Monday, September 21, 2009

New beginnings...

Thanks to my good friend Dan, I was able to get tickets to a dozen Bruins home games this year including an all-important Montreal Canadiennes game. This means that the 2009-2010 Bruins season has officially begun in my mind! Thus, I am back on here ready to go at this for a second year... hopefully I will be posting more frequently but nobody should hold their breath (blue skin just really isn't pretty...)

To begin with, I am going to ignore the elephant in the room and look into something that really bothered me this offseason. Last season, for the first time ever I was the proud holder of a 'season ticket'-ish 12 game pack for the Bruins. By buying in bulk, I was guaranteed a shot at playoff tickets and got the regular season tickets at 75% off or roughly $42 for solid balcony seats. As much as I would love to get full season tickets, I just can't justify the cost and the added transportation problems (I live 25 miles due west of the Garden and pay $20 for parking) and so I was debating getting a similar package as last season. Until I saw the price...


Ticket prices went up a full 50% from last season! While I understand that the Bruins were very successful last year and therefore it only makes sense to raise prices, that kind of increase is ridiculous gouging! Now it turns out that the majority of season tickets saw either no increase (if purchased before March 18) or minimal increase in cost (5% if purchased before April 30) which does make the situation more palatable. Basically, the team is sticking it to the new fans who are jumping on board now and to those who haven't been steadily supplying their income before this year. A sound business practice I suppose given the ridiculous season ticket totals (up 5K to 13,200) but still brutal for fans like me who are stuck in between categories. The real concern now becomes next season... there is no guarantee the prices will remain fixed again.

Now for the elephant in the room... the trading of 22yo, 36-goal scoring Phil Kessel to divisional rival Toronto. Before getting into my thoughts on the trade, there is one thing about this that absolutely astounds me...

At last season's trade deadline, there was rumors of a deal being in place with Toronto to ship them Kessel for Kaberle with Boston also asking for Toronto's #1. Turns out Burke, in his infinite stupidity, thought the offer was Kaberle for Kessel and BOSTON'S #1... needless to say, PC turned it down immediately.

Jump ahead a few months to the actual trade and Kessel gets shipped off for two #1s and a #2. Does that mean that Burke actually values 31yo Tomas Kaberle at THREE first round picks?! Sure looks that way... just boggles my mind!

As for the trade, I am all for it. Way I see it, the guy was asking WAY too much for what he brings to the ice. Sure, Phil has terrific speed and one of the nastiest shots in the game... there is no doubting that. However, what is being doubted is more important... his desire, his toughness, his willingness to play through pain, his understanding of the team concept, his attention to defense... need I go on? Fact is, there just is no room for him under Boston's cap and shuffling the roster to re-sign him would only have proven detrimental going forward. With his big cap-hit on the books for the next few years Boston would have been unable to re-sign team cornerstones Savard (UFA), Lucic (RFA), Wheeler (RFA) and Stuart (RFA) as well as (hopeful) goalie-of-the-future Rask (RFA). The simple facts of life under the cap.

With these picks, Boston now has 5 of the top 60 picks in 2010 (Tampa's 2010 #2 in the Recchi deal). Those picks will be invaluable with the lowering cap predictions and could prove very handy at this seasons trade deadline. Also, while this season's draft is supposedly looking pretty weak, it is not like the Bruins can't trade up to top-3 with the bevy of picks they now have. Now we just have to pull for the Leafs to go 0-for-2010, even if it means Montreal gets 6 wins!

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