Updated: Jul 29, 2018
The disappointment that was the Bruins free agency.
How the Bruins did absolutely nothing this free agency, and how it will impact the 2018-19 season.
Will the Bruins be able to compete with the likes of Toronto and Tampa Bay?
The Bruins will be able to stick with those teams, solely because they have the best first line in the NHL (consisting of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak). But in order for Boston to take a step forward instead of one backwards, they needed to add a strong forward in this free agent class. And I'm not even talking about John Tavares, who seemed destined for the Maple Leafs the entire way. Not even Paul Stastny, or James Neal (who would have been nice in a Bruins uniform but...). The best fit, for the best price, would be James van Riemsdyk. Imagine having him, who scored 36 goals last year, on the Bruins second line with David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk? Now you would have two elite forward lines.
Who's fault is this really, Peter Chiarelli's or Don Sweeney's?
Both. As a Bruins fan, there's no easy way to put this, but they have both been terrible. Now I won't completely just bash the two, they've both had a few good draft choices. In Chiarelli's first year as the Bruins GM, he had a very good draft, as he selected Phil Kessell, Milan Lucic, and Brad Marchand in the first, second, and third rounds respectively. But from then on, things went down hill. His first round picks from 2007 to 2014 were Zach Hamill, Joe Colborne, Jordan Caron, Tyler Seguin, Dougie Hamilton, Malcolm Subban, and David Pastrnak. Seguin was a no brainer at second overall in a very straight forward draft, but Pastrnak was a steal at 25th overall. Besides those two, Chiarelli really didn't do much good for Boston, in drafts, trades, and free agency. Now to Don Sweeney. To be fair, he was handed a bunch of poor contracts, but his first year as the head GM, he was handed a gift of a draft. The Bruins, through trades, had acquired both the 13th and 15th picks of the 2015 Draft, and already had their own at 14th overall. He took Jakob Zboril, Jake DeBrusk, and Zachary Senyshyn. Passing on Mathew Barzal, Brock Boeser, Kyle Connor and more high end NHLers. So far only DeBrusk has played in the NHL. He has been a solid player, but Zboril and Senyshyn have been less than stellar in the AHL. Overall though, Sweeney has been better than Chiarelli, who after in his stint in Boston, went to the Edmonton Oilers, and promptly traded Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson. Oy vey.