Boston Bruins at a glance

BOSTON BRUINS

LAST SEASON: 42-31-9, 93 points. Fourth in Atlantic Division. Failed to qualify for Stanley Cup Playoffs.

COACH: Claude Julien (10th season, 14th NHL season)

ADDED: F David Backes, F Riley Nash, F Dominic Moore, G Anton Khudobin.

LOST: F Loui Eriksson, G Jonas Gustavsson, D Dennis Seidenberg.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Brad Marchand. If the 37 goals Marchand scored for the Bruins last season wasn't enough to catch the attention of the entire NHL, he definitely alerted everyone to his status as an elite talent during the recent World Cup of Hockey. Playing for victorious Team Canada, Marchand led the tournament with five goals in six games. He also scored the game-winning short-handed goal in the third period of the decisive second game of the best-of-three finals against Team Europe. During the tournament, the Bruins made sure Marchand wouldn't be leaving as an unrestricted free agent next summer by signing him to an eight-year, $49 million contract. Marchand has matured at both ends of the ice and there's no telling how much more he could improve in the next few seasons.

OUTLOOK: The Bruins seem to be caught between rebuilding and contending as they come off two straight seasons without qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs by a combined three points. With Backes their only major addition during the offseason, the Bruins are banking on the continued improvement or some of their younger players and the emergence of a couple prospects to turn their fortunes around. Boston again looks like a bubble team that will be playing for its life right down to the final weekend of the season.

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