The Boston Bruins have been relatively quiet this offseason, which isn’t all that surprising.
Not only are the Bruins coming off a run to the Stanley Cup Final, where they lost in seven games to the St. Louis Blues, but Boston also has most of its roster under contractual control for the 2019-20 NHL season. Meaning a few small tweaks should be enough to keep the Black and Gold a legitimate championship contender.
ESPN’s Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshynski seemingly took this into account when handing out NHL offseason grades for a piece published Tuesday on ESPN.com, as the Bruins received a “B” despite their lack of activity thus far.
Here’s what Wyshynski wrote in justifying Boston’s solid mark:
The Eastern Conference champs are usually more about the in-season tweaks than the offseason impacts. (And when they do dive into the unrestricted free-agent pool, sometimes they come back to the surface with a David Backes contact.)
They added forward Par Lindholm from the Jets on a low-cost two-year deal and forward Brett Ritchie from Dallas on a one-year contract, the latter being a classic change-of-scenery pickup that could help their fourth line. The Bruins also did some housekeeping in inking defenseman Connor Clifton for pennies (three years, $3 million total) and have more to do with RFAs Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo and Danton Heinen. They let forwards Marcus Johansson and Noah Accari walk to add to their $10.1 million in cap space.
Don’t expect Bruins general manager Don Sweeney to kick up his feet for the summer, as the organization always is looking for ways to improve, even if the transactions don’t generate much buzz.
The Bruins certainly don’t want to dish out money or swing trades just for the sake of change, though, as Boston is in really good shape given its current roster situation and the potential shown while marching to within one win of hoisting Lord Stanley.
Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images