2011 Stanley Cup Finalists

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The Boston Bruins are the Stanley Cup champions for the first time in 39 years, and while fans and players will be celebrating until the end of the summer, the Bruins, led by general manager Peter Chiarelli, will soon get back to work building the 2012 roster.

The Bruins don’t have any major free agents to re-sign, but some key players could consider staying with the team.

2011 Stanley Cup Finalists

Forward Michael Ryder and guard Thomas Kaberle are free agents, but both had disappointing seasons despite playing quite well in the playoffs.

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Backup goalkeeper Tuuk Raska is still under contract, but has already proven that he is fully capable of being in the opposing team’s starting lineup.

Does Rask want to be Tim Thomas’ backup for a few more seasons when he’s ready to lead?

Chiarelli isn’t a big free agent this summer and likely won’t make a big deal. But he has several important decisions to make in order for the Bruins to be ready to repeat their title next season.

Mark Recci has been in the NHL for nearly two decades, and after winning his third Stanley Cup this year with the Bruins, Recci looks set to retire.

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Recchi told reporters earlier in the year that the 2011 season would be his last with the Bruins winning the Cup. Now that the Bruins are champions, there’s no better time to leave the game to Rech.

Rechi played well this season, but it is clear that he is no longer the best striker. He is not a good option on the power play and his spot on the second line would be better filled by young forward Tyler Seguin.

After a successful season in which he helped the Bruins win their first trophy in almost 40 years, three-time champion Rec is ready to retire from hockey.

Tomas Kaberle was acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a blockbuster trade (by Bruins standards, anyway) just before this season’s trade deadline.

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Kaberle’s offensive skills as a defenseman should help the Bruins’ strength and fill their need for a puck-moving defenseman.

But Kaberle struggled even on the power play with the Bruins and wasn’t the offensive utility the team thought he would be.

He scored one goal with 20 points as a Bruin, not what Chiarelli was looking for when he gave up a lot to get Kaberle.

He likely wants a contract around $4 million per season, but at 33 years old, it would be unwise for the Bruins to re-sign Kaberle anywhere near that price.

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Michael Ryder is a frustrating player for Bruins fans as he has proven to be the best power forward but his play is too inconsistent.

Ryder is a scorer and a true sniper, but he has long seasons where he can’t start on offense and takes responsibility on defense.

The Bruins aren’t paying him the roughly $4 million a year salary he earned this season, so unless he wants the home team discount, he’s likely gone in the summer.

Ryder had 18 goals and 23 assists in 2011, and helped by his strong performance in the playoffs, the team may overpay for his services.

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The Boston Bruins’ only restricted free agent this summer is forward Brad Marchand, who started the year as a fourth-line forward but saw himself as a second-line starter as the season progressed.

Marchand surprised many in his debut season with 21 goals and 20 assists while playing with great energy and aggression.

He also became one of the few rookies in NHL history to score 10 or more goals in the postseason this year.

His pest-like game annoys opponents and makes Marchand one of those players you like on your team and don’t want to play against.

Stanley Cup Finals

Marchand is also a fan favorite and plays with the big, bad style that the Bruins organization is known for.

The Bruins are likely to re-sign Marchand before free agency begins on July 1. He is a player who is good for long periods and can play with different types of linemates and excels on the power play and penalty kill.

Backup goaltender Tuuk Rask is signed through the 2012 season and will likely remain with the Bruins for at least one more year.

His stellar season as the Bruins’ goaltender in 2010 proved to the team that he could become a playoff starter.

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Rask is just 24 years old and has yet to hit his prime, so the Bruins want to keep him as long as possible.

Rask is the team’s future in goal and will someday get his chance again, as at 37 years old, Thomas won’t be a Vezina Trophy-caliber goaltender for several more seasons.

The Bruins can take solace in the fact that they have a great backup goaltender in case Thomas gets hurt and a valuable trade chip to use if needed. Talented young goaltenders are highly sought after in the NHL. VANCOUVER, BC – JUNE 15: The Vancouver Canucks react after defeating the Boston Bruins during Game 7 of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final at Rogers Arena on June 15, 2011 in Vancouver. British Columbia, Canada. The Boston Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks 4-0. (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images)

Was the highest-grossing film at the box office, and more importantly, the Vancouver Canucks were hoping to win their first Stanley Cup in franchise history after 40 years of torture.

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Unfortunately, as we all know, the team lost the win. In fact, the Canucks are the only team in NHL history to lose the Stanley Cup Final twice in Game 7. The first was in New York, in 1994 they lost 3:2 to the Rangers and the second was on home ice to the Boston Bruins 4:0. (Both times the fans caused destruction in the middle of the center, but let’s not get into that).

The 2011 Canucks were favored to win the Cup even before the 2010-11 season. the beginning of the season. This team scored a lot, had great special teams, good goaltending and solid depth. Why can’t they win it all? How did it all fall apart? To answer these questions, we need to go back a bit.

In the summer of 2010, then-GM Mike Gillis had to work after his team lost two straight in the second round to the Chicago Blackhawks, the latter of which Chicago won the Stanley Cup in the playoffs. Gillis had most of the key players locked up, including Henrik and Daniel Sedin, Alex Burrows, Alex Edler, Ryan Kessler and Roberto Luongo, but the team still needed a few pieces to make the playoffs.

The first need was help on the blue line. On June 25, 2010, the team filled that need by trading their 2010 first round pick, as well as Steve Bernier and Michael Grabner, to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Keith Ballard and Viktor Oreskovich.

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The Canucks also dabbled in free agency, signing Dan Hamhuis to a six-year deal, Manny Malhotra to a three-year deal and Rafi Torres to a one-year deal.

Maxime Lapierre and Chris Higgins were cheap buys at the trade deadline. The Canucks had just $1,000 in injury cap space at the deadline, which was $59.4 million at the time. Had everyone been healthy for the postseason, the team’s cap hit would be $67 million. Kudos to assistant general manager Lawrence Gilman and the rest of management for developing the Canucks’ cap.

After years in the AHL, Cory Schneider found himself playing in the big leagues as Luongo’s backup. The duo will win the William M. Jennings Trophy, an award given to the goaltender(s) with the fewest goals in the regular season. VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The Boston Bruins went on a losing streak for nearly four decades. with meaninglessness and sadness. Five times they had reached the Stanley Cup Finals and had not lifted the silver trophy in triumph. On Wednesday night, after 39 years, the Bruins became the N.H.L. masters.

Patrice Bergeron scored twice — once on a short shot that slipped past Vancouver goaltender Roberto Luongo — and rookie Brad Marchand added a pair of beauties.

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Tim Thomas, the Conn Smythe winner as the season’s MVP, made 37 saves, his second of the streak, in Boston’s 4-0 win over the Canucks at Rogers Arena in Game 7. It was the first time a road team had earned a Game 7 in the N.H.L. history.

6-foot-6 defenseman Zdeno Chara became the first Bruins captain to hoist the trophy since Johnny Bucik skated around the ice at Madison Square Garden in 1972.

Finally, jubilant Bruins fans get their Duck Boat Parade, joining their Patriots brethren (2001, 2003 and 2004), Ed.

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