After losing a tiebreaker to the Detroit Red Wings and missing the playoffs for a second straight season, the Boston Bruins will being looking to improve enough (about five points or so) to get back into the postseason in an increasing competitive Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference.
Since the end of the 2015-16 campaign, the Bruins extended defensemen Torey Krug and Kevan Miller, each for four more years. The loss of 30-goal man Loui Erikkson, who signed with Vancouver, will hurt. Boston's biggest splash in the offseason (so far) was signing 32-year-old David Backes to an expensive five-year deal. A curious choice, given that they could have used the money to retain the more potent Erikkson or shore up the defense, which has been a sore spot.
Anton Khudobin replaces Jonas Gustavsson as the back-up to netminder Tuukka Rusk. Rask was good last year, but the Bruins will likely need him to regain the form he showed in 2013-14 if they intend on making the playoffs.
David Backes signs five-year, $30M contract
Anton Khudobin signs two-year, $2.4M contract
Riley Nash signs two-year, $1.8M deal
Bruins' Free Agents
Group 2 FAs: Chris Casto, Brian Ferlin, Alexander Khokhlachev, Colin Miller, Joe Morrow.
Group 3 UFAs: Chris Breen, Brandon DeFazio,
Loui Eriksson (signed: VAN), Jonas Gustavsson (signed: EDM), Matt Irwin (signed: NSH), Chris Kelly (signed: OTT), Joonas Kemppainen, John-Michael Liles (re-signed), Jeremy Smith (signed: COL), Lee Stempniak (signed: CAR), Max Talbot.
Group 6 UFAs:
Tommy Cross (re-signed), Tyler Randell (re-signed), Zach Trotman (signed: LAK).
Brett Connolly (signed: WSH), Landon Ferraro (signed: STL), Ben Sexton
2016 Draft Class
Round 1 (14) D Charlie McAvoy (Boston University)
Round 1 (29) F Trent Frederic (USNTDP)
Round 2 (49) D Ryan Lindgren (USNTDP)
Round 5 (135) F Joona Koppanen (Ilves Jrs)
Round 5 (136) D Cameron Clarke (Lone Star Brahmas)
Round 6 (165) F Oskar Steen (Farjestad Jrs)
Salary Cap Space: $8,531,667 (courtesy of General Fanager)