Posted by SanDogBrewin
I'll post wherever I darn well please. (and the Claire reference is to "Breakfast Club." If you're not an 80's movie buff, no biggie.)
Plus, even if I was on the Red Sox board, I would never be negative about a franchise that's proven it will do what it takes to win and has delivered (the Sox). Never would I call for firing Tito, who's one of the most underrated managers in the past half centruy, and Big Papi will always be a hero in my book.
Now, on to the question at hand, re: the Bruins (and really, this is more in response to dkrejci46 since he didn't make a silly comment about the Red Sox):
IF everything you say about looch and Wheeler improving is true, and Sturm can replace Kess' production and Recchi isn't out of gas at age 43...IF all those things fall into place (and I hope they do), then sure, the B's could potentially be a "better" team w/out kessel.
BUT that's all wishful thinking, and what we DO know is that the B's ARE essentially coming back as the same squad MINUS a guy who scored 36 while missing a huge chunk of time (and by your own same reasoning) can only get better...and this team got KOds by a very ordinary Hurricanes club in round 2.
Also, don't forget: the B's will be w/out Axelsson, a vastly underrated veteran who killed penalties w/the best of them and was a great 2way player....I do not believe Begin is an upgrade over Yelle, so that's a wash...and Derek Morris (at $3.3 M...really? That doesn't bother anyone?) may be a very big liability in his own end. Here's hoping he makes up for it offensively.
The Mark Stuart point is an excellent one. I really like this kid, as I do Hunwick, and if those guys can excell the B's may be able to cover up for some of the deficiencies in Morris' game, re: mobility.
My overall point is that the Bruins are a GOOD team. Possibly in the VERY good category IF all those things D-46 mentions click. I LOVE Bergeron, and wish him all the best, but you can't tell me that one big hit at center ice over the course of 82 games isn't a real possibility that could simply end his career right then and there. The reason that kid took so long to regain his form last season is b/c those concussions are serious business and he's just one away from never never land. I sincerely hope it never happens. But you have to allow for the possibility.
So: Was Kess a huge part of the B's continued success and Cup aspirations? Yes, I believe so. That's unwavering. Was PC in a no-win situation w/him cap-wise?. Yes. But you can't let PC off the hook for a) not seeing that coming and planning for it...i.e. not signing Timmy for as much as he did, and not signing Morris for as much as he did, or 2) trying harder than he did to get Kess out of the East and to a team that could yield a roster player THIS YEAR plus a pick or 2. Don't tell me a team like the LA Kings couldn't have met Kess' salary demands.
Here's the only way I'll come around to this deal: If the B's have a successful season and are a legitimate top 5 Cup contender come March, IF PC goes for it and uses those picks to bring in the kind of impact veteran who can put this team over the top, THEN i'll be back on board. But honestly, I've been around too long and seen this film too many times. The B's never go for that roll of the dice impact player and always go into the playoffs with a 'we can win w/these guys if they all play hard" line. It never works.
The East is a beast, folks. The Flyers will be tougher this year w/Pronger. The Pens are back with the same squad that won it all last year. The Caps are as scary on offense as it gets. The Devils are the Devils and will kill you with the trap plus Brodeur. The Rangers are pretty good, and dare I say it...the Leafs won't be as bad as people here think and may even sneak in as they 8 seed. If they do, those picks won't be so impressive anymore, will they? And even if they are, they don't help NOW.
For Bruins fans like myself who have been around forever, we're sick of the wait til next year attitude as long as JJ gets rear ends into his seats at the Vault. They owe this loyal fandom a Stanley Cup, nothing less.
If you REALLY think this team w/out a potential 45 goal scorer is good enough to beat the likes of Pitt., Caps, Flyers, Wings, Sharks, etc., the I tip my cap to you for your optmism, but not for your sense of realism.