for the 2014-15 NHL season lurks just over a month away. The most notable announcement was a 6-year, $43.5 million dollar contract extension for David Krejci that will keep the 28-year old Czech with the B’s through the 2020-21 season. Additionally, Chiarelli announced a new two-way contract for up-and-comer Matt Fraser, along with an AHL contract for veteran defenseman Steve Eminger and a training camp invite for Ville Leino.
With 30-goal scorer Jarome Iginla fresh out the door and the Bruins on an extended stint in the NHL Salary Cap Jail, it’s no surprise that much of the attention so far this offseason has been focused on how GM Peter Chiarelli will fill the gaps up front to ensure the black and gold remain contenders heading into the 2014-15 season. But while putting pucks in the net is a critical piece of the Stanley Cup puzzle, keeping them out of the net is just as important, and believe it or not Chiarelli and the B’s have another growing conundrum that requires some attention, and that’s who will man the team’s defensive blue line this year.
The Bruins currently have eight NHL-caliber defensemen – nine if you count the recently signed David Warsofsky – and probably seven spots to fill for the opening roster. Add to that the fact that one of those nine, budding star Torey Krug, still remains without a contract as a restricted free agent and you can see why Chiarelli has already said “I’ve got to do something” in regards to his current situation.
Alright, so it’s been a while but trying to get back into the swing of things. The Bruins and the NHL recently released their National TV coverage schedule for the upcoming season, which will see the B’s hit the national airwaves 17 times. The good news is that five of the games are non-exclusive, meaning NESN will still air those games in parallel for us local folk. That also means that’s five less times you potentially have to deal with Pierre McGuire, which is just a bonus.
Whew, what a month. The Boston Bruins completed an impressive month of March, winning 15 of 17 games (15-1-1) and adding points in sixteen straight with a 4-3 shootout win this afternoon in Philadelphia. Oh yea, they knocked off the Stanley Cup champs along the way as well, handing the Hawks a 3-0 shutout loss on Thursday. With the postseason just two weeks away the Black and Gold are showing no signs of slowing down, which should have B’s fans pretty excited at what’s to come.
With back to back wins over the Colorado Avalanche and Phoenix Coyotes this weekend, the Boston Bruins are now a single win away from tying their franchise record of thirteen victories in a row. Oh yea, and they were the first NHL team this season to secure a playoff spot, pushing their league best point total to 103, two better than the St. Louis Blues and a whopping six points ahead of their next closest Eastern Conference competition, the Pittsburgh Penguins. And with just eleven regular season games left, the B’s look primed and ready for a lengthy playoff run.