In a week filled with trades and signings across all sports, no New England team had a larger overhaul than the Boston Bruins. They made significant moves in all aspects of the roster, with only the perfection line going untouched in the forward group. Let’s take a closer look at each new addition (and subtraction) and the potential impact going forward.
The goalie situation is an interesting one for the Bruins. With Tuukka Rask out for 5-6 months after hip surgery and a free agent, they needed to make a move to sure up their net-minders. Although I was initially surprised by the Ullmark signing, it makes a lot of sense given that Jaroslav Halak was bumped down the roster by Jeremy Swayman and he is just 22 years old and has only had 10 games in net for the Bruins. Ullmark will be the #1 and give Swayman an opportunity to learn and grow behind a veteran. The big question mark is around whether the Bs will legitimately look at Rask as an option when he is healthy, but a lot can happen between now and then.
With a flurry of free agency day 1 moves, the Bs made some additions in the forward group, but not without a major loss as well. Re-signing Taylor Hall this past week was important and bringing in Foligno, Haula, and Nosek as depth guys makes sense, but news that David Krejci was going back to the Czech Republic and leaving a center vacancy on the 2nd line will hurt the Bs. Charlie Coyle is a candidate to step into that role or perhaps Jack Studnicka, but it definitely leaves some question marks in the 4-6 forward spots. The bottom-6 feels like it is improved with Foligno, Haula, and Nosek, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a forward or two is involved in a trade for a defenseman before the season begins.
The d-group definitely needed some work after Kevan Miller‘s retirement and Jeremy Lauzon being selected in the expansion draft. They struggled at times last year and need to improve if they want to return to contender status, especially in the 2nd and 3rd pairings. The addition of Forbort will help, but I hope Don Sweeney is still working to see if their are opportunities on the trade market to improve this group overall. They could use another one or maybe two defensemen between now and the start of the season. A big issue to watch is cap space going forward.