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Boston Bruins History:
The 2004-05 NHL season was wiped out by a lockout, and the Boston Bruins appeared to be in good position for the following year, with a lot of space within the new salary cap implemented for the 2005-06 NHL season. However, Boston Bruins' management eschewed younger free agents in their prime in favor of older veterans such as Alexei Zhamnov and Brian Leetch. The newcomers were oft-injured and underachieved, and by the end of November, a struggling Bruins team traded their captain and franchise player, Joe Thornton, who would go on to win the Art Ross and Hart Trophies that season, in exchange for Marco Sturm, Brad Stuart and Wayne Primeau from the San Jose Sharks.
After losing 10 of 11 games before the trade, while the San Jose Sharks won their first seven games with Thornton, the Boston Bruins stormed back with a 3-0 victory over the league-leading Ottawa Senators, as rookie goaltender Hannu Toivonen earned his first career NHL shutout victory. When Toivonen went down (for the rest of the season) with an injury in January, lightning struck twice, as journeyman goalie Tim Thomas started 16 straight games and brought the Bruins back into the playoff hunt. Two points out of eighth place at the Winter Olympic break, the Bruins struggled throughout March, resulting in the firing of general manager Mike O'Connell, and the Bruins missed the playoffs for the first time in five years. They finished 13th in the Eastern Conference and earned the 5th pick in the NHL Draft Lottery, which they used to draft promising U.S. college star Phil Kessel who dropped out of college early to sign with the team on August 17, 2006.
In May of 2006, former Ottawa Senators assistant general manager Peter Chiarelli was hired as the new general manager of the team. Coach Mike Sullivan was fired because of his humiliating record during his second season as the Boston Bruins coach and Dave Lewis, former coach of the Detroit Red Wings was hired to replace him while Marc Habscheid was named associate coach. The Bruins then made a splash on the first day of free-agent signing by signing Zdeno Chara, one of the most coveted defensemen in the NHL and a former NHL All-star and Marc Savard, who finished just three points short of a 100-point season in the 2005-06 NHL Season with the Atlanta Thrashers.
On August 20, 2006, The Boston Globe reported that the Bruins will mothball their gold third jerseys for the 2006-07 season in favor of a black throwback jersey similar to the one worn during the Bobby Orr era. The throwback will reportedly be worn at home against Original Six opponents.
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