For well north of a decade, the Boston Bruins have had an established core that the team always could count on.
But having such stability for so long means that we’re getting closer to the end of their careers than the start.
David Krejci returned to play in the Czech Republic. Zdeno Chara is back with the New York Islanders after a stop in Washington. Patrice Bergeron is a free agent after this season, and Tuukka Rask will be also. Brad Marchand has a few more years left on his contract and is the youngest of that group of players.
All this means is that the proverbial “window” is closing. It’s very much still ajar, as Bergeron and Marchand continue to play at a high level while Rask now is back for the rest of the campaign after offseason hip surgery, but it never the less is moving toward the shut position.
That reality is not a daily topic of conversation for those seasoned Bruins, but it’s also not one they actively avoid.
“(We don’t talk about it) a whole lot. We’ve touched upon that from time to time,” Rask said Wednesday over Zoom. “We’re realistic that we’re getting older and the window is closing. Whether that’s a year, two, three years, who knows, it’s closing, we know that. But we haven’t talked about specific dates or anything.”
That group of players has led the organization to one Stanley Cup and two more visits to the Final. The Bruins still are a team very much in win-now mode, and Rask seems intent on helping get them back to the biggest stage.