Group Info

7M Dennis Seidenberg 73.15 46 4 13 17 +18 $3.25M Johnny Boychuk 72.88 44 1 5 6 +

The Boston Bruins reached the Stanley Cup Final for the second time in the last three seasons, ultimately losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games. Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic . Off-Season Game Plan looks at a Bruins team that is likely to remain a Cup contender, though they will have some hard decisions to make this summer with the salary cap decreasing to $64.3-million. General Manager Peter Chiarelli recognizes the challenges ahead, telling unrestricted free agents Jaromir Jagr, Andrew Ference and Jay Pandolfo that the Bruins wouldnt be bringing them back. That apparently leaves the door open for Nathan Horton, but it wont be easy to fit Horton in while keeping the rest of the Bruins core intact. These are hard roster decisions, but the Bruins only run into this challenge because theyve been a successful team and have locked up their core with long-term contracts. With goaltender Tuukka Rask a restricted free agent this summer and centre Patrice Bergeron eligible for a contract extension, the Bruins are looking at more financial commitments that will make it difficult to add much to their roster, unless they can shed some other salaries. The good news for the Bruins is that they have a strong core, good puck possession metrics and one of the best goaltenders in the league, all factors that, even with some roster losses, indicate they should be contenders again next season. The Rating is an efficiency rating based on per-game statistics including goals and assists -- weighted for strength (ie. power play, even, shorthanded) -- plus-minus, hits, blocked shots, giveaways, takeaways, penalty differential and faceoffs. (Stats are listed in this format: G-A-PTS, +/-, PIM, GP). Generally, a replacement-level player is around a 60, a top six forward and top four defenceman will be 70-plus, stars will be over 80 and MVP candidates could go over 90. Sidney Crosby finished at the top of the 2013 regular season ratings with a 93.65. Salary cap information all comes from the indispensable GM/COACH Peter Chiarelli/Claude Julien Returning Forwards Player Rating GP G A PTS +/- Cap Hit David Krejci 80.21 47 10 23 33 +1 $5.25M Patrice Bergeron 76.18 42 10 22 32 +24 $5.0M Brad Marchand 75.18 45 18 18 36 +23 $4.5M Milan Lucic 74.03 46 7 20 27 +8 $6.0M Tyler Seguin 71.62 48 16 16 32 +23 $5.75M Daniel Paille 64.73 46 10 7 17 +3 $1.3M Gregory Campbell 62.84 48 4 9 13 +2 $1.6M Rich Peverley 60.07 47 6 12 18 -9 $3.25M Chris Kelly 57.95 34 3 6 9 -8 $3.0M Shawn Thornton 57.03 45 3 4 7 +1 $1.1M Marc Savard             $4.027M Free Agent Forwards Player Rating GP G A PTS +/- Class 12-13 Cap Hit Nathan Horton 74.61 43 13 9 22 +1 UFA $4.0M Jaromir Jagr 70.03 45 16 19 35 -2 UFA $4.55M Kaspars Daugavins 54.42 25 1 3 4 -8 RFA $635K Jay Pandolfo 50.65 18 0 0 0 -2 UFA $625K Bruins Forwards Usage Chart from A cerebral player who has led the playoffs in scoring twice in the last three years, David Krejcis regular season production has been good, not great, with his 73-point season in 2007-2008 still his career benchmark. Hes a playmaker, with tremendous vision and has been a good fit with power wingers Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton. Bostons playoff success in recent seasons has helped gain Patrice Bergeron the notoriety he deserves as one of the games elite two-way performers. Consider the company he keeps in terms of puck possession over the last four years and then realize that, unlike the few ranked ahead of him, Bergeron starts most of his shifts in the defensive zone and is often facing the oppositions top scoring line. While Bergerons offensive contributions are fine -- 205 points over the last four seasons is tied for 47th with Vincent Lecavalier -- his defensive play is what sets him apart (he should have won the Selke Trophy again in 2013, but finished a very close second) and makes him as valuable as all but a handful of players in the league. While were on the subject of value, with one year remaining on his deal, Bergeron is eligible for an extension this summer and it will be a priority for the Bruins. After a guy plays with broken ribs, torn cartilage a separated shoulder and a small hole in his lung, as Bergeron did in the playoffs, theres no need to question whether he has the kind of character/heart/grit/commitment that a team would like to commit to long-term. The Bruins leading scorer during the regular season, Brad Marchand didnt have quite the same success in the playoffs, but hes a nice complement to Bergeron, with his in-your-face, agitating style of play serving to annoy the opposition, and only makes