The Hockey News: Boston’s ‘D’ party

Lesedauer: ca. 2 Minuten

Glen Murray has been around enough reclamation projects to know when to bite his tongue.

The veteran right winger is tickled by off-season additions to the

revamped Boston Bruins and feels they are significantly better than the

team that skated off the ice April 15 in Atlanta, out of the playoffs,

but he’s not about to start shouting it from the top of Beacon Hill.

Not this time. The Bruins have a new, more realistic motto: No Promises.

Sure, the Bruins are optimistic about the acquisition of 6-foot-9

defenseman Zdeno Chara. Why wouldn’t they be? Chara, formerly of the

Ottawa Senators, was considered by many to be the best available

unrestricted free agent. He joins the Bruins along with center Marc

Savard, who was ninth in league scoring last season, as well as

checking winger Shean Donovan and veteran defender Paul Mara. And there

is a feeling the team made a wise pick in choosing young executive

Peter Chiarelli as its new GM and Dave Lewis as the new coach.

Murray likes what he sees; yet he remains cautious.

“We learned one thing last season,” Murray says. “People talked about

us being a contender, but you’re never a contender until you make it

into the playoffs and get by the first two or three rounds. You can

have a great team on paper and I know this has happened to a lot of

teams, but until you start playing and you gel, you don’t have

anything. This year we’re going to take it one step at a time, we’ll

gel together and hopefully get into the playoffs.”

Last year was an unmitigated disaster. Even though the Bruins were

knocked out of the playoffs in the opening round the previous three

seasons, some optimists went as far as suggesting the Bruins had what

it takes to make it to the Stanley Cup final.

They were positioned nicely heading into the salary cap era, with only

a handful of players under contract and were poised to make a splash in

the free agent market. But optimism quickly gave way to reality and a

season of promise was soon one of bitter disappointment.

Among the newcomers who were supposed to lead Boston to glory were

defenseman Brian Leetch and forwards Brad Isbister, Tom Fitzgerald,

Shawn McEachern, Dave Scatchard and Alexei Zhamnov. With the exception

of Leetch, who is in the late innings of an excellent career, that is

not the most impressive cavalry ever assembled.

GM Mike O’Connell came under fire so he did what many GMs do under

pressure, he laid it at the feet of his team’s best player: Joe

Thornton. In one of the worst trades ever, the Bruins sent Thornton to

San Jose for defenseman Brad Stuart, Marco Sturm and Wayne Primeau.

O’Connell decided he would trade Thornton out of the conference, and in

doing so eliminated 14 potential trading partners en route to being

fleeced. All Thornton did was lead the NHL in scoring and win the Hart

Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player. (By Mike Brophy)

To read the rest of this story and other great features from the world of

hockey, you can buy this issue

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