The Big Sad Bruins – A Eastside Hockey Manager Adventure

Ever since their quite miraculous Stanley Cup in 2011, Boston Bruins has been in a downward spiral. Seemingly uncontrollable, the spiral has been mostly self-inflicted by atrocious player trades and very subpar drafting combined with roster management reaching biblical levels of horror. Players like Milan Lucic, Dougie Hamilton, Tyler Seguin, Johnny Boychuk among others all gone and very little usage they got out of the resources acquired in those trades. Not a very good effort from Peter Chiarelli and his successor Don Sweeney as GMs of this great franchise.

Bears´s problems don´t end there sadly. The current roster is very precarious. Currently, housing two 2nd-3rd line centers with 1st line paycheck and adding a wash-away from another team, slapping him a 6M contract is an unbearable situation to stand. Their youth ranks are so and so with future not looking too bright. All and all, the challenge with this franchise is immense and with their statement of releasing Don Sweeney over some unknown GM from Finland, fans were left in a state of distress and uncertainty.

The Team

In all honesty, there is not much to like in this team. The roster is filled with questions, the captain is 40-years old and the punch is nowhere to be seen. We have Patrice Bergeron sitting on a 6,875,000$ contract until 2022, David Krejcl sitting on mind-boggling 7.250,000$ until 2021 and David Backes constantly giggling with 6,000,000$ until 2021. With these guys being 32, 31 and 33 respectively we can add the 40-year-old, captain Zdeno Chara with a lovely 4,000,000 from the current season.

With all due respect, none of these players are world beaters and most certainly not living up to their bills we are paying. Realizing this, it is essential that rebuild starts straight away even with some painful procedures. Having probed couple of teams, it started to be apparent that I could not get any decent deals on Krejcl or Backes and these two are pretty much the bargaining chips the franchise has if you rule out draft picks, youngsters, and Bergeron.

We needed strengthening, that much was obvious but we had some pieces in the team I was willing to hold onto for starters at least.

  • Tuukka Rask – a 30-year-old netminder who has been under increasing workload over past few seasons. Stanley Cup caliber, we just need to help him.
  • Brad Marchand – a 29-year-old native of Nova Scotia, Canada. Grinding winger with a knack for netting some goals for us.
  • David Pastrnak – a 21-year-old Czech wild card who I just signed back to the roster. Still early to say what future holds for him.
  • Torey Krug – While still quite young at 26, he is solid on offense duties but his salary bill makes me concerned somewhat.

Other than that I got few solid roster players to work with but my main concern is the third line center which Ryan Spooner is not due to his lack of nastiness and poise. This leaves me looking for options in the market or hoping that salary cap will force some juicy waiver gifts dropping into my lap. I also need to look for at least one solid 3rd line D-man and somebody to replace Anton Khubodin with if I ever want to ease Rask´s workload without sinking the team. I could try Malcolm Subban who is dormant in Providence but I saw him play last season and I still have nightmares about it. The only youngster beside Pastrnak that deserves mentioning at this point is Brandon Carlo. He is 20, stay-at-home defenseman, has one season in the big leagues under his belt and already is costing me money if not played. So he gets chances to prove himself and find his spot this season.

My farm team Providence does not look too hot for the moment and because I lost a few roster players to Las Vegas I need to find them in the market instead of relying on my youth. All and all I don´t know what the management has done these past years but it seems that to say the least, not what they were suppose to. I got rid of the most of my scouting staff and hired better personnel to help me find some solid draftees in the future as it seems that we need to build on the youth. I still need to raise this franchise to a respectable level to keep my job as the board is in feverish delusions of this being a winning team that enters the playoffs.

Staff is decent. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy is a defense oriented coach with sub par personnel skills but with his 465K salary a year, he can stay for the moment. Have not too much faith in him running the practice but there´s not too much talent he can mess with so we will go on like this for starters. I already mentioned my scouts which I mostly replaced. 

As you can clearly see, I got my work cut out for me at various levels so I get to it and I talk to you about the measures we took once the season is well under way.



Author: Rousty

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