Predicting the Bruins’ Future Retired Numbers (Part Two)

(Photo Credit: Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)

By: Nathan Anderson | Follow me on Twitter @nathandrsn

Welcome back to this series of articles where I pick players that have played for the Bruins in the last ten to 15 years and decide if I think they should or could have their numbers retired someday. If you missed part one of this series, check that out before you read this one because if you don’t there will be a notable omission, I promise you. I’m going to start this article with a fairly obvious pick also, and since there won’t be any surprises, let’s get right into the first candidate.

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#33 Zdeno Chara

This should be a no-brainer. Not only is he one of the best and most consistent defensemen to play for the Bruins, but he’s almost by default one of the most iconic. Being the tallest defenseman in league history would have been memorable enough if he was even a serviceable player. Chara played in six all-star games and made the end-of-season all-star teams seven times. He was the 2009 Norris Trophy winner, the 2011 Messier award winner, and, of course, the captain of the 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins.

He played over 1,000 games for the Bruins and was a +240 over his 14 seasons as captain. He was the captain of a team that could have had three or four captains, which shows how respected he was. He also gave us some electric moments in the hardest shot contest back when the skills competition was exciting (in my opinion) and should be an absolute lock to have his number in the rafters almost as soon as he retires.

#46 David Krejci

Here’s the first guy that I’m truly stuck on. In the first article (which you should have read by now) I had already decided what I was going to declare about the three players I discussed. Krejci is the first one for who I can honestly see a viable argument either way and one day I might be swayed to say 46 should be retired and the next I might say it shouldn’t. We still don’t quite know if his time in Boston is completely finished. I’m not saying I think he’s coming back, I’m just saying it’s not completely out of the question.

Right now though, we do have 15 years to pick apart and evaluate regardless of his future here. He played 962 games with the Bruins since making his debut in 2006-2007, scoring 215 goals. The goal-scoring isn’t what he’s known for though, it’s his ability to pass the puck and make plays that we remember. He has racked up 515 assists to go with his 215 goals, giving him a grand total of 730 points.

The other big note to add to Krejci’s career is his playoff impact. Every time the Bruins made a deep run in the playoffs, Krejci was a crucial reason why they got there. In 156 playoff games, he totaled 124 points with the Bruins and led the playoffs in scoring twice, in 2011 and 2013. In a city that lives and breaths playoff success, that will get you a long way with the fans.

I think ultimately, Krejci will not go up to the rafters with the likes of Bergeron and Chara. However, don’t rule out a potential number retirement years after he does officially retire. With sports becoming increasingly commercial, keeping the fans happy is more important than ever. If the Bruins run into some trouble on the ice in the near future or even far in the future, don’t be surprised if the Bruins decide to make an attempt to play on the nostalgia that reminding the fans of the 2011 championship would provide. If the Bruins continue to be successful though, I think Krejci will, unfortunately, miss out.

#40 Tuukka Rask

We talked about Tim Thomas in the last article, and now it’s time to talk about his successor. We all know Jack Edwards’s saying, “Two U’s, two K’s, two points!”. Tuukka, somewhat under the radar, accumulated enough of those two points to be the Bruins’ all-time winningest goalie. He is missing the Stanley Cup as a starter, so while he technically is a Stanley Cup champion, I don’t think he’ll mind me saying he never was able to get past that final hurdle on his own.

Many people blame him for that. Playoff success (or lack thereof) was one of the biggest criticisms of Tuukka while he was here, and I think a lot of us are realizing now (if we didn’t already) that it was pretty unfair for that narrative to be out there. Tuukka was one of the best players in the 2019 run, and he had a great 2013 playoff run as well. He has never had a save percentage below .900, which may not be the most challenging barrier, but it should show that Tuukka was never really bad for the Bruins when the games got important.

I think Tuukka does get his number retired, or at least I think he should. We also don’t have the issue I mentioned with Tim Thomas in which his number is “too common” for goaltenders. 40 is a relatively unique number, and Tuukka epitomizes that number in Boston. Hopefully, the Bruins do the right thing, shut up the Tuukka haters, and give him an immortal place in Bruins history.

What do you all think? Did I get it right with these three? As I mentioned in part one, there will be more parts to this series, so if someone you think I should have mentioned was left out of this article, don’t worry. They may be in a future edition of this topic! Feel free also to let me know if there is someone you’d like to see me bring into this discussion, I am open to suggestions!

All stats in this article are from hockeyreference.com

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