BOSTON (CBS) – Bruins fans did not expect to see their team bounced in the second round, so it’s been a longer offseason than most of us would have liked.
In the aftermath of the Canadiens advancing and the Bruins going home, the game-planning for next season immediately commenced.
The Bruins were outskated by the faster Montreal team, so team speed is certainly an area for improvement, and perhaps the organization has some players down in Providence who can help in that area.
The Bruins amicably said goodbye to Shawn Thornton recently, and it appears the fourth line is going to be rebuilt.
But will that be enough?
Not according to Kirk Luedeke, regional scout for Red Line Report and New England Hockey Journal contributor.
Luedeke joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s The Adam Jones Show Thursday night to talk about the Bruins offseason.
“Are minor tweaks enough?” Jones asked Luedeke.
“The obvious answer to that question is no. That’s not enough to take them where they want to go. They’re a good team, but adding team speed is an important ingredient. The problem that the Bruins have, this season in particular, is the bill is going to come due for that bonus cushion that they got last year for signing Jarome Iginla. They’re not going to have the ability to defer that cap hit.”
The Iginla deal will come to roost, plus the team has restricted free agents in need of raises.
“They don’t have a lot of flexibility to add big names in terms of bringing someone in from the outside without making some kind of trade. They also have to re-sign Torey Krug and Reilly Smith, who are unrestricted free agents and coming out of their entry level deals. Peter Chiarelli has got some decisions to make, and maybe they come via trade.”
Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks is a name you keep hearing in a possible swap with the Bruins for Brad Marchand. Marleau is a veteran that can score, and after three straight lackluster postseason the thinking is the Bruins may be ready to part ways with Marchand.
Winnipeg’s Evander Kane is also a candidate to be traded, so maybe the Bruins explore that.
Luedeke says there’s more risk trading for the inconsistent Kane, but he’s a player that would provide more bang for your buck and long-term stability.
Listen below for the full discussion: