Monday, July 13, 2009

What Just Happened in Boston?

Free agents:
G Manny Fernandez, $4,750,000 (u)
LW P.J. Axelsson, 1,850,000 (u)
RW Mark Recchi, 1,250,000 (u)
D Steve Montador, 800,000 (u)
D Shane Hnidy, 760,000 (u)
C Stephane Yelle, 750,000 (u)
C Phil Kessel, 850,000 (r)
D Matt Hunwick, 775,000 (r)
RW Byron Bitz, 675,000 (r)

RW Bryon Bitz, 2 years, $687,500 (re-signed)
C Steve Begin, 1 year (Stars)
RW Mark Recchi, 1 year, $1M (re-signed)

D Steve Montador (Sabres)
D Shane Hnidy (Wild)

The Bruins now are essentially the same team they were, they are who we thought they were. That is, unless P.J. Axelsson bolts. I have always liked P.J's two-way game, and I feel he's a pretty important cog there in Boston, but with their cap issues, and the 900 lb. gorilla in the room that is Phil Kessel's contract situation, can they fit him into their lineup.

Losing Montador and Hnidy won't really hurt, and their pickups aren't exactly world breakers. But they are still the same team that ran away with the East, and should be favored again to do so, that is, as long as nothing extravagant changes (i.e. offer sheet for Mr. Kessel).

I suppose they still need a backup goaltender with the almost guaranteed exit of Manny Fernandez, unless they feel that sitting Tuuka Rask for 60 games won't hinder his development. Considering the extension Tim Thomas recently signed, I'm not sure Rask will be seeing full time duty anytime soon.

Julien and Chiarelli were happy with where they stand, between a Vezina 'tender and a Norris blueliner, I'm pretty sure Boston is ok with what they've got.
Fact: BanginPanger is not meant as an insult to the one and only Darren Pang, nor do I claim to be him. The views and opinions presented on BanginPanger are of my own, and no other namesake of the site, the NHL, Buffalo Sabres, Washington Capitals, or anyone else.