The Boston Bruins appear ready to continue to make noise in the National Hockey League's Eastern Conference, and they'll be bringing back most of the supporting cast along with a few additional faces in the fold.
However, one veteran leader who has been a mainstay in the spoked B decided to return to his homeland, while the future of another European star remains in question. David Krejci won't be suiting up for the Bruins for the 1st time in 15 years, as he elected to go back to the Czech Republic and play in front of his family with HC Olomouc in the Czech Extraliga. However, Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy appeared to leave the door open to a potential return for Krejci sometime in the future.
Meanwhile, goaltender Tuukka Rask's future in Beantown remains up in the air. To that end, the Bruins secured help in the crease in the form of former Sabres net minder Linus Ullmark, as well as re-signing forward Taylor Hall who found new life with a change of scenery after leaving the doldrums of Buffalo. The Bruins also added the likes of Nick Foligno, Derek Forbort, Erik Haula and Tomas Nosek.
So what did ESPN's Greg Wyshynski have to say regarding their offseason moves? He saw fit to reward the B's with just that - a B.
"Remaining hole: They don't have much cap space ($1.089 million), but would the Bruins seek to bolster the middle of their lineup with Krejci leaving, or will they seek solutions from within?
Grade: B+. Much of this grade is based on their re-signing of winger Taylor Hall, as well as defensemen Brandon Carlo and Mike Reilly to sensible and smart contracts. Tuukka Rask is out for the first part of next season due to hip surgery and could still return to Boston as a free agent when he's healed up. But if this is the end for the Bruins and Rask, getting Ullmark at four years ($5 million AAV) was solid -- he's improved every year he's been an NHL starter.
The toughest call here is Foligno. Three years ago, he would have been a quintessential Bruin. But while he's physical and can play solid defense, his offensive game has disappeared. As a depth add, he's fine. As a potential solution at No. 2 center, not so much. (Although that's most assuredly Charlie Coyle's job to lose.) Overall, a solid offseason for a team that's trying to keep that championship window propped open -- something that, admittedly, will be harder with "Playoff Krejci" back in the Czech Republic."