All good things must come to an end. That is just reality in life, but as well as our favourite sports teams. For the better part of a decade, the Boston Bruins have been playoff contenders, and for a large amount of that success kept, the core group together. The core group is getting older, and the window is beginning to close. With how things are going, this could be the last dance for this core group and the 2022-23 Boston Bruins.
Possibly The Last Dance For This Boston Bruins Core
The core group of the Boston Bruins is getting older. The core has been together for a long time—Captain Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, and Brad Marchand headline the group. The team has put complementary pieces around them, but they’ve been together for a long time. Core players into the sunset with long-time goaltender Tuukka Rask and former captain Zdeno Chara retiring. Former forward Shawn Thornton said in an interview this summer, “That core has been together for a long time,” former Bruins forward Shawn Thornton said on WEEI in August. “I think this town has been pretty fortunate about that core being able to stay together. They’ve brought in some ancillary pieces, some perfect ones like (David Pastrnak) and some other guys.
“For them to come back another year, the town should be excited. You don’t have that run forever. It doesn’t last for 20 or 30 years, so we should probably embrace what’s going on this year. Who knows how long they’re going to be around.”
All in all, he is right. But why could this be the actual last dance for this core group?
The Last Dance
This year feels different. You got that sense when the contracts got signed. As mentioned above, two critical pieces of the group are gone. But other signs point to the last dance for this group. After spending the last year playing in his home country, David Krejci returns to the Boston Bruins on a one-year deal. He is 36 years old and has played in over 1000 games at the NHL level. His future remains uncertain, but he is a Bruin for this year.
Nobody knew based on the scene after a crushing defeat to the Carolina Hurricanes. But, the Captain has returned. With a lot of his future being speculated for all off-season, he also is on a one-year deal. Bergeron is coming off his best season, where he also took home the record-setting Selke Trophy. He is entering his 19th NHL season, and even though he signed a one-year deal, he could retire at the season’s end.
Brad Marchand is 34 years of age and is coming off hip surgery. He is one of the best two-way players in the game, and he is a large part of the Bruins’ success. But being in his mid-thirties and coming off double hip surgery, how much of a high level can he keep producing? Over the last three seasons, he has tallied 236 points and you just wonder how much longer he can maintain that pace.
These three have been nothing but spectacular for a long time, but how much longer can it go on.
Passing The Torch
The torch will be passed. When these older guys hang up their skates, the team will be left in good hands. Even though Pastrnak needs a long-term extension, he is a building block going forward. The back end boasts a superstar in Charlie McAvoy, and his partner Hampus Lindholm is locked up for the next seven years. Not to mention they also have Brandon Carlo and Matt Grzelcyk. In addition, the Bruins have been blessed in the net by having Jeremy Swayman to build around. Overall the Bruins have the pieces to make the next contender and do not have any player at the age of 30.
The team has work to do up front, but the next wave has the building blocks for whatever lies ahead.
The Last Dance Starts Hot
The 2022-23 Boston Bruins kick off The Last Dance tour and got off to a hot start. Opening puck drop took place in Washington, DC, and it did not disappoint. Pastrnak had a four-point night (1g, 3a), Krejci had a three-point night (1g, 2a), and Bergeron scored the first goal of the season.
The Boston Bruins core is coming to a close. And the 2022-23 Boston Bruins could be the last time we see this core group together. It is fantastic they have been together for so long and can play at the high level that they have been. Most core groups do not stick around for a long time, but the fact they have is a testament to them and the organization’s success. It is going to come to an end, unfortunately, and given the contracts of the aging veterans, it is why this could be the last dance. Appreciate this Bruins faithful, watching this core has been special.
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