Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli saw enough of his third and fourth lines getting pounded around by the bottom-six likes of Mike Knuble, Joel Ward, Jason Chimera and Jay Beagle during their playoff series vs. the Capitals to detect an area of roster-building that might need to be addressed.
While it may not result in the addition of Zach Parise or Rich Nash as some waving Black and Gold pompoms would certainly be clamoring for, Chiarelli said that changes should be expected for a current roster of players that couldnt get out of the first round this season.
The Bruins have a bevy of young players ready to contribute as soon as next season: Ryan Spooner, Jared Knight and Dougie Hamilton are the biggest names that could be ready to inject some youth and enthusiasm. Chiarelli isnt going to touch those players as they develop naturally within Bostons system, but some turnover appears to be a certainty on the big Bs roster.
Youve seen some guys that are going to challenge but on the major change front, Im not looking at doing anything on that front, said Chiarelli. But I would like to add some pieces.
While the Bs GM made certain to assure that it didnt mean the end of days in a Bruins uniform for players like Benoit Pouliot or Jordan Caron, Chiarelli said a top-nine winger is at the top of his offseason shopping cart. It isnt necessarily a player to replace Nathan Horton that Chiarelli is looking for, but instead a more effective, offensively dangerous piece that plays a little heavier a la Michael Ryder two years ago.
We obviously have some guys to consider whether we sign them or not. From the makeover perspective, certainly were not going to do anything to makeover this team, said Chiarelli. You hear me talk about the parity in this league and our first round loss in seven games this year could be another Stanley Cup Final appearance next year its that close. You saw the number of teams in the West you kind of see the new four teams in the West and you see some different teams in the East so you just have to be prepared.
Id like to maybe look at a forward to bolster our top nine, doesnt mean Im not going to look at signing Pouliot. It doesnt mean were not going to consider Caron up there. I just want to look at the trade market and the free agent market.
There are no names at the forefront so soon after the season has concluded to put at the top of Chiarellis shopping list, but theres little doubting that changes are coming for the soon-to-be-no-longer reigning Cup champion Boston Bruins.