Depending on your perspective, you were heading towards the events of Friday in two ways: either filled with hope the Bruins were going to do something big, or filled with fear that the Bruins were going to do something stupid.
As Friday night draws to a close, the truth lies somewhere in between.
The Bruins really haven’t done anything great, but they haven’t done anything stupid either.
In truth, they really didn’t do anything.
Don’t offend Kevan Miller, but re-enlisting an often-injured veteran defenseman doesn’t really shake things up on a day when people were expecting big bucks and flashy signings.
The biggest news of the day was ultimately what the Bruins didn’t do, which was to re-sign Torey Krug.
Krug has instead chosen to take his talents to St. Louis, and while his loss will certainly have an impact, you should be relieved, to some extent, that the Bruins haven’t signed seven years for an undersized defenseman. rapidly approaching 30 years.
Still, it’s hard to blame Bruins fans: the team flared up a lot in the bubble, then had a disappointing draft (mostly due to not having a first-round pick).
Then, on the first real day of the league’s New Year, their moves were to let their best offensive defender walk and recruit a 7th defender. REACH FEVER.
However, if you read between the lines, it looks like the Bruins may be working on something else behind the scenes.
On Friday afternoon, the Bruins’ media team announced the afternoon’s schedule for GM Don Sweeney to be available to the media at 5 p.m.
Later that afternoon, the team abruptly announced that the availability was being postponed and that the team would notify the media shortly before Sweeney was available.
As the evening wore on, I was one of the many people to think that the Bruins surely hadn’t postponed a press conference just so they could announce Miller’s signing.
Surely there was something else, right?
(Sadly, the Bruins tweeted about Miller’s re-signing just as all of the insiders broke the news of Krug, so… wads.)
As Friday night wore on, the Bruins finally announced that availability would be cut entirely for Friday night, with Sweeney meeting with the media on Saturday at 1 p.m. instead.
So what’s up?
Some have cynically suggested that Sweeney just doesn’t want to face questions, which, of course, is silly.
What made the procedure particularly interesting is note d’Elliotte Friedman, who reported that the Bruins had not made an offer to Krug today and, in fact, told his side that their previous offer was no longer an option.
You can’t blame fans for reading between the lines: The Bruins (apparently) wiped out the bridges by taking Krug out of the equation, then ruled out any sort of media availability.
Surely something has to happen?
The biggest fish in the market remains at Taylor Hall, and many reporters have said the Bruins have expressed interest, with at least one claiming that an offer has been made.
Mike Hoffman is staying there too, and there are plenty of other secondary / tertiary scorers who are still available.
It’s not hard to imagine that the Bruins had conversations with Player X and determined that it was a pretty realistic possibility of pulling some semblance of a Krug offer, just to be sure.
Such a scenario makes even more sense when you consider that the Bruins have recognized that 5v5 and secondary scoring are their biggest issues: If you have to let Krug walk in order to bring in a bona fide goalscorer, you make that trade.
There’s always the other side of the coin: maybe we’re all just crazy.
Maybe we convince ourselves the Bruins are up to something to cover the fact that fans are just disappointed that the Bruins haven’t done anything to address their weaknesses.
However, there is enough going on here that it makes sense not to stray too far from your favorite Bruins news source tomorrow morning.
Which player (s) still in the market would you like to see land on the Bruins, especially now that Krug is out of place?