Should the Boston Bruins try to run it back, retool or overhaul themselves in order to win now?
That’s a question members of hockey community are asking Thursday in the aftermath of the New York Islanders’ elimination of the Bruins in the second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
ESPN’s Emily Kaplan and Greg Wyshynski set “Serious Cup contender” as Boston’s “realistic expectations” for the 2021-22 NHL season. While Kaplan and Wyshynski don’t know what direction the Bruins will take this offseason — as free agency beckons for the likes of Tuukka Rask, David Krejci, Taylor Hall and others — the ESPN NHL experts implore the B’s to make whatever roster moves necessary to provide Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron chance to win another championship.
“Serious Cup contender,” the ESPN duo wrote. “Who knows how things shake out next year? Bergeron and Marchand could be the only two remaining members of the veteran core, for all we know. With those two at ages 35 and 33, respectively, the Bruins should be pushing all-in while the two players are still competing at a high level.”
Whether Boston meets Kaplan’s and Wyshynski’s expectations will depend on a host of factors, many of which we are in no position to evaluate. Nevertheless, their early reaction to the end of Boston’s season suggests the ESPN scribes believe the Bruins’ championship window hasn’t closed entirely and won’t as long as Bergeron and Marchand are in tow.