Now that the 2006-07 season is underway, I figured it would be a good time to talk about the off-season moves that have built up the excitement level in Boston and are sure to build on-ice momentum for the Bruins as they start their season.
The front office, headed by new GM Peter Chiarelli, moved in a completely new direction by hiring Red Wings coach Dave Lewis along with veteran assistants Marc Habscheid and Doug Houda.
Lewis’ experience, under the tutelage of coaching great Scotty Bowman, translated into two division titles for Detroit, and he hopes to bring Boston the same type of results.
I truly believe his coaching style is well suited for the new style of hockey we are seeing under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Aside from the coaching changes, the “biggest” move in the off-season was the signing of veteran Defenseman Zdeno Chara
Chara has a great presence on the ice and he is coming off one of his most productive seasons and signing him was an impressive step in the right direction for the new look Bruins. The defensive prowess of the 6’9” Slovakian, coupled with the addition of fellow defenseman Paul Mara, immediately helps the Bruins tighten up their defense.
Securing free agent Marc Savard
should certainly anchor the offense and he will be a good setup man for Glen Murray.
While the off–season acquisitions were stellar, special mention should go to Assistant General Manager Jeff Gorton, who pursued the signing of Chara and Savard in the interim before Chiarelli finally took office.
Furthermore, the addition of former Bruin Don Sweeney as Director of Player Development is a great move. Don knows what it is like to be a true Bruin and he will foster that notion in the young talent in the pipeline.
As the puck is dropped on our home opener, things are beginning to look up for the Boston faithful.
Not only are the fans excited, the players are also energized and ready to WIN.
A good group of tested veterans now support last year’s youngsters who will certainly play with more confidence this year.
All in all, I think things are looking very good for the B’s.