The Bruins roster is full of 24 men from all over the world with very different backgrounds. But all of these men have one very important thing in common. They fit the Bruins style of hockey. They have the skill and speed necessary to make it in the NHL, but their strength and physical style of playing is the name of the game. Peter Chiarelli has crafted a team based on this model of physical toughness and aggressiveness. This is the Bruins way.
A majority of the core Bruins players, especially the forwards, were drafted by Boston. The Bruins build up their players and mold them into the typical Bruin. Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic and David Krejci, all prominent forwards on the first two lines and key, long-term players in the Bruins organization, were originally drafted by Boston. They came to Boston with their sharp skills and hockey knowledge, but have become so much more over their past several years with the B’s.
The Bruins like to take the time and effort to build up their new players, drawing from the many veterans on the team to help them fit the Bruins style. Enter: Tyler Seguin.
He was drafted by the Bruins in the first round, 2nd overall, in 2010. He greatly impressed the front office and Boston fans across New England with his appearance in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs where he put up six points off three goals in Round 1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
However over the next two seasons, Seguin failed to deliver that magic that was seen in the conference quarterfinals. While his off ice antics certainly contributed to his alienation with the front office, it became obvious that he just didn’t fit in with the Bruins organization. Seguin isn’t a bad hockey player, but Chiarelli and the Bruins organization are looking for a certain kind of hockey player and Seguin just wasn’t it.
It’s not about who’s the better hockey player or who can skate the fastest, it’s about who fits best into the system. For the Bruins, that has been Reilly Smith and Loui Eriksson. While Seguin is having a great year down with the Dallas Stars and Smith having a great streak with the Bruins, the deal should not be considered won or loss by either team. Each team got the players who fit best into their style of hockey.
Hockey isn’t about individual players. It’s the ultimate team sport. A team can’t win championships having a few really talented players. It takes an entire team that molds well together to be a truly successful hockey team. Hockey isn’t like the NFL or NBA where teams are almost entirely recreated every season with a new set of guys coming and going. Good NHL teams stay relatively consistent from year to year. The Bruins epitomize this.
Across the roster the Bruins have several core players with long-term contracts who, more likely than not, are in Boston for the rest of their careers. The longest contracts on the team belong to forward Bergeron, defenseman Zdeno Chara and goalie Tuukka Rask, proving that the Bruins have solid veterans and role models across the board.
Chara is perhaps the core of the Boston Bruins organization. He’s worn the spoked B for 8 years now and completely embodies the Bruins style of play. The Bruins thrive on the tough physical game and the transition from defense to offense, something that Chara has excelled at with his 13 goals already this season.
The future for the Bruins also looks bright with the acquisition of Torey Krug and Dougie Hamilton. Krug was signed by Boston directly out of Michigan State and Hamilton was drafted by the Bruins in the first round in 2011. Both have already proven that they can excel as offensive defensemen. Krug is only one goal behind Chara for the season and has racked up an impressive 32 points. Both players were brought in straight to Boston and fit the Bruins style of play. Core players are built from the bottom up.
Obviously the Bruins have acquired some of their top talent from other organizations, namely Chara and Rask, but the B’s pride themselves on long-term players who fit their mold and learn and grow along with the organization. It’s hard to imagine a Bruins team without Bergeron and Marchand lighting the lamps, Lucic dropping the gloves when necessary, Chara tearing apart the league’s best offenses, or Rask making the incredible save. And for Bruins fans there’s a very good chance that they won’t have to for quite some time.