By: Gayle Troiani | Follow me on Twitter: @LadyBruinsFan
You know you are a hockey fan…
When the rest of New England is waiting (not so patiently) for Game 6 of the NBA Final between the Celtics and Warriors, and you’re scouring news outlets, Twitter, and other social media sites for any news on your team.
For Bruins fans, the news has been anything but good in the past couple of weeks.
I’m not going to rehash the recent horrendous decisions by the front office but point out why simply being competitive isn’t going to be enough anymore.
Since the Cup winning season in 2011, the Bruins have only missed the playoffs twice and made two additional appearances in the Finals; but falling short in 2013 and 2019 was heartbreaking.
Every year, I look forward to the NHL Draft and Free Agency, hoping the Bruins will fill the need for roster depth and NHL ready players.
The problem is, in this year’s draft, the Bruins don’t have a first-round pick, so immediate impacts need to come from free agency.
Unfortunately, more often than not, current GM Don Sweeney has made puzzling moves like trading a third-round pick for Zac Rinaldo in 2015 or the David Backes and John Moore signings. Another questionable decision was trading two picks for Lee Stempniak when he was cut after training camp.
When the negatives outweigh the positives, it means being competitive is not enough. It means disappointment is most likely inevitable.
What happens if Patrice Bergeron does retire? Is Sweeney going to attempt to replace him, unlike the holes left by Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug? We all know Bergeron himself cannot be replaced, but the need for a first-line center is a priority whether Bergeron returns or retires. Although most of us consider him a God, Bergeron is mortal and won’t play forever.
Bergeron deserves a second Cup; Sweeney needs to build a team that solidifies that.
The ice is melting for some of the veteran core players; Sweeney needs to make the right decisions starting with hiring a new coach to replace Bruce Cassidy. After that, he needs to work on bringing in players that can make an immediate impact.
Being competitive is a norm in Boston, but the standards should be higher. The Bruins brass needs to follow the Patriots’ blueprint for winning because qualifying for the playoffs only to lose in the first or second round is not good enough. We deserve more than an early exit.