NHL offseason grades: Sabres get an A, Bruins just average – CBSSports.com
Over the next week the Eye On Hockey staff will be taking a look at the progress that has been made by every team in the NHL this offseason on a division-by-division basis. We’ll also examine the best and worst moves made throughout each division, as well as the teams taht did the most (and least) to improve.
On Monday, we start off by looking at the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division where several teams went through some significant changes this offseason. It’s been a pretty busy offseason in the division so far, with the biggest changes coming in Boston, Toronto, Detroit and Buffalo.
Mike Babcock, after 10 years behind the Red Wings’ bench, now gets the task of trying to turn the Maple Leafs into a winner along with Brendan Shanahan and Lou Lamoriello, while Jeff Blashill replaces him in Detroit and looks to carry on their winning tradition. The Bruins, after missing the playoffs in 2014-15, were one of the busiest teams this summer and should be one of the most intriguing teams in the league entering the 2015-16 season, while the Buffalo Sabres made enough moves to go from the worst team in the league to one that should at least be pretty competitive.
Obviously some teams can still change their look over the next couple of months with trades, but we’re simply looking to see just how much each team has — has not — improved through the first two months of the offseason. So let’s get started.
Bruins analysis: Missing the playoffs in 2014-15 led to a complete overhaul in Boston from the front office all the way down to the ice. Don Sweeney replaced Peter Chiarelli as the team’s general manager and used his first summer running the show to make some sweeping changes to the roster. Gone are Milan Lucic, Dougie Hamilton, Carl Soderberg, Reilly Smith and Gregory Campbell. In are a bunch of draft picks and prospects, Matt Beleskey, and Jimmy Hayes. On one hand, the Lucic trade was probably great value to turn the final year of his contract into a prospect and two first-round draft picks. They also managed to get out from under the remainder of Marc Savard’s contract and sign Beleskey for less than anticipated prior to the start of the summer. But losing Hamilton (and even Soderberg) with nothing really coming back the other way …Read More