The Boston Bruins’ roster underwent a full-scale makeover this past summer, with more than a half-dozen players leaving town either via trade or through free agency.
The shift — which also included the appointment of a new general manager in Don Sweeney — was a drastic one for a team that had kept its core largely intact for the previous half-decade.
But in the eyes of goaltender Tuukka Rask, who watched from his net as the Bruins missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007, the shakeup was inevitable.
“It was bound to happen,” Rask said this week in a lengthy Q&A with Sportsnet. “Everybody expected us to make some changes. It?s sad to see Looch (Milan Lucic) gone and Soupy (Gregory Campbell) gone and a bunch of other people. These things happen nowadays. Teams change, and you have to deal with it. We?re going to have a great team out there, so it?s exciting.”
Lucic and Campbell both were members of the 2010-11 Bruins squad that won the Stanley Cup, as was fellow castoff Daniel Paille. But Boston’s greatest offseason loss was that of defenseman Dougie Hamilton, who was traded to the Calgary Flames after enjoying a breakout season.
With the trade of Hamilton coming less than a year after the Bruins shipped Johnny Boychuk to the New York Islanders, Rask was asked whether he feels the team has hung him out to dry by trading away some of its best blueliners.
“Not really,” he responded. “Losing Johnny was a big blow. I don?t think we realized how big he was until we saw him gone. He was with us until training camp. The trade happened last second. It was really frustrating for all of us, and everybody knows how good of a player he is now. We?ve got so many good, young D’s coming up that I?ll think we?ll be set.”
Injuries to veterans Dennis Seidenberg and Zdeno Chara this preseason has made the job of those young D’s even tougher. Chara very well might be healthy in time for next Thursday’s season opener, but Seidenberg is expected to be out until mid-November at the earliest after undergoing back surgery.
Read Rask’s full interview, which also touches on his love of tennis and his feelings toward 3-on-3 overtime, right here.
Thumbnail photo via Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports Images