Free agency has been underway for six days now, including today and the Bruins are sticking with their original game plan. GM Peter Chiarelli stated on numerous occasions throughout the season and post-season that he had a good team and would not be splitting them up. He wanted to keep the core of the team together and that is exactly what he is doing. With the signings of Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille, Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton, the fourth line will remain the same and one of the ‘best’ in the League.
The only players that are not returning to the Bruins roster, for sure are; Benoit Pouliot (signed a one-year contract with Tampa Bay Lightning), Joe Corvo(signed a two-year contract with Carolina Hurricanes) and Brian Rolston. There is still the possibility that Mike Mottau, the Massachusetts native will fill the seventh defenseman spot, but with Dougie Hamilton coming off of a breakout season in the OHL, there is room for competition.
For the upcoming season we also have to take a look at who is going to fill the third line slot alongside Chris Kelly. With guys like Jordan Caron, Ryan Spooner and Jared Knight, the possibilities are endless. Each and every one of them have a fighting chance at earning a spot in Boston, we will just have to wait for pre-season to find out.
The only question mark remaining is the whereabouts of Tim Thomas. Will he stay in Boston and sit for the season or get traded elsewhere? Unfortunately, no one has those answers as of yet and it remains at a 60/40 chance of dismissal. (One can only hope) Regardless, Tuukka Rask is more than ready to step up and be the number one net minder once again.