Boston Bruins Focus On Depth Is The Right Way To Go

While this offseason has been full of big names involved in rumors and signings, the Boston Bruins have kept fairly quiet thus far, making only minor moves that appear miniscule in comparison to those made by Carolina (Jordan Staal trade), Minnesota (Zach Parise, Ryan Suter signings), and Buffalo (Derek Roy trade), as well as the rumors surrounding top of the line forwards Rick Nash and Bobby Ryan.

Aside from filing three contracts that had already been announced by the team (Chris Kelly, Tuukka Rask, Alexander Khokhlachev), the Bruins have made small depth moves that many fans are raising their eyebrows at, signing forward Christian Hanson, defensemen Garnet Exelby and Aaron Johnson, and resigning forward Lane MacDermid and defenseman Matt Bartkowski. While it may seem unclear what the goal of these deals are, the reasoning becomes clear when examined closely.

Hockey fans around the world saw what depth can do for a team in 2011, when the Bruins won the Stanley Cup. The team's balanced attack combined with their ability to roll out four lines due to depth was the main reason for their tremendous run. Depth was again proved to be key this past season, when the Los Angeles Kings took home the Cup in large part because of the great depth they had.

While many Bruins fans are up in arms that GM Peter Chiarelli is not making blockbuster signings or trades, the depth signings will prove to be key down the stretch, because injuries will happen. Look at this past season. The Bruins came away from the trade deadline with a fully healthy defensive corps. Come playoff time, Adam McQuaid was injured, Joe Corvo and Greg Zanon were playing poorly, and veteran Mike Mottau was called upon to step in a few times. Even this wasn't enough to propel them past the Capitals, proving that even carrying 8 defensemen and 13 forwards wasn't enough to help carry the defending champions to victory.

Would it be nice to have Rick Nash in Boston? Of course, but then again, it would be nice to have Rick Nash on any team in the NHL. He's a proven 30 goal scorer and proven leader that would immediately make any team better. But given the price that the Bruins would have to pay in terms of salary and fitting him in the cap, it is better to take the road less traveled and prepare for the inevitable injuries that will occur during the wear and tear of an 82 game schedule and then some if you include post season play. Their ability to roll out four lines and wear down opponents with a balanced attack was what helped the Bruins defeat Vancouver to bring Lord Stanley back to Boston, and it is what will help them win more Stanley Cups in the future.

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