It goes without saying that many Bruins fans are frustrated with the lack of big moves this offseason. Names like Hall, Toffoli, Pietrangelo, and even Dadonov have come off the board. Meanwhile, the Bruins have been relatively quiet. So if someone were to poll Bruins fans on what grade they would give the team, what would they say? Before we jump into the results I would like to thank the over 1100 fans who voted in the polls the other day. That's way more participation than I expected especially in just 24 hours so thanks for making this content possible.
The polls were split between Bruins/Boston sports groups as well as general NHL groups on Facebook. For the Bruins/Boston sports groups 1.4% of fans gave the offseason an A. Fans who gave the offseason a B made up 5.2% of votes. 22.6% of fans gave the Bruins a C grade for the offseason so far. The percentage then jumps to 39.7% of fans grading the offseason a D while 31.1% gave it an F. That's over 70% of Bruins/Boston group fans giving the team a D grade or worse.
When we shift to just general NHL groups the numbers improve slightly. 1.9% of voters gave the Bruins an A. The B grades almost doubled going to 9.8%. C grades were once again a popular answer making up 30.4% of votes. The most popular answer in the Bruins/Boston groups a D grade dropped to just 18.6%. However the most popular grade this time was an F with 39.2% of votes. So from over 70% giving a D or worse down to just about 58%.
While general NHL groups were less negative still a majority gave the Bruins a below-average grade. As for Bruins fans, the overwhelming majority are clearly unhappy with management’s job to this point. Could the media be partially to blame for this? Since the weeks leading up to the draft, rumors have been everywhere about trades and potential free agent targets. Fans' hopes were high for a blockbuster move as the media continued to pump out story after story. The real question is what do the insiders think and did the Bruins ever need to make that huge splash we were all promised was coming?
Moves So Far
While we can't speak for the draft simply because it just happened and we don't know how the players will develop let's look at the free-agent moves. The Bruins' biggest needs heading into the offseason were toughness on defense, adding 5 on 5 scoring, and depth scoring. You could argue the first need was partially addressed by bringing back Kevin Miller on a reasonable deal. The base salary for Miller is just 1 million dollars with another million in bonuses based on him being on the active roster and how many games he plays.
The Biggest move of the Bruins’ offseason so far was the addition of Craig Smith. If you missed our Craig Smith article you can read it here. Smith clearly helps fix the needs of depth scoring and 5 on 5 scoring. A proven 20 goal scorer who was signed at an incredible value of 3 years at 3.1 million per year. If you don't trust this writer that this was a great move just check out this NBC Sports article that has it ranked as the third-best move of the offseason so far. Here is a Bleacher Report article giving the power rankings for the NHL. Yes, the Bruins did drop from first to eighth in the rankings but that doesn't exactly seem like a reason to give the Bruins’ offseason a failing grade. That is unless your this writer for NBC Sports Boston. He even calls the Hall deal puny so feel free to take this article with a grain of salt even if you agree with his overall grade.
Patience Is A Virtue
Like I have said many times the Bruins’ offseason is just getting started. There are still the Hoffman rumors as well as the Weegar trade rumors. Add to that the big RFA names still available like Sergachev, Dunn, and even Fleury on defense. The Bruins have around 11 million in cap space depending on who gets sent to the AHL and how much salary can be buried. That is plenty of money to go out and make a big move or two. So while many of you are frustrated now that could change drastically in the coming weeks or even days.
If I voted in the polls I would give the Bruins’ offseason so far a B-. I love the Craig Smith signing and don't mind them bringing back Miller on a bonus heavy deal. If he is back to his healthy self he does add plenty of toughness to our D core. This team was also just a game away from winning a cup two years ago and just won the President's Trophy. So while we all want big moves the team we already had was one of the best in the league. We will all have our eyes peeled for more moves but until then stay safe out there and LET’S GO BRUINS!!