I know it’s the nature of the game. Management will move in a different direction. Players will explore free agency, or just no longer fit in a team’s plan. For us Bruins fans, it’s been an emotionally challenging week. We’ve lost four more members of the 2011 Stanley Cup team this week. We lost two to Dallas, one to free agency, and one that we just couldn’t afford to keep on the team. While we know these things are going to happen, the loss of some of these players really hurts.
With a six million dollar reduction in the salary cap this season, the Bruins had no choice but to tighten their belts. Andrew Ference was one of those players that helped negotiate the eleventh hour deal to give us this abbreviated season. It is a bitter irony that the player that fought so hard for the changes to the CBA would be the first one on the team to get punished by them. The parting was neither acrimonious or bitter, it was just an acknowledgment of what the Bruins had available and what they could afford to keep. Ference loves Boston. It’s become home for him and his family, and he’s mentioned that he would move back here after his career was over.
Nathan Horton became the player the team rallied around during the ’11 Cup run. Horton was taken out in game three by an Aaron Rome hit and was out for the remainder of the series. He was the player that poured TD Garden ice water on Vancouver’s rink and declared it ‘home ice’. He was the player that played solid hockey on our first line for the last three seasons. He took several concussions during those years, but he was always a warrior for Boston.
Horton chose to explore free agency this year. Simply put, there was no way we could afford him with the six million dollar hit to the salary cap. He was a champion for us, and that kind of dedication to the team and his line will be missed by everyone here who bleeds Black and Gold.
For those of you who way too busy eating barbecue and watching fireworks yesterday, the Bruins organization unloaded problem child Tyler Seguin and stable veteran Rich Peverley as part of a seven player trade to the Dallas Stars. We got Loui Eriksson who will switch sides to work on the right wing. Sure, it’s a trade that makes sense for us right now. Eriksson is ready to play two-way, defensive minded hockey right now. This is an excellent short term solution to keep the Bruins competitive.
Rich Peverley was one of those players that worked hard for Boston. He was a professional hockey player. He was never going to be a franchise player, or a superstar, but he was a man that came to work everyday, worked his butt off to make the team great, and did what he could when he could. He did put up eighteen points in this shortened season, and played with integrity. In that regard, he will be missed by me more than Seguin.
In regards to Tyler Seguin, sure the kid screwed around a lot this season. He missed skates, partied too long and too hard, and generally made Peter Chiarelli lose hair at an even faster rate. The 2010 #2 overall pick still has amazing talent though. Yes, he’s immature and he could have another powerhouse season if he woke up and played like a professional. Sadly, he never did this season. (Maybe this Swiss league spoiled him.)Did the Bruins stop believing in Tyler Seguin, and sold him off while his value was still high? Could the Bruins have made a bigger effort to make Seguin a franchise player? Or perhaps this was the best we were ever going to see of #19?
It just sounds like the front office just got tired of all the drama. “We’re talking about a good player. Our job—my job as a manager, our coaches job — we have to get the best out of our players, I have to supply them with players, he has to get the best out of them. No player is perfect, either as a player or an individual,” said Bruins’ GM Chiarelli. “All his stuff mushrooms into a proliferation of items on social media and I get overwhelmed by the number of stuff that comes out. Maybe some of it is true, but I kn0w not all of it is true. This kid — Tyler [Seguin] is a 21-year-old, he is a good kid, he’s got a good heart and he is going to continue to grow up.”
Four more members of the family gone. With the plethora of cap space available, maybe the Bruins will take a look back and try to bring Ference or Horton (or maybe even Jaromir Jagr). While the rational person in me understands that this is how the game is played, the guy who watched the Bruins hoist the Cup two years ago is still way too depressed.