The vacation season is upon and that all the time offers us trigger to look again and take inventory of the 12 months that was. And the calendar 12 months of 2022 was fairly eventful on your Boston Bruins, one which has produced excessive hopes for the spring of 2023. Here are 10 moments that mattered.
Jan. 1 – Coach Bruce Cassidy lastly broke up the Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Pastrnak line. Pastrnak is dropped all the way down to play with Taylor Hall and Erik Haula and it creates significantly better scoring depth. The Bruins win 10 of their subsequent 12 video games, together with a 4-3 victory over the Sabres on today. Jake DeBrusk would finally bump as much as play with Marchand and Bergeron and discover his sport for granted wing. The B’s, a questionable playoff workforce at this level, would go on to win 51 common season video games.
March 19 – The Bruins acquired defenseman Hampus Lindholm for former first-rounder Urho Vaakanainen, John Moore, a first-round decide in 2022 and second-round picks in 2023 and 2024. Lindholm, who was a pending UFA on the time, rapidly signed an eight-year deal for $6.5 million per season. With Charlie McAvoy already on board with a long-term deal, the Lindholm acquisition offers the Bruins a formidable 1-2 punch with two No. 1-caliber defensemen for the foreseeable future. A few accidents to Lindholm prevented him from flourishing down the stretch in 2021-22, however the transfer – and the contract – have regarded like a steal thus far in 2022-23. Much like GM Don Sweeney’s Taylor Hall deal the earlier season, it was a terrific deadline commerce that turned a rental piece into a serious a part of the workforce’s future.
March 21 – Jake DeBrusk remained a Bruin. One of the largest surprises of commerce deadline day was that DeBrusk not solely wasn’t traded, however he re-upped for 2 extra years at $4 million a season. DeBrusk had requested a commerce in the summertime of 2021 after which, after a wholesome scratch in November of that 12 months, his agent made that request public. The robust love that Cassidy had been displaying DeBrusk in his younger profession had begun to pay constant dividends, but it surely had additionally created a division that might not be healed. But Sweeney refused to maneuver him for the proverbial “bag of pucks,” as many followers had hoped, and he held on to what has confirmed to be an excellent participant at an affordable value.
May 14 – The Bruins’ 2021-22 season got here to an finish. They took a Carolina Hurricane workforce that had dominated them within the common season to a Game 7 regardless of enduring damage and sickness to Lindholm and McAvoy through the sequence. But they fell one aim brief on this late afternoon affair at PNC Arena, triggering a serious change within the route of the workforce. Both Sweeney and workforce president Cam Neely felt that the workforce, with the best way it completed down the stretch within the common season, left one thing on the desk. The administration tandem additionally felt that a few of their younger gamers had not blossomed sufficient underneath Bruce Cassidy. His unvarnished honesty was not appreciated by everybody within the room.
June 6 – The Bruins fired Cassidy. It took Sweeney three weeks to drag the set off on the transfer, and for good motive. Cassidy by no means missed the playoffs in his six years behind the bench and he had a .672 profitable share, took the workforce to inside one win of a Stanley Cup and received the Jack Adams Award in his tenure. He was superb at his job, and the transfer was broadly panned within the media and fandom. Cassidy didn’t have to attend lengthy for the Vegas Golden Knights to rent him with a profitable deal. Some questions of Sweeney’s personal job safety, contemplating he himself was approaching UFA standing, would come up.
June 27 – The Bruins signal Sweeney to multi-year extension. While the deal was introduced simply three days earlier than the GM’s contract was set to run out, it was not a serious shock contemplating Sweeney was already knee-deep within the seek for the workforce’s subsequent coach. Ever for the reason that 2015 draft that noticed him cross on some superb gamers whereas holding three first-round picks, Sweeney has been a lightning rod for criticism. And the dearth of excellent younger (re: low cost) expertise is a wage cap concern. But he’s saved the workforce extremely aggressive whereas refusing to backside out for prime draft picks.
June 30 – Bruins rent Jim Montgomery as their new head coach. Montgomery had a promising teaching profession knocked off its observe when he was fired by the Dallas Stars for alcohol-related points. After present process remedy, he labored two years as an assistant for the St. Louis Blues earlier than touchdown on his ft with the Bruins. He would institute a extra aggressive attacking model that has led the Bruins to the highest of the NHL standings and make them a top-tier Stanley Cup contender. Meanwhile, the workforce protection that has made the Bruins who they’re has not taken a again seat.
July 14 – The Bruins commerce Erik Haula for Pavel Zacha. Haula stepped in and was a serviceable second-line middle, however Zacha has supplied a lot for the B’s. He’s performed all three ahead positions with little drop-off at any of them. He wins battles and races and sees the ice properly. When enjoying with goal-scorers, he’s confirmed to be a superb distributor. If he can enhance his faceoffs, Zacha might be a part of the answer at middle sooner or later. He would signal only a one-year extension, so the B’s want to return to a longer-term settlement. But Zacha has been an excellent match thus far.
Aug. 10 – Bruins introduced Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci signal one-year offers. This is the second that the 2022-23 season had an opportunity to change into one thing particular. Both veterans signed extremely team-friendly, incentive-laden offers (Bergeron has a $2.5 million cap hit for this 12 months, Krejci a mere $1 million) that screamed “one last run.” While Bergeron was coming off one other Selke Award-winning season, Krejci was getting back from a 12 months in his native Czechia. Though he’s handled a few accidents, Krejci has regarded virtually like his outdated self. With Charlie Coyle and Tomas Nosek manning the center within the backside six, the B’s have pretty much as good a bunch of facilities as there may be within the league. The B’s ripped off an NHL-record 14 straight dwelling wins to start out the season, spurring them to a terrific begin.
Nov. 4 – Bruins signed Mitchell Miller. The membership’s joyous rampage via the National Hockey League was interrupted by the choice to signal the controversial protection prospect. Two years in the past, the Arizona Coyotes had rescinded their draft decide of Miller after it got here to gentle that he was convicted of racist bullying of a classmate as a younger teen. However a lot altruism was at play in giving Miller a second probability – and there figures to be a minimum of some, contemplating the signing was one thing the membership didn’t must do – it was overwhelmed by the wave of unfavorable response from a vocal part of followers in addition to the sufferer’s household. The warmth rose so excessive that the membership selected to half methods with Miller 48 hours after the signing. Whether there are additional repercussions stay to be seen. An impartial investigation discovered no malfeasance by any Bruin worker, however the legislation agency which performed the investigation made suggestions on new pointers for the workforce’s player-vetting course of, which the workforce will undertake.