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Did the Bruins Become Better in Free Agency?

Hockey article at Knup Sports

The Bruins were very busy during free agency, but this does not equate to more wins on the ice.

The Bruins were very busy during free agency, but this does not equate to more wins on the ice. The team has faced many issues in the past seasons regarding depth. The first lines on the ice have been strong, but things have quickly fallen apart under Don Sweeney.

This has equated to strong, regular seasons, but it’s not a winning formula in the playoffs. The back-end players on the roster have let down the team, which was known by the front office.

The Bruins tried to strengthen their secondary lines, but they may have done too good of a job in this category.

Bruins in Free Agency

The Bruins entered free agency with $20 million in cap space. These three necessities were a defenseman, second-line center, and starting goalie. Although, Sweeney did not act intentionally with his acquisitions.

The general manager went out and signed a lot of players. This is a great way to handle the lack of depth, but it’s not what the Bruins truly needed to take the next step in the playoffs.

Mike Reilly

Mike Reilly and Derek Forbort were signed to three-year, $9 million deals. Sweeney also took forward Nick Foligno for two years, $7.6 million.

Goaltender Linus Ullmark will come to Boston for four years, and he will make $20 million. He was the best move during free agency by the Bruins.

The bottom of the roster in free agency was rounded out by Erik Haula and Tomas Nosek, who each inked small two-year deals. None of these players were hot commodities in free agency, and they did not fit into the categories that Boston needed to win in the playoffs.

Depth was an issue for Boston, but they needed a second-line center. It’s unlikely that they will succeed in this category with only $1 million left in cap space.

David Krejci

With the news of David Krejci departing Boston to return to the Czech Republic, the Bruins are in trouble, but the three forwards that they signed in free agency can all help fill the void.

The second line center will be taken by either Charlie Coyle, Erik Haula, Nick Foligno, Jack Studnicka, or Tomas Nosek. They could also look elsewhere through a trade to fill Krejci’s void.

The Best, but Riskiest Signing

The best signing but riskiest for the Bruins was Ullmark. A $20 million commitment to Ullmark is hefty, but he did shine with Buffalo, which is not easy to accomplish. His performances in 2020 made him a hot free agent entering 2021.

Linus Ullmark

Ullmark will be the 12th highest-paid goalie in 2021. If he stays in the top half of the league, this contract will be worthwhile. Although, he will have to improve from his 2020 stats because the Bruins could reacquire Tuukka Rask when he is ready to return in 2022.

The 34-year-old is a free agent as he recovers from hip surgery, and he will not cost much considering he is in the final years of his career. If the Bruins wanted Rask back in 2022, he would not have to clear waivers to rejoin the Black and Gold.

Fans should be excited about the 2021-22 Bruins because the club is talented. They are stacked on defense, and they have a plan in the net. Although, there is a massive hole in the second line without Krejci.

It seems like Sweeney will try to fix the issue internally, but this may not be the best move for the franchise this season.

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