(Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images )

By: Joe Travia | Follow me on Twitter @NHLJoeTravia

With the NHL bringing back the Reverse Retro jersey concept this season, the word is beginning to leak out that the Bruins will be bringing back the infamous ‘Pooh Bear’ logo. Chris Creamer of sportslogos.net tweeted a screen-grab from the NHL shop website that showed the Bruins will have the logo back for another run during the upcoming 2022-2023 season, though the color scheme is not yet official.

The last time we saw the Pooh Bear was in the chaotic post-lockout 2005-2006 season. Chaotic may even be putting it lightly. The team seemed to be downright cursed (can we call it The Pooh Bear Curse?). Though the team was very poor that year, there were several developments that would ultimately plant the seeds for the organizations Stanley Cup winning effort five years later in 2011.

For starters, the Bruins were just a really bad team that year. They finished 29-37-16, good for last place in the Northeast division and 13th in the Eastern Conference and ultimately costing General Manager Mike O’Connell and Head Coach Mike Sullivan their jobs. It was the first year after the lockout canceled the 2004-2005 season, and the roster was a total mess. Quality players like Brian Rolston and Mike Knuble left the organization to sign elsewhere in free agency, and their replacements, guys like Brad Isbister and Alexei Zhamnov, were flops. The product on the ice night in and night out was nothing short of terrible. The only bright spot was some 20-year-old kid named Patrice Bergeron (ever heard of him?), who led the team in scoring.

While it was a pain watching this team, there were a few moves made that would end up shaping the future of the franchise for years to come. After a horrible start to the season, O’Connell traded franchise player and team captain Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks for Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart, and Wayne Primeau, a deal that is still mocked as one of the worst in NHL history, if not all of the professional sports. Though none of Sturm, Stuart, or Primeau would be on the team by the time the Bruins won the Cup in 2011, the trading of Thornton marked a pivotal moment in the organization’s history. With Thornton gone, the team went out and signed Zdeno Chara, ushering in a new era for a Bruins franchise that had fallen on hard times.

While we may not have known it at the time, a franchise legend arrived that season wearing the Pooh Bear, goaltender Tim Thomas. While the Bruins went into the season considering goaltending a strength, injuries to former Calder Trophy winner Andrew Raycroft and first-round pick Hannu Toivonen thrust Thomas into the starting job mid-season. The rest, as they say, is history. Thomas would go on to win two Vezina trophies as the league’s best goaltender and earned the Conn Smythe as playoff MVP in 2011 as he backstopped the Bruins to a Stanley Cup in one of the greatest goaltending performances of all time.

As you can see, 2005-2006 was a really weird time to be a Bruins fan. Will the return of the Pooh Bear bring us back to those dark times? As a Bruins fan, I hope they are able to break the curse.