Boston Bruins at a glance
LAST SEASON: 41-27-14, 96 points. Fifth in Atlantic Division. Missed playoffs for first time since 2007.
COACH: Claude Julien (ninth season, 13th NHL season).
ADDED: F Jimmy Hayes, D Matt Irwin, F Matt Beleskey
LOST: D Dougie Hamilton, F Milan Lucic, F Daniel Paille, F Carl Soderberg, GM Peter Chiarelli.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Zdeno Chara. The 38-year-old defenseman is coming off his worst season since 2002-03 with eight goals and 12 assists – an average of less than one point every three games. The 2009 Norris Trophy winner sustained a knee injury early last season and wasn’t his dominating self after that. He picked up an undisclosed upper body injury this preseason and is day-to-day heading into the opener. The Bruins will need him to recover, with No. 2 defenseman Dennis Seidenberg also out for the start of the season.
OUTLOOK: Chiarelli was fired after deals that put the team in salary cap purgatory and forced him to deal talent to make more space. His former assistant and Harvard teammate Don Sweeney took over and kept Julien on board. Sweeney dealt Lucic and Hamilton to clear space. But with Chara, G Tuukka Rask and F Patrice Bergeron remaining as the spine of the team that went to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2013 and won the Presidents’ Trophy the following season, the Bruins shouldn’t miss the playoffs again.