It has not been the prettiest of starts for the Bruins in 2014-15 as they look to rebound from their early playoff exit last spring. With a fair share of injuries in the first two weeks, the B’s have struggled through their first nine games, but have shown signs of improvement after putting up a dismal four goals in their first four. Some of their most reliable offensive weapons have gotten off to slow starts and a lot of guys have had to learn to play with new linemates. Here is a deeper look at how Boston has fared statistically through the first two weeks of the season with some interesting nuggets on player, team and opponent stats.
Tag Archives: shawn thornton
The departures of Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton in the offseason, and the injury to Gregory Campbell to start the year; left room open for a few young Bruins’ prospects to grab a hold of an NHL job.
Guys like Ryan Spooner, Matt Fraser, Bobby Robins (technically not a youngster), Alex Khokhlachev, Seth Griffith, Justin Florek, Craig Cunningham, and Matt Lindblad all had the chance to battle for a spot and run with it.
Let’s run through how each of them faired with the opportunity. I should warn you, it’s depressing.
Let’s start with Bobby Robins; Robins won a job out of training camp after he showed tremendous heart and determination. I have never really thought much of him as a player, but even I couldn’t deny that he had earned himself a spot.
Robins rewarded his own efforts with three scoreless games and 14 penalty minutes, including two spirited bouts, and a kneeing penalty against the Washington Capitals, which all but killed any chances of the team winning that game. If a star takes a penalty, it can be easier to swallow given their status and contributions to the team. If a role player like Robins takes a bad penalty, it hits twice as hard given their lack of contributions to the team. Robbins is currently on waivers for designation to Providence.
To be fair; it really isn’t all his fault. The game has passed players like him by. The goon age is at an end.
Today marks the beginning of the Boston Bruins’ 2014-15 season. The offseason hasn’t necessarily been filled with a ton of moves, but training camp has had plenty of activity which will impact this season.
The biggest move came just days ago in the form a trade. Johnny Boychuk was shipped to the New York Islanders in exchange for two second round draft picks and a conditional third. This trade has been met with a bunch of criticism, but Peter Chiarelli didn’t really have a choice. He got a great return from a player who he simply would have lost at the end of the season.
It is easy to say that he could have gotten rid of Chris Kelly, Matt Bartkowski, Adam McQuaid, or Gregory Campbell, but he would have a very difficulty time moving any of those guys for a variety of reasons. Whether it be cap hit, no movement clause, injury history, or something else; the Bruins’ brass didn’t really have much a choice other than Boychuk. Most team’s probably didn’t want anything to do with those other guys.
So where does this move leave the rest of the team’s defense going into the season? Well… for starters it makes the D a little weaker. I don’t think they are going to crash and burn by any means, but losing a warrior like Boychuk does hurt.
Rejoice Bruins’ fans, the hockey season is almost upon us! The B’s opened up training camp yesterday and I am faithfully here to provide you with four important questions to keep track of throughout camp.
When are the Bruins going to re-sign Torey Krug and Reilly Smith?
Ah the big one. Before I begin I should probably get this out of the way first: The B’s are not going to trade either one of them, it isn’t going to happen. Don’t believe me? Here is a quote from General Manager Peter Chiarelli during last night’s state of the Bruins meeting with season ticket holders:
“My intention is to have these players playing for the Bruins, and they’re not going anywhere, so I can tell you that and it’s just a matter of working through these things.”
Now it is easy to say that we have heard this type of lip service, but I believe him. Krug and Smith don’t have any leverage. They can’t sign anywhere else, and holding out is honestly hurting themselves as they will lack the necessary preparation for the upcoming season. The B’s obviously want them under contract, but don’t necessarily have the cap space to do so right this second. These two are going to be in the black and gold this season and many others after that. It’s just a matter of making a trade to clear some space to sign them, which leads me to my next question…
Who are the Bruins going to trade to clear some cap space?
Before you start screaming at your computer “Chris Kelly, Adam McQuaid, Jordan Caron, and Matt Bartkowski!”, remember that these aren’t hot trade chips that every team is clamoring for. Both Chris Kelly and Adam McQuaid are coming off of substantial injuries and are going to need to prove that they can still play to build up their trade value again. Caron is literally a throw in to any trade the B’s make, I believe he can be a serviceable bottom six forward given a fresh start somewhere, but he’s done in Boston. We know, he knows it, and potential trade partners know it.
Bartkowski is a worthy trade chip, but his value might be limited due to his pretty terrible playoff performance last season. I believe he is on the outs in Boston and the B’s are looking for the best possible options before pulling the trigger, even if it means some important young players are without new deals. The other possibility is Johnny Boychuk who could simultaneously give the team its biggest cap relief, and garner the best return. However it appears as if it is a last resort, as it seems as if the team wants to retain him for one last run. This situation will be resolved soon, so stay tuned.
Well, Boston fans, it’s official:
Former depth forward and longtime Bruins fan favorite Shawn Thornton is headed south.
According to CBS Sports, the Florida Panthers picked up Thornton about an hour after Free Agency opened on Tuesday, July 1st.
Thornton has been signed to a two-year, $1.2 million dollar deal by Boston’s division rivals, which is only a slight raise from the $1.1 million he was receiving from the B’s. Quite a steal for Florida, who are still sitting under the salary floor two hours after negotiations began.
Boston is going to miss Thorty, who was not only an effective enforcer on the ice, but was a leader on the team in the locker room. Best of luck, and here’s to all the season matchups against Florida that will give Boston fans the opportunity to see one of the team’s favorite guys for the past few years.
The Boston Bruins have announced today that they will not re-signing enforcer Shawn Thornton. While the news isn’t necessarily shocking given the direction of the team; it is still tough to see a fan favorite move on. We as B’s fans had to do so last season when Andrew Ference was given notice that he would not be re-signed by the team.
Hockey is a business, and this is unfortunate part of that business.
Thornton was signed by the Bruins as a free agent in 2007. He was coming off of his first Stanley Cup Championship with the Anaheim Ducks. He has been a Bruin ever since, and one of the faces of the team’s renaissance from laughing stock to elite contender.
He is a surprisingly skilled fourth line pugilist as well as an exceptional leader. Unfortunately he is 36 years old (he will 37 in July) and there are plenty of players in Providence that can step in and possibly make more of an impact. It’s also tough to ask someone at his age to keep fighting on a nightly basis. This point is further built upon by the league trending away from fighting.
In truth; guys like Shawn Thornton, leadership and character notwithstanding, are becoming a thing of the past in the NHL.