The Boston Bruins have thus far had a very underwhelming offseason, making very few notable changes following a disappointing run in the Stanley Cup playoffs. In fact you could argue that the biggest change the team has made has been the loss of defenseman Torey Krug on the blue line, and I don't think even the most diehard of Krug haters would try and suggest that his loss has somehow made the team better.
This has resulted in quite a bit of grumbling on the part of the Bruins faithful with many wondering exactly what it is that general manager Don Sweeney is up to. Things have been made that much worse due to the fact that the Bruins have been linked to some gigantic names in the offseason like forward Taylor Hall and defenseman Oliver Ekman Larsson, none of which have materialized as realistic options for the Bruins since those rumors began to make the rounds. Time is now winding down and the number of notable free agents still available has decreased considerably, but one Bruins insider recently made some predictions regarding who the Bruins would sign.
While many have been hoping to see the Bruins take a run at veteran forward Mike Hoffman, a goal scoring specialist, Bruins insider Joe Haggerty does not believe that Hoffman will land in Boston. Instead the Bruins insider predicted that 1 free agent forward and 1 free agent defenseman would sign with the Bruins, and I must admit neither is likely to wow fans in Boston.
I'll start with the defenseman because this is something of an obvious pick, Haggerty predicted that Bruins captain Zdeno Chara will return to the Bruins on a new deal in spite of the fact that some expect the big man to retire. On the forward front Haggerty made something of a more interesting prediction however, suggesting that he believes former Ottawa Senators forward Anthony Duclair will end up in the black and gold come next season.
Duclair is coming off of what was arguably the best season of his NHL career, recording 23 goals and 17 assists for a combined total of 40 points in just 66 games. Duclair has chosen to represent himself as a free agent, a move that has been called into question by several pundits, and there is reason to suspect that this may have played a big role in him still being available at this point. Duclair has also bounced from team to team throughout his career and has shown what is frankly an incredible lack of consistency during his time in the National Hockey League, so it may also be true that general managers are simply choosing to shy away from him as a player.
There have been rumors that suggest Don Sweeney has been placed on an internal salary cap by the Bruins ownership group, and if those rumors are indeed true Sweeney will have to get creative in order to add to his current roster. Duclair may not be a sexy option, and in fact it may be an option that fans in Boston want no part of, but he may be the kind of player that Sweeney has to target in these trying times.
Would you want to see Duclair in black and gold? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.