After several weeks of training camp and endless exhibition games, Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien have settled on a roster for opening night against Washington. Of course, what you see on the first night of October won’t be the same as who dresses come April, but let’s take a thumbnail look at the initial Bruins roster.
Marc Savard: Playmaker extraordinaire and in a contract year. Will he commit to being an all-around player?
David Krejci: Returning from hip surgery earlier than originally expected. Most complete forward on the team.
Patrice Bergeron: Hopefully the lingering cobwebs from earlier concussions are a thing of the past. He should improve on last season’s total of 39 points.
Steve Begin: Basically this year’s version of Stephane Yelle. Solid fourth line player
Milan Lucic: The team feeds of his emotion at times. Must take fewer dumb penalties. Should be a major part of the offense.
Blake Wheeler: Added off-season muscle and hopefully won’t hit the wall again. Expect a big year from him.
Marco Sturm: If the knee holds up, should pot 25+ goals. Intense, solid two-way player.
Michael Ryder: A fast start, unlike last season, would be a boost for the team. Underrated two-way player.
Mark Recchi: Classy veteran but how much gas is left in the tank? Watch him fearlessly park himself in front of the goal. Great at tipping shots from point.
Chuck Kobasew: Hard-nosed winger with the ability to score. Salary could make him expendable later in the season.
Byron Bitz: Fan favorite but had a mediocre training camp. Must establish a physical presence on the fourth line.
Shawn Thornton: Team policeman and respected veteran in the locker room.
Vladmir Sobotka: Pesky player with good wheels. Not shy about taking the body.
Zdeno Chara: The league’s best last season. Could use a lighter workload but I don’t think he’ll get it (or want it).
Dennis Wideman: Love him from the blue line going forward. Is a liability in his own zone. Must put the puck on net more.
Andrew Ference: Injured a good chunk of last season but played well when healthy. Must not let NHLPA activities affect his play. He’s no Brad Park.
Derek Morris: Good skater and can move the puck. Is he Dennis Wideman II though?
Mark Stuart: Tough, strong physical presence on the backline. His stock is rising in the league.
Matt Hunwick: Smaller player with great wheels. Can he hold up for an entire NHL season after rupturing his spleen?
Johnny Boychuck: End of the bench defenseman who could play forward in a pinch.
Tim Thomas: Can’t dispute a Vezina Trophy but is he capable of carrying a team to a Stanley Cup?
Tuuka Rask: The Bruins prized prospect. Has all the tools to be a superior NHL goaltender. Should play at least 30 games this season.