Dear Don Sweeney,
Here the Bruins are again, missing the playoffs by one point! At times I felt good about the team. I was optimistic, but what solidified the knot in my stomach was the pitiful loss to the Los Angeles Kings on February ninth. A distressing nine-to-two loss! Yes, even in February I felt the effects of the slow, old group of players you have on the back end—Dennis Seidenberg, thirty-four, and Zdeno Chara, thirty-nine, have been asked to do too much for too long. What are we going to do to get back in the playoffs, to start up a winning culture again, to be a team of consistency?
You lost the tenacity of Johnny Boychuk and the skill of Dougie Hamilton; great, you got some draft picks for them, but when will those draft picks be NHL ready? When are they going to have an impact? The defense the Bruins pride themselves on is dwindling away. Zdeno Chara should have been traded two or three years ago when he was still a prolific defenseman in the league. He never took over games like a Drew Doughty or Brent Burns, but “Big Z,” The Shutdown Defenseman, was a force field near the front of the net, plain and simple. When you had Zdeno Chara and Tuukka Rask, you were going to win games purely on their backs. That’s what the Bruins were. That identity has changed. Scoring as a team was high this season with 240 pucks that went into your opponents’ net. However, 230 went into your own.
Zdeno Chara reaching the age of thirty coincides with the team’s decline – or should I say increase, in goals against. You were the only team in the league this year with a positive differential to miss the playoffs. Do those players on the back end, with less than five years of experience, have the answer to your problem? I can’t see how, and I don’t see it happening three years from now. Big moves have to be made to win big in the NHL. Stop tiptoeing around and make a move. A free agent signing, a trade, maybe for a draft pick that will have an immediate impact, like an Aaron Ekblad. Please, just show me something. Big names are big names for a reason. Just get one to solidify your defense. Then you will prove yourself to be worthy of your position as general manager.
A disappointed fan,