By: Lucas Pearson | Follow Me On Twitter @LucasPearson_
The final game of the year always hurts. It’s inevitable that there will be departures from the roster, it’s just a matter of who. After as crazy of a season you can get, it’s going to be a very interesting offseason for the Bruins. Don Sweeney is going to have his work cut out for him. Here’s a list of a few players that we may have seen the last game of them in the spoked-b.
Everyone knew going into this season it may be Krug’s last in Boston. The UFA to be is going to enjoy a nice pay raise this offseason after years of success. A season after leading the playoffs in assists, Krug was a bit of a disappointment in this year’s postseason. That’s not necessarily all on him however, his usual partner Brandon Carlo also seemed off and their usual superb play was one of the many reasons the Bruins couldn’t reach the cup yet again. It really hurts to type this, but with everything that’s been floating around online, I think TK47’s time with the Bruins has come to an end. I’ll certainly miss him.
From all I’ve seen, I think the big man will be back next season. He wants to be back in a Bruin’s sweater and despite having no legs, he’s still effective in certain roles. Nobody’s saying he’s an ultra-dynamic defenseman, but he continues to be one of the better penalty killers in the league. If the Bruins bring him back for just above a million for a season, I don’t see the problem with it. Let him continue to be a leader, give him 16-17 minutes a night, start him in the B’s own zone and he’ll do just fine.
I think we were all surprised how good Nordstrom was. Coming off of a two goal season with the Hurricanes, the signing by Don Sweeney raised a couple eyebrows and those eyebrows stayed up (this time in a good way) after watching him play. There wasn’t a second when Nordstrom wasn’t working his ass off. He puts his body on the line each and every shift whether he’s blocking shots or hitting everything in sight. He was so damn good in their Cup run last season.
But in all honesty, I can’t see Nordy coming back to Boston next season. The Bruins have so many kids vying for spots (Zach Senyshyn, Jack Studnicka, Trent Frederic, Karson Kuhlman, the list goes on) so it doesn’t really make sense to give a veteran like Nordstrom a raise to play bottom-six minutes (which is why I didn’t really get the Chris Wagner resigning but that’s a story for another day).
To say that the Nick Ritchie trade has worked out would be an understatement. He had three points in 15 regular season and playoff games and just didn’t look good. He was out of shape and simply didn’t fit anywhere the Bs tried to play him. He was acquired to be muscle with a scoring upside but there wasn’t much of the latter. The Bruins have always wanted to gain size, but they’ve always seemed to force a move to fix that issue. Remember Jimmy Hayes? I think that Reilly Smith kid is doing just fine potting 20 a year and averaging just about a point per game in the playoffs with Vegas. But with all that being said, I think it’s too early to give up on Ritchie. He’s making just under $1.5 million a year and a full offseason with the team would do wonders. Get Chara to whip him into shape and I think he could still be a solid player for this team. Remember, he’s still just 24 years-old.
John Moore has been a casualty of the Bruins great depth on the back end. With young guys like Connor Clifton and Jeremy Lauzon playing some great hockey, the veteran Moore has been lost in the shuffle. He hasn’t been terrible by any means, but when you have a guy making $2.75 million sitting in the press box more often than not, that’s not a recipe for success. Could they buy him out? Maybe. But I think a team looking to get to the cap floor could give a late pick to the Bruins to get a serviceable dman in return.
I really hope this wasn’t the last of Tuukka in a B’s sweater. I don’t think he’ll get moved, but there is word out there that Sweeney has gauged the market on Rask. The man had the best GAA and 2nd best save percentage in the league, you don’t trade him if you want to win. It’s a shame that he had to leave the bubble in this year’s playoffs but I can’t see a single scenario where the Bruins are a better team without Tuukka in net. If the Bruins show up in Game 7 last year, Rask walks home with the Conn Smyth and the Stanley Cup and all the stupid “Rask stinks” narratives are out the window.