I Know What the Bruins Are Doing This Summer

Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

As a kid, you couldn’t wait for Summer Vacation, counting down the school days until you were FREE. As Bruins fans, the off-season came earlier than we’d hoped, and with summer right around the corner, I thought I could dispense some advice to our beloved hockey team about how they should spend their summer vacations.

Let’s start with the coaching staff: Jim Montgomery, the head coach for the last two seasons, has enjoyed unprecedented regular season success but has fallen short in the playoffs. “Monty” should channel his inner Yoda this summer, “Fail, you must. Learn, you will.” If Montgomery doesn’t figure things out in the next year or two, he will have a lot of extra time on his hands.

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Chris Kelley and Joe Sacco need to spend all summer learning to count. (I heard the Count from Sesame Street is available to hire.) One…two…three…four…five…SIX! Six skaters are too many! Rinse and repeat, over and over and over again, until they realize how many skaters are allowed on the ice at one time. Seven too many men penalties in a postseason is an NHL record, and it’s an embarrassment!

Brad Marchand, the captain and longest-tenured member of the team, has seen a lot in his 15 seasons wearing the spoked B. Years ago, there was a special man who helped Michael Jordan with his winning mentality, Stuart Smalley. He could help Marchand with a daily affirmation, “You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and doggone it, people like you.” Now, I’m not sure that last part is true, but his teammates love him, and Bruins fans need their captain in the right frame of mind going into next season. (And if he wants to jump on Twitter and chirp the S#!t out of a few Leafs fans this summer just for kicks I’m all for it.)

David Pastrnak should spend some time with Mr. Miyagi. The karate and life lessons are a bonus, but Miyagi’s healing hands could make sure his hip is 100% going into next year. After Pasta’s hip is healed, he should go to church and pray for offensive help.

Charlie Coyle, Pavel Zacha, and Charlie McAvoy are traveling to Dunder-Mifflin in Scranton, PA, to an HR retreat to learn about shot mentality. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” – Wayne Gretzky -Michael Scott.

New England, including all Bruins fans, knows these players need to shoot more. Coyle, Zacha, and McAvoy had 147, 148, and 133 shots respectively. If they each took 200 shots next year based on their shooting percentages last year, their goal totals would be 34, 28, and 18. That is a tremendous improvement and would go a long way toward the Bruins offense being more dangerous in the 24-25 season.

Jake DeBrusk should pack up his belongings. He is heading home. The Bruins and Jake don’t seem to be on the same page in contract negotiations. It looks more likely every day that he is gone. It’s a sad day for many Bruins fans, but Jake will land on his feet. DeBrusk is going to be an absolute beast in that lineup and will light up the scoreboard in Edmonton.

Trent Frederic should spend all summer with Shawn Thornton’s old trainer Tommy McInerney. McInerney spent summers giving Thornton boxing lessons at The Ring Boxing Club in Allston. He’s since opened his own place, FitBox, in Dedham, and Frederic should become a regular. It’s his time to grow into the enforcer/policeman/physical leader of this team. Freddy Fight Club should be open for business next year.

Morgan Geekie is coming off career highs in goals, assists, and points. He’s underrated, like the cult classic TV show Freaks and Geeks. Geekie should become familiar with it because I like to tweet, “Freaks and Geeks!” when he scores, and nobody knows what the hell I’m talking about.

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JVR, Forbort, Boqvist, Shattenkirk, Grzelcyk, Lucic, and Lauko should try to get a group rate for a moving company. They’ll all be playing or watching hockey elsewhere.

Danton Heinen should head out to Vegas because he’s on a heater. From teamless and hanging out at Warrior Ice Arena in the fall to a valuable player in the Bruins top six by the end of the season, it’s hard to deny that Heinen should get paid. I hope he does, just not with the Bruins. Any contract for Heinen with the Bruins that starts with a 2 is too rich for my blood. Good luck! Always bet on black!

Matthew Poitras should buy a subscription to Planet Fitness and then look for an apartment in Providence. I suggest the Federal Hill area, great Italian food. He needs to hit the gym to gain strength, and then he needs some time with the Baby Bruins to gain valuable professional experience.

John Beecher should lock himself in the Bruins video room and study all the game film he can find of HOFer Joe Nieuwendyk. Nieuwendyk and Beecher are similar in size, both left shots, and both have some speed, if Beecher can absorb just 25% of Nieuwendyk’s game the Bruins will have struck gold with the late first-round pick.

Justin Brazeau burst onto the NHL scene late in the season with his goal-scoring touch and puck possession ability. Where Brazeau struggles is with his speed and quickness. I’d like him to travel down to Philly and spend some time with Rocky in the chicken coop, chasing chickens! Speed, Agility, Quickness! Attributes that Brazeau could use more of.

Georgii Merkulov has a chance to make the Bruins opening-day lineup. The Ohio State product had a stellar campaign with the Providence Bruins last year, and he will be pushing for a spot. With that in mind, he also needs to hit Planet Fitness. If he’s not at the gym, he should be watching David Krejci’s game tape around the clock. He has offensive instincts and an underrated shot, just as Krejci did. He could choose a worse player to emulate.

