Boston Bruins: More Core players will be moved.


Jun 19, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins defenseman

Johnny Boychuk

(55) celebrates after scoring a goal against the Chicago Blackhawks during the third period in game four of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

The David Krejci is still one of the biggest things Boston-area sports fans have been discussing (although the disappointing loss by the New England Patriots is taking over). While no one argues that David Krejci has earned this kind of contract, there have been grumblings among the faithful wondering if this contract is too long. Are the Boston Bruins turning themselves into a team that will end up having a fire sale in the next season or two in order to keep itself under the cap ceiling?

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Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli wants to keep his core players in Boston. He has overseen big signings in the last few years for many of the Bruins top stars. He has helped ink big extensions for Tuukka Rask, Patrice Bergeron, Dennis Seidenberg, and Brad Marchand. He has made it a commitment to keeping as much of the 2011 core team as possible.

This has led to a mistaken impression that Peter Chiarelli will not move those players who are considered part of the core identity. Shawn Thornton was certainly a heart-and-soul player, and the organization chose to walk away from a player whose best strength on the ice was his physicality.  They chose to do the same thing a year earlier when they decided they couldn’t keep defenseman Andrew Ference. In the next few weeks, the Bruins organization will likely again get rid of a player that helped them win the Stanley Cup in 2011.

The safe money is on Adam McQuaid and/or Matt Bartkowski leaving the organization after training camp. They’re probably already being shopped around aggressively by the Black and Gold for teams who are in desperate need for more strength on the blueline. Both players can provide solid experience, and they’re both under the right side of thirty.

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  • The tough money is on Johnny Boychuk being moved. Boychuk is loved in Boston. He’s got a shot that rivals a cannon, he hits like a freight train, he’s got great instincts on the ice that match the Bruins defensive mind style precisely.  He’s an outstanding top pair/second pair player. Last season, his twenty three points(five goals) and his plus/minus of +31 were all personal bests for the Bruins.  Off the ice, he’s one of the nicest Bruins on the team (and that IS saying something).

    The problem is his contract is worth more that Adam McQuaid and Matt Bartkowski combined.  His also older than McQuaid and Bartkowski. While the ideal age for a blueliner in the league is around thirty, the Bruins seem to be going with younger and younger players for their defensemen. (The average age last season for the Bruins d-men was 28.5, and it is likely to go down in the next few seasons.) The Bruins seem to be looking for more scoring depth. By dangling Boychuk to teams that really need to help on defense, the Bruins could easily see a good return on their investment.

    While there will still be parts of the Stanley Cup winning team wearing the Black and Gold in October, the number of 2011 vets will continue to drop for as long as the Bruins push the envelope of the cap ceiling in order to win another championship.