The Boston Bruins are on the cusp of another National Hockey League season, and they'll be bringing back most of the supporting cast along with a few additional faces in the fold.
However, one veteran leader who has been a mainstay in the spoked B decided to return to his homeland, while the future of another European star remains in question. David Krejci won't be suiting up for the Bruins for the 1st time in 15 years, as he elected to go back to the Czech Republic and play in front of his family with HC Olomouc in the Czech Extraliga.
Meanwhile, goaltender Tuukka Rask's future in Beantown remains up in the air. To that end, the Bruins secured help in the crease in the form of former Sabres net minder Linus Ullmark, as well as re-signing forward Taylor Hall who found new life with a change of scenery after leaving the doldrums of Buffalo. The Bruins also added the likes of Nick Foligno, Derek Forbort, Erik Haula and Tomas Nosek.
So, what are the good folks at ESPN saying about their chances this season? Bruins fans may not like what their prediction consists of. In fact, of the 22 experts, only longtime coach-turned-studio analyst John Tortorella picked Boston to win the Atlantic Division.
Meanwhile, Sachin Chandan and Steve Levy selected forward David Pastrnak to lead the NHL in goal scoring, while four analysts projected Charlie McAvoy to win the Norris Trophy as the League's top defenseman.
How about in net? Sean McDonough believes that goaltender Jeremy Swayman will win the Calder Trophy as the NHL's top rookie.
We'll see how it all folds out when the Bruins host the Dallas Stars on October 16.