Fans have been quite honest about it: the Boston Bruins’ 2020 offseason has been more than underwhelming. Beloved defenseman Torey Krug left Beantown as a free agent to sign with the St. Louis Blues, and the only thing that was done about it when the Bruins re-signing oft-injured Kevan Miller. Let us remind you that he hasn’t played an NHL game in over 18 months due to an assortment of injury setbacks stemming from a pair of kneecap fractures.
But that was one of the Bruins’ moved that prompted NBC Sports’ Pierre McGuire to slam the team on the air of TSN 690. Not only did he heavily criticized the Bruins, he ranked them behind the Montreal Canadiens, one of their biggest rivals.
There was no Taylor Hall for the Bruins, while the Habs added a pair of wingers in Josh Anderson (via trade) and Tyler Toffoli (via free agency). And the Bruins were interested in those players, they just lost out.
On top of that, the Bruins are expected to be without Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak for the start of the 2020-21 season, whenever that will be. And the team needs to make the most of their remaining $10.3 million in cap space devoted to re-signing Matt Grzelcyk, Jake DeBrusk and Zdeno Chara.
All that pushed McGuire to say that the Canadiens have passed both the Bruins and the Maple Leafs in the Atlantic Division thanks to their big offseason splashes.
“On paper, [Montreal] better be one of the better teams in the Atlantic Division,” said NBC hockey analyst## Pierre McGuire during his Tuesday segment with Melnick in the Afternoon on TSN 690. “I think they’re ahead of both [Boston and Toronto] to tell you the truth. I know they don’t have the name brand recognition of Toronto with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner and John Tavares. They don’t have those high names and those high-infrastructure-type personalities. They don’t have the Perfection Line like in Boston with [David] Pastrnak, [Patrice] Bergeron and [Brad] Marchand, but then again you saw the news out of Boston with Marchand having sports hernia surgery and Pastrnak having significant [hip] surgery.
“That’s going to keep both of those guys out for a while and that’s going to impact Boston’s infrastructure significantly. Boston has been very pedestrian this offseason and there’s been no question about that. I think everybody around the league knows that. I don’t know what their media has been reporting, but I can tell that it’s been pedestrian for them. They’ve got some serious work to do if they’re going to get to the levels they were at this past season as a President’s Trophy-winning team. I would say Montreal is ahead of both of them right now.”
We can’t always agree with McGuire (as of matter of fact, we rarely do) but he’s got a point here. The Bruins need to make a move and a big one to remain contenders.