Why can't elite, young players thrive in Boston? – Comcast SportsNet New England
FOXBORO – Missing the playoffs was a stunning wakeup call for the Boston Bruins organization on a number of different levels.
Falling shy of one of the organization’s biggest goals precipitated a significant change in the GM seat from Peter Chiarelli to Don Sweeney, and kick-started a summer of roster turnover designed to both free up salary cap space and bring back a little hunger to the B’s roster. But the wakeup call still continued into the offseason with the Bruins trading Dougie Hamilton after getting no response to a handful of contract offers, and deducing that the young D-man simply didn’t want to play in Boston anymore.
The young defenseman was dealt to Calgary for a first-round pick and two second-round selections in the 2015 draft that was, at least in part, under the pressure that an offer sheet was coming for the 22-year-old on July 1.
Hamilton never admitted a desire to leave Boston in his statements after the trade, but the circumstances made it pretty clear staying wasn’t critical for him. It instead sounded like a remote Canadian destination like Edmonton or Calgary, with both rosters filled with elite young players like himself, was perhaps more desirable for a talented, cerebral and somewhat insecure young D-man like Hamilton.
Regardless of the specific circumstances, Hamilton’s exit from Causeway Street continued a long string of talented young Bruins players that have departed the organization long before the considerable primes of their NHL careers. It was true with Jumbo Joe Thornton in 2005, with Phil Kessel in 2009, with Tyler Seguin following the 2013 Stanley Cup Final and now with Hamilton in his first chance to exit Boston following his entry-level deal.
That’s a great deal of lottery pick talent that’s skipped town — and the Bruins — over the last decade, and makes some of Boston’s considerable team accomplishments over the last 10 years even more impressive.
“I wouldn’t say that,” said Charlie Jacobs, when posed the question if there’s a perception that Boston isn’t a friendly place to play for elite, young hockey players. “I think they all left under their own set of circumstances. Things happen for a reason. Those players mentioned were all very good; some better than others. But it is what it is. I would hope there& …Read More