The 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins are coming off a fantastic Game-Seven victory over the Vancouver Canucks.
The Bruins were led by Tim Thomas, a goalie who proved that you can bounce around the lower levels of hockey and still become an elite player in the NHL at age 37.
Mark Recchi, a 21-year veteran, will retire with his last game being a Game Seven win in the Finals. Boston still has plenty of veterans in Zedno Chara and Thomas, among others.
The Bruins have plenty of firepower returning. Boston is coming off a regular season where they had 12 players score in double digits, and and had a 30-goal scorer in Milan Lucic.
Patrice Bergeron and rookie Brad Marchand will be back for the Bruins next season, and that's obviously good news as Boston. David Krejci, who scored 12 goals in the playoffs, offer the Bruins an opportunity to keep their winning way next season.
The key, however, for the Bruins is Thomas. Having a top-rated goalie is a big reason for success.
There hasn't been a repeat champion since the Red Wings in 1998, but the Bruins will be very strong next season, and might make another great playoff run.