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Saturday, September 09, 2006

Summer Signings Look Good

Entering the summer season, every B's fan was looking for more. More quality players and more quality regarding the on ice product. We have to admit that Chiarelli and Gorton delivered the goods. They delivered the goods because this time, the plan was not to fill up a roster fast with a lack of talent. The plan was to adress needs after a reviewing last year's fiasco. This time, they delivered and they delivered in the right place.

The signing of Zdeno Chara was considered a long shot by many fans including my self (but not to Matt, he said in April they'd sign him). But his signing brought so much of what the B's defense lack last year: experience, stability, toughness and leadership. A smart signing, indeed, when you consider all the potential at the blue line this team will have in the next few years. Alberts, Jurcina, Mark Stuart and later, Lashoff, will all befenit with Chara's presence. Chara will eat lots of minutes and will relieve some pressure on other D-man who were put in situations where they shouldn't be with a predictable and desastrous result. This blue line needed a general and they signed the best one.

The offense, last season, was less then productive in part because there was no 2nd line at all. The B's were predictable and the game plan against them was to neutralize the first line. After that first line, production was non-existant and that's why the B's adressed that need by signing the high profile centerman Marc Savard. Not only this guy is a legitimate #2 centerman, but he will help the team on powerplay, penalty killing, faceoffs and will probably re-lauch Murray's carreer which stalled badly since his good friend Joe has been sent to San Jose. Having two scoring line will add a lot to the team game were now, the third line could play his legitimate role which is to neutralise opponent best players. Maybe it's look silly but when you rely on your third line to score goal and make you win, you're in trouble and that was the offense last season.

The team depth and overall teamwork improved with signings like Donovan and Dempsey. Those signings should not be overlooked because those kind of players have an important role to play. Of course, you don't expect them to be the difference night in, night out. But if those guys can make the difference in a couple of games, that's a return on your investement. Finally, the front office recognized some of the mistakes who were made and decided to let go a number of veteran players who didn't match with the new vision Chiarelli had for the team. The release of Hal Gill relieved many Bruins fans who feared each time he was on the ice.

A very good summer where signings were significant and meaningful. This time, the B's did what they have to do. They could do it because they let down their long lasting philisophy to hire guy from the organization. It's good to look at your own garden but sometimes, it's good to look elsewhere and get fresh ideas. Yes, it was a good summer and yes, as a fan, I can't wait to see that puck drop.


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