it more aggravating when Bergeron and Marchand dominate puck possession. For much of the 2013 season, Milan Lucic was an enigma, his scoring rates down from previous seasons. Finishing a career-low 8.9% of his shots, Lucics goals per game (0.15) was his lowest since his rookie season, 2007-2008 and he wasnt playing 17 minutes per game on the teams top scoring line then. Then the playoffs started and Lucic started to get snarly again, using his imposing strength to create turnovers on the forecheck and regularly stepping in to support teammates. Oh, he also had 19 points and a plus-12 rating in 22 games. The trick for Lucic, if hes going to be great, is to find a way to keep that intensity, or something close to it, throughout the regular season so that hes producing like a premier power forward. This isnt to suggest that Lucic isnt already valuable. Over the last three seasons, Corey Perry is the only other player in the league to have 150 points and 300 penalty minutes, but Lucic showed in the playoffs just how dominant he can be when hes in the right frame of mind. Its a testament to high expectations that Tyler Seguin, a 21-year-old who is tied for 14th with 36 even-strength goals over the last two seasons, is considered something of a disappointment because his third season production, including the playoffs when he scored one goal in 22 games, wasnt at the same level of his superb sophomore campaign. Before throwing Seguin out with the bath water, the Bruins have to recognize that Seguin delivers excellent possession numbers and generated 3.35 shots per game, a pretty healthy increase from 2011-2012 when he was just under three shots per game. The second overall pick from the 2010 draft can show more willingness to go to the hard areas around the net to score, but his hands and gamebreaking speed make him a very valuable commodity going forward. A speedy checking winger, Daniel Paille has found a niche with the Bruins and produced his fourth double-digit goal season despite the shortened schedule. He was a valuable contributor in the playoffs too, with three of his four goals counting as game-winners. The face of perseverance after he stayed on the ice to complete his with a broken fibula following a block of an Evgeni Malkin slap shot, Gregory Campbell is a very good fourth-line centre. Hes tough and versatile enough to move up the depth chart when needed. Early in his career, Rich Peverley was a feel-good story: an undrafted player who proved he belonged in the league after he was picked up on waivers, but he struggled in 2013, going through some ridiculously bad luck offensively. Consider: Peverley scored at just barely more than half the rate of 2011-2012 (0.74 ppg down to 0.38) and did so while generating more shots on goal per game with better possession stats. What stands out about Peverleys production is that his 5-on-5 on-ice shooting percentage was just 4.63%, low even for standard third-line production. Following up the best offensive season of his career in 2011-2012, when he scored 20 goals and 39 points while scoring on a career-high 16.4% of his shots, Chris Kelly was bitten hard by the regression monster in 2013, finishing with three goals and nine points, scoring on a career-low 7.5% of his shots. A reasonable expectation might fall somewhere in between those two extremes, though hell be 33 in November, so some decline is likely creeping into his production. Shawn Thornton didnt play more than half of an NHL season until he was 29-years-old, so hes made the most of his 30s, a time when many players see their games slide. He is the rare enforcer that plays well enough to dress, albeit playing a limited role, in the postseason and take close to a regular turn on the fourth line throughout the season. Over the last five seasons, hes played all but 18 regular-season games for the Bruins. Scooped off waivers from Ottawa, Kaspars Daugavins can work in a regular fourth-line, penalty-killing role. He has 15 points in 91 career games so, despite his stylish shootout attempt, hes going to have to make it as a checker. Without much room to move under the salary cap, if the Bruins are going to add forwards, it will likely be internal candidates, with Carl Soderberg and Ryan Spooner likely candidates. Returning Defence Player Rating GP G A PTS +/- Cap Hit Zdeno Chara 78.32 48 7 12 19 +14 $6.917M Dennis Seidenberg 73.15 46 4 13 17 +18 $3.25M Johnny Boychuk 72.88 44 1 5 6 +5 $3.367M Dougie Hamilton 69.95 42 5 11 16 +4 $1.494M Adam McQuaid 66.26 32 1 3 4 0 $1.567M Free Agent Defence Player Rating GP G A PTS +/- Class 12-13 Cap Hit Wade Redden 67.92 29 3 4 7 -2 UFA $1.0M Andrew Ference 67.51 48 4 9 13
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