Big Changes Could Be Coming to Boston

On Tuesday Charlie Jacobs took over as the new CEO of the Boston Bruins organization, stepping into the job that his father Jeremy had held. In his first move in the position, Charlie held a state-of-the-Bruins address at TD Gardens and the message seemed pretty clear to the organization, play better or moves will be made.

Jacobs did not hold back telling reporters that he had been in talks with management and many others around the organization about what is needed to change to get the team winning again. He spared no sympathy towards anyone stating that losing and the play that the Bruins had displayed on the ice this season will not be tolerated.

It’s unacceptable the way this team has performed given the amount of time, money and effort that’s been spent on this team. To see it deliver the way it has is unacceptable.”- Jacobs

This harsh crashing down of the hammer has, like it does in every instance, sparked another version of the blame game.

Rumours had started to swirl about whether head coach Claude Julien’s days with the team could be numbered or if changes would come to the core of the lineup.

Claude Julien

Julien is in his eight season with the Bruins and can largely be credited with helping the team achieve the successes they have shared over the years. He lead the team to the playoffs every year with the team so far including four division titles, an Eastern Conference championship in 2012-13, and the Stanley Cup back in 2011. He won the Jack Adams Trophy during the 2008-09 season and only

Claude Julien is in his eight season with the team, but his job seems to be in the balance. (Icon SMI)
Claude Julien is in his eight season with the team, but his job seems to be in the balance. (Icon SMI)

twice has he failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs with the team.

This is not the first time the coach has had his job security threatened with the Bruins. Many speculated that during the 2011 season that the bench boss may have been let go, but winning the Cup saved his job. What is also interesting is that Julien signed a contract extension with the team back in November, keeping him in Boston for the next three seasons.

The contract would seem like a sign that he isn’t going anywhere, but as we saw with Randy Carlyle in Toronto Tuesday, commitments to contracts do not stop the sword from falling. Carlyle was fired after signing a two-year contract with the team over the summer. If the Stanley Cup win saved Julien from termination in 2011 maybe the fact that with their win over Pittsburgh Wednesday the team jumped back into a playoff spot, might give him a fighting chance for now.

The Team

Patrice Bergeron leads the team with 30 points in 40 games. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)
Patrice Bergeron leads the team with 30 points in 40 games. (Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports)

Simply opening the stats page of the Bruins will very quickly tell you that almost everyone on the team is under-performing this season to some degree. Patrice Bergeron leads the team with 30 points in 40 games this season and he and Brad Marchand are the only two B’s who have double digit goals this season. The Bruins currently sit 21st in the NHL in goals per game and re averaging 2.58 goals against, slightly higher than their 2.56 goals for per game, not a winning formula.

The team has also been hurt by key injuries this season. Captain Zdeno Chara has played just 22 games this season and scored his first goal since October Wednesday night. Meanwhile the team’s leading scorer from last season, David Krejci, has also been out of the lineup and played in just his 21st game of the year Wednesday.

Missing From Last Season

The team had a couple big names also pack their bags prior to this season. Due to cap restrictions the team was forced to let future Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla walk, ultimately signing with the Colorado Avalanche. The 37-year-old scored 30 goals for the team last season and added 31 assists in 78 games. Meanwhile the team was unable to bring in anyone of Iginla’s stature to help fill that 30-goal hole left by the winger.

The team also said goodbye to defenceman Johnny Boychuck in another move to try and clear some cap space before the season started, sending the blueliner to the New York Islanders. Though he was never a big offensive threat in Boston, recording just five goals and 23 points last season, he was very durable with an impressive plus-31 rating in 75 games.

Tuukka Rask has not been the reason for the team’s failure, but the former Vezina Trophy winner also has seen his numbers dip from his .930 save percentage and 2.04 goals against average last season to .911 and 2.54 respectively.

Everyone is Fair Game

The team might look to move some pieces of the core, but since the team has largely remained the same since last season, with Iginla and Boychuck being the only big differences, that could mean anyone. It is safe to say that the three untouchables on the team would be Bergeron, Chara, and Rask, and if the team is serious about making change especially if they struggle to hold down that last playoff spot, nearly the entire roster could be made available for the right price.

