Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Latest Bruins Buzz

As reported, the Bruins recently acquired F Nathan Horton from the Panthers. Horton will have to bring some much needed offense to a Bruins squad that was at the bottom of the league in goal scoring. Last season the 6ft 2in and 230lbs, former 3rd overall pick in 2003 scored 20 goals and added 37 assists for 57 points in a mere 65 games. The 25-year-old Horton has scored at least 20 goals in each of his last 5 seasons, but has had some injury troubles lately, which has to be of concern of many Bruins fans. Their Bruins struggled all season keeping key players off of the injured list. The big forward has great shooting and skating abilities, especially considering his large frame. Horton has also never played in a single playoff game and was speculated to have wanted out of Florida.

Also coming to the Bruins is 6ft and 197lbs forward Gregory Campbell. The 26-year-old managed just 2 goals and 17 points last season, after recording 13 markers and 32 points the previous year. Son of the NHL's Director of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell, Gregory is a strong two-way player. He is useful on the penalty kill and has great speed to accompany his chippy style of play.

Besides the 3rd round pick in 2011 and 15th overall pick in this year's draft, which became expendable after acquiring the 2nd overall pick, the Bruins will lose D Dennis Wideman. The 6ft, 200lbs blueliner had a disappointing season, recording 6 goals and 30 points in 76 games. That is down considerably from his 08-09 totals, where he had 13 goals and racked up 50 points. The 27-year-old had some great moments in Beantown, but he also had his fair share of disappointments. Last season, he was "booed" off the ice by Bruins fans, do to questionable defensive play.

The deal became a viable option for Boston, considering they had 2 picks in the first round of the draft. Also, Horton and Wideman have very similar contracts, at around $4 million each. With the limited cap space the Bruins have, they had to be getting a player back that was equal to or less than what they were giving up in terms of salary. It should also be noted that with this pick, the Panthers have a very nice collection of picks early in this year's draft.

With Wideman leaving, there is a considerable hole on the Bruins blueline (Boychuk also still unsigned). Many rumors have been swirling that the Bruins have interest in the Leafs D Tomas Kaberle. As you may remember, a deal involving Kaberle was very close with the Bruins last season around this time. That deal involved Kessel gonig the other way at the time. This time around, the Bruins are apparently shopping F Marc Savard, who just this season resigned a long-term contract. The Bruins would also like to dump G Tim Thomas and his bloated salary, after he lost his starting job. However, with the plethora of goalies the Leafs currently have, they likely won't be interested in the former Vezina winner.

In my opinion, the Bruins will definitely need to find another defenseman or two before next season. However, dropping salary will be a must for that to happen. With offensive troubles as it is, I don't think moving Savard would be wise. If a team for some reason is interested in Thomas, that route would be much more logical.

The draft is getting closer and closer...who's Boston getting?


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