Bruins

How Cam Neely drew from '88, '90 Bruins while building current Cup team

How Cam Neely drew from '88, '90 Bruins while building current Cup team

Cam Neely hasn't forgotten his two losses in the Stanley Cup Final as a player. And he has no interest in repeating them.

Neely was on the 1988 and 1990 Boston Bruins teams that ran into the buzzsaw that was Wayne Gretzky's Edmonton Oilers. The B's were clearly overmatched -- they got swept in '88 and won one game in '90 -- but Neely apparently was taking notes he'd refer to decades later as president of the Bruins.

When asked Friday about the differences between the B's of his playing days and Boston's 2019 team, Neely pointed to the improved depth of his current squad.

"You get to be an age after you played, you’re retired, and you have these ‘what ifs,’ and there’s no question," Neely said during a press conference at TD Garden. "We look at the years ’88 and ’90, more particularly than ’88, I thought if we had a little bit more depth we might have had a better chance to win."

Neely admitted Boston's shortcomings in those two series against Edmonton motivated him and the Bruins' front office to build a roster that wouldn't suffer the same fate.

"Those are things that stick with you for sure," Neely added. "And then when you get in a position like we’re in to craft a lineup, you talk about depth and how do we get that depth."

Neely and general manager Don Sweeney have built an impressively deep Bruins squad that's gotten goals from 19 different players entering the Stanley Cup Final against the St. Louis Blues.

Trade deadline acquisitions Marcus Johansson and Charlie Coyle both have been productive throughout the Stanley Cup Playoffs, while homegrown talents like Matt Grzelcyk and Danton Heinen have helped complement the Bruins' veteran core.

It's a different squad than the top-heavy '88 and '90 teams, which relied on Neely and Ray Bourque to shoulder much of the workload.

Neely's lesson learned has paid off so far, but there's one more hurdle to clear in the St. Louis Blues, who come to TD Garden on Monday night for Game 1.

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Bruins extend qualifying offers to RFAs Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, others

Bruins extend qualifying offers to RFAs Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, others

The deadline to extend qualifying offers to restricted free agents was Tuesday, and the Boston Bruins took care of business with several players.

The Bruins announced they extended qualifying offers to defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo, as well as forwards Danton Heinen, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Ryan Fitzgerald and Peter Cehlarik. The Bruins didn't extend a QO to forward Gemel Smith, who was picked up by Boston off of waivers in December.

The ideal outcome would be to workout long-term deals with a few of these players before next season, especially McAvoy, who projects to be the team's No. 1 defenseman for many years.

If these players reject their qualifying offer, they will remain an RFA and their rights will be retained by Boston. RFAs can begin agreeing to sign offer sheets with rival teams on July 1, which is when free agency begins.

In addition to these RFAs, the Bruins must also consider re-signing unrestricted free agent forwards Marcus Johansson and Noel Acciari.

The Bruins have $12,003,334 in salary cap space as of Wednesday, per Cap Friendly.

Click here for the top 25 NHL free agents this summer>>>

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Bruins' Matt Grzelcyk reflects on Stanley Cup run with heartfelt Instagram post

Bruins' Matt Grzelcyk reflects on Stanley Cup run with heartfelt Instagram post

The pain of coming up short in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final likely will stick with the 2019 Bruins forever.

The B's admitted as much immediately following their crushing defeat vs. the Blues. But as demoralizing of a loss it was, this is a team that looks to learn from it and come back even stronger next season.

Take it from defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, who reflected on the Bruins' Stanley Cup run in an Instagram post on Tuesday. The 25-year-old Charlestown native assured fans that the team will continue to "face adversity head-on."

Read his message below:

View this post on Instagram

Every time I laced up my skates or rollerbladed over to go play street hockey in Charlestown, I envisioned these very moments. Game 7, Stanley Cup Finals, for the hometown team... We came up one game short, and it hurts probably as bad as you could imagine (and then some). However, I truly believe that accomplishing anything meaningful in life requires you to overcome the obstacles presented your way. This team always faces adversity head on, and we will continue to do so. Focused. Relentless. Together. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to EVERYONE (family, friends, fans) who have supported through the good times & the bad. Your words of encouragement push us more than you know. It certainly does not go unnoticed, especially from a kid who grew up a mile away. It’s been an unforgettable year, memories that will last a lifetime. Looking forward to many more!

A post shared by Matthew Grzelcyk (@matt.grzelcyk) on

Every time I laced up my skates or rollerbladed over to go play street hockey in Charlestown, I envisioned these very moments. Game 7, Stanley Cup Finals, for the hometown team... We came up one game short, and it hurts probably as bad as you could imagine (and then some). However, I truly believe that accomplishing anything meaningful in life requires you to overcome the obstacles presented your way. This team always faces adversity head on, and we will continue to do so. Focused. Relentless. Together.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to EVERYONE (family, friends, fans) who have supported through the good times & the bad. Your words of encouragement push us more than you know. It certainly does not go unnoticed, especially from a kid who grew up a mile away. It’s been an unforgettable year, memories that will last a lifetime. Looking forward to many more!

Grzelcyk was forced to miss most of the Stanley Cup Final after suffering an injury in Game 2, so it had to hurt even worse being physically unable to help his team. Even so, it's clear he's maintaining a remarkably positive attitude through the difficult circumstances.

Highlights from the B's 2019-20 schedule >>

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