Last year at this time, the Bruins were making their dream run that ended with the club's first Stanley Cup in 39 years.
But this year, which ended with a first-round playoff elimination at the hands of the Capitals, saw the B's become the latest team not to repeat as Cup champs and looking for ways to get back into the title mix next year.
If you're looking for drastic changes, you might want to stop looking, especially when you consider the uncertainty of the NHL's labor situation. Clubs may hesitate to do things when there's a labor storm on the horizon.
"It's something you really have to take into consideration with what we're going to do this offseason," said president Cam Neely. "There's so much uncertainty of where we're going to end up."
Former baseball union chief Don Fehr now represents the hockey players, so you have to think anything is possible.
There has been talk of potential free agent Zach Parise, who would help any team and would be an even-bigger help to a team that didn't have a 70-point scorer.
The Bruins goalies always come up when people speculate, but the brass was giving every indication it will again be Tim Thomas and Tuukka Rask in the new season; general manager Peter Chiarelli saying he was "not inclined" to deal a goalie.
When and if the Bruins do deal, it's likely going to be for a player to add scoring punch and help the power play. Parise would solve both. So would Rick Nash, and there was a report out of Columbius saying the Bruins were in fact preparing a trade offer for the high-priced Blue Jacket.
After a 3-7 start that had people wondering if last year's run to the Stanley Cup was a bit of a fluke, the Bruins went on a 24-5-1 run where everything went right and people started dreaming of this team becoming the first repeat champion since 1998.
In late January, Nathan Horton, knocked out of last year's finals with a concussion suffered in Game 3 against the Canucks, was felled by another one, this one on a non-penalized hit by Tom Sestito of the Flyers. It was first called "a mild concussion," but Horton never made it back. It was also around this time that goalie Tim Thomas snubbed the president and didn't accompany the team to the White House. If you believe in karma ?
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