In the salary cap era of the NHL, how a team is managed off-ice can be just as important as their on-ice performance. Since taking over as general manager of the Boston Bruins in the summer of 2006, Peter Chiarelli has done a remarkable job of keeping a core group of players in tact while not sacrificing the future of his team.
As the calendar quickly races towards the start of the 2010-2011 NHL campaign, the Boston Bruins are still feeling the lingering effects of disappointment. A year ago the expectations for this team were so great, that anything less than a Cup would be virtually unacceptable. Now, coming off the heels of a record breaking postseason meltdown, Bruins fans are trying their very best to mask the uncertainty that has quietly crept into the Hub.
But the time for speculation is coming to a close. Soon all the talking will stop, at least momentarily, as the 2010 Boston Bruins try and separate themselves from last season, and turn their focus onto this year.
The team that will take the ice on October 9 is not last year’s team. There are new faces, new roles, and new expectations. Here I’ll try and break down what Bruins fans should expect from this year’s group.
The season may be winding down, but there’s still the playoffs lurking right around the corner. It may seem like a short time, but the offseason is a long way off. While some teams will undoubtedly be looking at the 09-10 season sooner than others one thing is certain; the elite teams that have spent up to the salary cap ceiling will have to do some creative work to hold together for next year.