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Once Big Players In Free Agency, Bruins Happy To Stand Pat This Time Around

Zdeno Chara. Shawn Thornton. Michael Ryder. Marc Savard

The names were instrumental in getting the Bruins to where they now stand as reigning Stanley Cup Champions - even if Savard was only a spectator during the run. 

And they were all brought in as free agents. Chara and Savard came in 2006. Thornton showed up a year later. Ryder followed in the summer of 2008. Chara, Thornton and Ryder were the only names on the Bruins Stanley Cup Roster brought in via free agency. 

Oh, right. Add Tim Thomas (2005) to that list. 

Patrice Bergeron came in the draft in 2003. David Krejci was picked up in 2004. Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand were picked up in 2006. So, too, was Phil Kessel, whose return brought Tyler Seguin in 2010. 

Adam McQuaid, Tomas Kaberle and Johnny Boychuk came in via trade. So, too, did Chris Kelly and Rich Peverley. Of course, nobody could forget the magic that Peter Chiarelli pulled off when he shipped Dennis Wideman out for a return of Gregory Campbell and Nathan Horton. Or the quiet, early-season trade that returned Daniel Paille from Buffalo. 

With an extremely thin and already wildly overpaid free agent class about to take center stage, the Bruins won't be making a big splash, as WEEI's DJ Bean writes - even if making a big splash means that they could land Steven Stamkos for the better part of the next decade, as some writers have foolishly suggested they should do. 

Expect the Bruins to promote from within to fill the holes left by Kaberle, Ryder and the retiring Mark Recchi, and don't expect them to suffer much for it.