Boston Bruins President Cam Neely said they will take a “hard look” at the roster this offseason in order to remain in Stanley Cup-contention. After back-to-back second round eliminations, there is little confidence among management that the current roster is a Cup-winning one.
First off, the Bruins acknowledge that the offensive core they’ve had for around a decade is another year older. Albeit, their level of play has certainly not decreased. Patrice Bergeron has been nominated a finalist for the Selke Trophy this year for the 10th consecutive season. David Krejci will become a UFA this offseason, but it is unlikely he will play for any other NHL team, especially now that the Bruins look to re-sign Taylor Hall. All things considered, they really need to look for their third and fourth lines to up production. It was clear vs the New York Islanders that Boston lacked physicality and scoring in their bottom six. No matter how the playoffs go, it seems every other team but the Bruins has confidence in their depth scoring.
Secondly, the Bruins were plagued with injuries on their back end. The Bruins defensemen sustained a combined eight concussions this season. While they continue to look for “that elusive left D,” they do not necessarily need to completely revamp their defensive corps. As proficient as Kevan Miller is when healthy, perhaps they should dump him to make room for less injury-prone players. Shoring up depth on defense will certainly help, as well as some larger bodies on the blue line too.
Lastly, they have a tall task ahead of them when confronted with their goaltending dilemma. Tuukka Rask, the Bruins’ all-time leader in wins, can also enter UFA and will be sidelined for several months due to hip surgery. He has said he will not play for any other organization. The Bruins will either sign him this summer or wait until he’s healthy and reevaluate. If the plan with Rask goes awry, they have two courses of action. Go with a combination of Jeremy Swayman (7-3-0, 1.50 GAA, .945 SV%) and Dan Vladar (2-2-1, 3.40 GAA, .886 SV%), or hit the market and opt to add a veteran goalie.