For now nothing concrete seems imminent, but if Jacobs is serious about his comments he made Tuesday, and he seems to have been, then there could be some big changes coming in Boston if things don’t improve.

7 thoughts on “Big Changes Could Be Coming to Boston”

  1. The Bruins are no longer built to compete with the elite skating teams in this league period. The NY Rangers will skate rings around them among other teams.

  2. First of all if anyone should be under the bright lights it should be Chiarelli, he’s made some bone head trades , they should’ve sat down back in 2012 and thought about all these transactions ,,,so what Seguin loved to be in the lime light and he liked to party ,,you got rid of him now hes one of the leading scorers in the NHL. All they had to do was let him play where he wanted and knew he could produce but they kept him at forward where he did not produce.
    And seriously the fact that Julien is even considered to possibly be leaving is Ludacris ,hes one of the top coaches in the league.
    the whole organization needs to get there heads out of there asses we need to get back to smash mouth hockey,,, hit and skate , dump and chase when we are checking hard and skating hard we rarely lose , but every team is worried about the fighting and such everyone is scared there gonna get fined ,,,let them play hockey like the big bad bruins of old and well strt winning games again

  3. Derek is the type of fan that make being a long time B’s fan so frustrating. They have no clue about the game but are the first to voice their opinion. First off, Boychuck was the only expendable defensemen that had value in a trade and didn’t have a no trade clause. Plus, he will command 5-6 mil next year as a UFA, which the B’s cannot pay. Might as well get something for him now and clear cap space to fix holes, which helped them sign Krug and Smith at end of training camp. Keep in mind they had to be cap compliant at start of season and couldn’t put Savard on LTIR until a certain point, plus lost close to 5 mil in capspace due to bonuses to Iginla on his heavy incentive based contract. Eriksson is coming off a season with 2 major concussions, most players don’t return to true form right away, he is just starting to show what he can do. Heck it took Bergeron close to a year to return to his true form after return from his major concussion. As for Seguin, he had major off ice issues in Boston and was about to get a hefty raise, one more mediocre season in Boston and he would have been untradeable, they made the right move for both Bruins and his career, it also gave him the kick in the a$$ he needed. If he stayed in Boston, he would be nowheres near the player he is in Dallas. Plus, the cap dump they did in that deal allowed them to sign Rask and bring in Iggy, if they don’t make that trade Rask possibly leaves and Iggy never comes to Boston. Lucic, well Lucic is one I do agree with, he is lazy and only plays hard in spurts, not worth $6 mil for the production he has shown in the last couple years. Hopefully the wakeup call they got from Jacobs will get him motivated the rest of the season or else I would be ok with him moving on.

  4. Chara should have been traded last year. He hasn’t been the same for a while and they could have gotten a solid return for him. I’m glad they didn’t since I’m a Canadiens fan.

  5. not sure how anyone calling themself a “Hockey Writer” could leave out Shawn Thornton in the “missing from last year” paragraph. His locker room leadership and spark on the ice is sorely missed. If Milan Lucic or Adam McQuaid drop the gloves, the Bruins lose a top 6 forward or a top 4 and PK defenseman for five minutes.. strategically, that’s a lose-lose for Boston, as the other guy in the fight is most likely going to be a fourth line goon. When Thornton went to battle, Boston lost very little for five minutes and would get a great bench spark to boot. He is THE most missed player from last year.

  6. The team is in a funk this year. Morale is in the basement. A couple back-to-back wins may or may not have helped. Chiarelli made a horrendous mistake letting Boychuck go and keeping the always-injured McQuaid around. The second mistake was acquiring Loui Eriksson for Tyler Seguin. While Seguin may have had “maturity issues” in Boston, Eriksson has been a lame duck. Lucic, while a fan favorite, is also a player who’s more off than on; he skates around with the angry face but does not perform like a $6 mill a year player should. He, along with several others, should be handed their walking papers. I’ve heard rumors and would agree that TJ Oshie would be a very nice fit in Boston.

Comments are closed.