With plenty of time left until the beginning of the 2008-2009 NHL season, there are already many teams to keep an eye on. One such team is the Boston Bruins.
Less than a few months removed from a devastating and typical ending to the Bruins season, changes have been made and hope has been renewed.
With the recent additions of Michael Ryder and Martin St. Pierre, the team looks to accomplish something they have not done since the 1998-1999 season: make it past the first round of the playoffs.
They'll get some help from returning center Patrice Bergeron, who missed 72 games last season with a devastating injury suffered at the hands of Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Randy Jones.
The Bruins had moments last season when they looked like the type of team that would be underestimated come playoff time, and could prove worthy of a Stanley Cup.
However, those moments were few and far between, and it showed in their first-round exit, after a grueling seven-game series with the rival Montreal Canadiens.
However, if the Bruins could take anything away from the series it would be the performance of their young stars.
Youngsters such as David Krecji, Milan Lucic, Dennis Wideman, and Phil Kessel proved useful down the stretch, coming up with key plays and goals at important times.
Add a consistent 28-year-old winger looking to come off a down year in Michael Ryder, a resurgent captain in Patrice Bergeron, and two or three solid lines to go with a decent defensive core, and you have a team that may shock many NHL fans this upcoming year.
Watch out NHL. The B's of old may very well be back this year.