The Boston Bruins signed one of the biggest free agents available this year when David Backes signed a 5 year deal with the club. Backes could be a dominate 3rd line center or a second line winger playing with David Krejci. The Bruins did lose winger Loui Eriksson to Vancouver but Backes is a solid replacement. Like every team, the Bruins reconstructed their depth. They lost Chris Kelly (OTT), Lee Stempniak, (CAR) Brett Connolly (WSH) and Landon Ferraro (STL) all on offense as well as Matt Irwin (NSH) and Zach Trotman (LAK) on defense. They signed Dominic Moore to a one year deal and Riley Nash to 2 years. Boston's big problem is their defense. In my opinion, Boston has the league's worst defense led by 39 year old Zdeno Chara. They bought out Dennis Seindenberg and Christian Erhoff agreed to a tryout with the team. In net, Tuuka Rask is looking for a bounce back season after a horrendous 2015-16 season. Malcolm Subban and newly acquired Anton Khudobin will fight for a backup spot. In the 2016 NHL draft, the Bruins selected D Charlie McAvoy with the 14th overall pick. McAvoy is exactly what Boston needs: a top 2 defenseman. They also picked C Trent Frederic with the 29th pick via San Jose Frederic is is solid center in the future for them.
The Bruins projected lineup looks like this:
Brad Marchand- Patrice Bergeron- David Pastrnak
Ryan Spooner- David Krejci- David Backes
Matt Beleskey- Riley Nash- Jimmy Hayes
Zac Rinaldo- Dominic Moore- Tyler Randell
On defense is:
Torey Krug- Kevan Miller
Zdeno Chara- Adam McQuaid
Joe Morrow- John-Michael Liles
Tuuka Rask and Anton Khudobin in net. Christian Erhoff (if signed) is scratched and Frank Vatrano is injured.
For my prediction, the Boston Bruins will not make the playoffs in 2016-17.