It's one week into the Bruins' offseason and I have to say, I may be done grieving for the B's abrupt end to the 2008-2009 season, but that doesn't mean I'm not bored out of my skull waiting for 2009-2010 to start. The new season can't come fast enough.
In my down time, I've taken to scouring the internet for links, along with stalking Bish's Blog, the Globe Bruins Blog (KPD is a huge hack, but I love Fluto's writing, so I suffer through it) along with whatever I can glean from Capitals Insider and the number of other teams' blogs I regularly read.
But wait, wait a second. There's actually still some hockey going on! In lieu of the big Bruins, there is Providence Bruins' hockey to watch - specifically, some players that should be up and ready for the big club next year. These are young players with relatively affordable contracts (with the exception of Tuukka Rask), who definitely bear watching. Vladimir Sobotka, Johnny Boychuk, Martin St. Pierre, and even Mikko Lehtonen and Brad Marchand could all be ready for breakout seasons next year in the vein of what Byron Bitz and Matt Hunwick did last year. The P-Bruins' opponents in this round are the Washington Capitals' AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears; a lot of their players are in the same situation (Jay Beagle, Semyon Varlamov, Karl Alzner). Many of the Bears' players logged at least some time with their big club this year, which may give them the slight advantage over the P-Bruins, whose major player to log time with both clubs who could have been a boon to the P-Bruins' Calder Cup run is injured (Byron Bitz, possible broken ribs).
Not to say the P-Bruins can't do it themselves - they've already won one of the two games in the series so far, handing the Bears their first home playoff loss this year. Game three is tomorrow in Providence. Both teams have goalies who have logged significant time in the majors, making this an incredibly interesting playoff series.
Bits of news and fun things, to take the edge off the offseason:
Short interview with Semyon Varlamov. (from Capitals insider). Varly talks about the nickname "Varly," how no one can pronounce his first name, and the potential of playing for the Caps' big club next year.
Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook have the most epic bromance in the NHL. (From the Chicago Tribune) Really, the only thing that beats this puff piece from the Blackhawks' media bench is the piece on Patrick Kane and his sisters, from whence came this picture. Oh, Kaner - are you twelve? Seriously.
Updated Bruins' salary breakdown, from the Globe Bruins Blog. Very useful for speculating on whether the B's will be able to sign new kids, which RFCs they'll be able to re-sign, etc.
And, best for last - Phil Kessel's shoulder surgery a success. I have to admit, I woke up to this text message today, and I was the happiest I've been about hockey since a week ago today. Now, to fix David Krejci!
Is it time for development camp yet?