2012-2013 Bruins Defensive Depth Chart
Zdeno Chara - Dennis Seidenberg
Johnny Boychuk - Andrew Ference
Adam McQuaid - Dougie Hamilton/Matt Bartkowski/Torey Krug
2013-2014 Bruins Defensive Depth Chart
Zdeno Chara - Dennis Seidenberg
Johnny Boychuk - Adam McQuaid
Torey Krug/Matt Bartkowski- Dougie Hamilton/Kevan Miller
Key subtractions: Andrew Ference
Key addition: N/A
The final goal against the Boston Bruins defense in the 2013 season saw Dave Bolland sneak behind the pairing of Andrew Ference and Johnny Boychuk, jump on a rebound and send thousands of Bruins fans into a spiraling depression.
With that, it was all over. Another year in the books, the finale of this one more painful than most. Andrew Ference's seven year tenure in Boston had come to a close, as the team's management had decided to stick with young guns Bartkowski, Hamilton, and Krug rather than delay the inevitable.
So here we are, days away from the start of the 2013-2014 season. We'll soon find out if general manager Peter Chiarelli's faith in his young defensemen gets rewarded, or if he'll soon be picking up the phone looking for veteran reinforcements.
Zdeno Chara once again leads the way for the B's, although we're supposedly going to be seeing less of him than we're accustomed too. But once the playoffs come around, I'd suspect we'll be seeing just as much Z as we have during the last few post-seasons. At 36, Chara is now the oldest Bruin on the roster, and you can bet he's looking to get another shot at the Cup before he hangs up his skates for the last time.
Since joining Boston in the 2009-2010 season, Dennis Seidenberg has been the best bargain on the Bruins roster. Now entering the final year of his four year contract, Seids will once again be leaned on as the best Bruins defenseman under 6'9", and as the team's best long-distance shooter.
Johnny Boychuk is coming off a memorable playoff performance (22 GP, 6G, 1A, 7P), and will most likely be spending a lot of time paired with Chara once again in the regular season. Now 29 years old, Boychuk's name has occasionally popped up in trade rumors and his trade value may never be higher than it is right now.
2013-2014 will be Adam McQuaid's seventh season in the Bruins organization. Originally drafted in the second round (55th overall) by Columbus in 2005, McQuaid has blossomed in Claude Julien's system. You know what you're getting with McQuaid- a tough, stay-at-home defenseman who can occasionally score enormous goals. He would be a valuable asset for any team, and I wouldn't be shocked if Boston ended up trading McQuaid in a package deal at the deadline. Just a hunch...
Torey Krug was the surprise story of the Bruins playoff run last season, joining the team for Game 1 of the Conference Semi-Finals, and contributing immediately. He'll be given every chance to make the roster this year, and all eyes will once again turn to #47 to see if he can consistently help the team.
Once upon a time it seemed as though Matt Bartkowski could only crack the Bruins roster whenever they played against the Pittsburgh Penguins. But last year the 25 year old was almost shipped off to Calgary in exchange for Jarome Iginla. Lucky for him, the deal fell through, and he and Iginla will be teammates in Boston this year.
Kevan Miller has stuck around longer than some expected when training camp opened. He's made quite the impression on the Bruins coaching staff, and could see some ice time this season if/when injuries start to pile up.
Is anybody else starting to get the feeling that Dougie Hamilton may take a little longer to develop than the Bruins had initially hoped? It's no secret that defensemen take longer to get into stride in the NHL, and Hamilton's recent struggles suggest that could be the case for the 20 year old former first round pick. Dougie hasn't had the training camp Boston was hoping for, and he could actually be the odd man out come opening night. That being said, Providence doesn't seem to be a likely destination for Hamilton, who will most likely be given every opportunity to succeed with the big club.
This is going to be an interesting year for the Bruins. Road bumps are always to be expected, but I wouldn't be surprised if there was an extended rut in the team's defensive play once the grind of regular season starts to have its affect on the team's younger defensemen.