Ty Anderson of 98.5 The Sports Hub wrote a piece today going over his thoughts on the offseason that was for the Boston Bruins. Anderson writes that while the offseason losses were a challenge for the team, he believes the club can still contend for a division title, and at the very least make the playoffs in the Atlantic Division.
While Anderson offers up many reasons for optimism, he does believe that if the Bruins were to falter, they should look to move on from the eight unrestricted free agents that the Bruins will be dressing on opening night and try to acquire assets for them rather than throwing assets after band-aid solutions. Boston does have an extensive list of unrestricted free agents at the end of this year including Jake DeBrusk, James van Riemsdyk, Milan Lucic, A.J. Greer, Matt Grzelcyk, Derek Forbort, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Jakub Zboril. Moving on from these players would help facilitate a re-tool should the Bruins opt to go down that path.
There is a belief with Anderson and others that the Bruins could be buyers in the summer of 2024 when the cap goes up and the bonuses come off Boston’s cap. An added bonus to selling at the deadline would be that any assets acquired at the deadline could help the team make moves next summer when they have cap space to play with. Now, while it seems silly to be looking at trade deadline moves when the season hasn’t even started, it is an interesting idea for the Bruins for the reasons mentioned above.
One final note, and this could be a big one, is that Boston’s first-round pick this season was dealt in the Tyler Bertuzzi trade. The pick is top-10 protected and if Boston were to fall down the standings, they could grab a top-10 pick this year in a re-tooling year and give Detroit their 2025 pick when they presumably have re-stocked the NHL roster. The risk there of course is that they falter again in 2025 and hand the Red Wings a top-10 pick, but that seems unlikely given that the team will still have some solid pieces in place and possibly some reinforcements to join them.