Fabian Lysell should purchase one of those special NFL concussion helmets and stay healthy. He’s got the talent and seemed to be putting it together toward the end of the regular season before another injury sidelined him. He’s not talked about as much as some of the other prospects now, but he should see NHL time next season.

Brandon Carlo has done his research, and apparently, you can train your brain to play more aggressively. Who knew? Anyway, the best way to do this is with combat sports. MMA all summer long for Carlo. I think he’d look good in the octagon.

Hampus Lindholm’s summer is more complicated. It involves time travel. Doc Brown and Marty McFly show up one day with the DeLorean, and they all travel back in time to the 22-23 season when Lindholm was a Norris Trophy contender. (If Huey Lewis & the News want to give us a little “Power of Love” as background music, all the better.)

Mason Lohrei appears to be on the cusp of a breakout season. I was scouring the internet to find a defenseman of his size with his offensive skills, but I did not have much luck. He appears to be a unicorn. There was a pretty good player a few years back, and it’s a comp I can fully endorse. Larry Robinson. I know, I know, Smitty what have you been smoking? Lohrei won’t be Larry Robinson, probably won’t even be Larry Murphy, BUT if there was a player that you would want Lohrei to watch and say play like that guy…it would be Robinson. So Mason, pull up a chair and turn on the Robinson tape, I would start with one of the 6 Stanley Cup Finals he won.

Parker Wotherspoon had a fantastic year for the Bruins and was rewarded with an NHL contract. He has shown he is an NHL-caliber defenseman and will not shy away from the scrums and physicality in front of his goaltenders. He should tag along with Freddy at FitBox, just in case.

Andrew Peeke was a welcome addition to the Bruins at the trade deadline. He’s a shot-blocking machine, and with that in mind, Andrew should spend his summer with Happy Gilmore practicing taking pucks off the chest. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. He fills that role perfectly.

Pat Maroon brought toughness and a bad back to the Bruins but was valuable in a mentorship role with his experience and voice on the bench. Maroon has stated that he wants to return to the Bruins. I would welcome him back for his protection alone. A police ride-along would be perfect for Pat. He could chirp some criminals, foil a few robberies, and maybe get to kick some ass for fun.

Jeremy Swayman should find a financial advisor and a large mattress to stuff with cash if he doesn’t trust banks because “Sway” is getting PAID. He went to arbitration with the Bruins before last season, and it left a bad taste in his mouth. Don’t expect a hometown discount. He’s going to get his number 1 goalie money, and Bruins fans should be happy he’ll be locked up for 7 or 8 years.

Linus Ullmark has been a great Bruin for his entire tenure here. He’s won a Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goaltender and has been part of a tandem that has been the backbone of one of the best regular season teams in the NHL. However, his time in Boston should come to an end this off-season after Jeremy Swayman’s spectacular play in the post-season. Ullmark has a limited NTC, so he will have a say in where he ends up. My hope is he ends up in New Jersey for the number 10 pick in the draft. He should spend the summer looking for a new home in the Garden State and probably binge-watch The Sopranos to familiarize himself with the culture. His addition would make a dangerous Devils team a sure-fire Stanley Cup contender.

Finally, Don Sweeney should spend his summer looking to add high-end offensive talent to a team that could most definitely use it. A quick read through Central Scouting’s evaluation of the draft prospects couldn’t hurt, and for the love of God, don’t mess up the 10th pick overall. (hypothetically, of course.)

Season 3. Episode 49. Prospects Rankings 26-30 Bruins Benders Podcast

Join the Bruins Benders Podcast as they cover the HOTTEST topics in the Boston Bruins market, along with… – Prospect Rankings 26-30- Early Line Projections- Most Hated NHL Franchises- Cole Spicer Steps Away& Much More!DraftKings Sportsbook – Boston’s hometown Sportsbook is LIVE right here in Massachusetts! Bet local on all your favorite sports from the comfort of your own home with DraftKings. To celebrate, ALL new customers will receive up to TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS in BONUS bets when you sign up for DraftKings Sportsbook using code ITR! You can now bet local on money lines, spreads, props, and more with one of America’s top-rated Sportsbooks – DraftKings Sportsbook!  Download the DraftKings Sportsbook app and sign up with code ITR to get up to TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS in BONUS bets to use now that mobile sports betting is live in Massachusetts. That’s code ITR only at DraftKings Sportsbook. If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, call 800 327-5050 or visit helplineMA.org to speak with a trained specialist, free and confidentially, twenty four seven. 21+. Physically present in MA. Eligibility restrictions apply. Subject to regulatory licensing requirements. Eligibility and deposit restrictions apply. Opt in required. Bonus issued as free bets. Terms at draftkings.com/MA.
  1. Season 3. Episode 49. Prospects Rankings 26-30
  2. Season 3. Episode 48. Arbitration Deadline
  3. Season 3. Episode 47. Free Agency Begins
  4. Season 3. Episode 46. Draft Night
  5. Season 3. Episode 45. After the Hugs Are Gone

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