What do you do when you trade Milan Lucic? You get back to what you know best, which is playing physical defense, grinding for every loose puck, and re-establishing themselves as the “Big Bad Bruins.” This formula helped deliver the team’s sixth Stanley Cup back on Causeway Street in 2011.
By John O’Callaghan
This year’s Bruins team has undergone a change in leadership, after former General Manager Peter Chiarelli was succeeded by Assistant GM Don Sweeney, who also donned the Black and Gold throughout his illustrious 15-year career as a defenseman on the team.
Sweeney learned pretty quickly that as a General Manager of a professional sports team, sometimes you have to make difficult decisions for the betterment of the organization as a whole. Those decisions resulted in the team trading young defenseman Dougie Hamilton to the Calgary Flames for draft picks. The Lucic and Hamilton trades allowed them to have three consecutive first round picks, the first time that has ever happened in the history of the National Hockey League. The Bruins took advantage of this situation by drafting three highly touted prospects that hope to be fixtures for the Bruins on and off the ice for years to come in Jakub Zboril, Jake DeBrusk, and Zach Senyshyn respectively.
Some would consider this to be a busy offseason, but Don Sweeney was just getting started on his remodeling that he hopes produces a masterpiece in June. This included acquiring Dorchester native Jimmy Hayes from the Florida Panthers for Reilly Smith. Hayes was a four-year standout at Boston College who led the Eagles to a Frozen Four Championship in the 2009-10 season. Another edition includes former Anaheim Duck Matt Beleskey. Beleskey helped fuel Anaheim’s run in the playoffs by leading the team in goals scored with 8.
It will be interesting to watch second-year forward David Pastrnak’s ascension from a young 18-year-old rookie to a player that hopes to light up the lamp this season. He should expect plenty of help from wily veterans in Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, and Brad Marchand. The Bruins are set to open the season at the TD Garden against the Winnipeg Jets.