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Future Looking Bright For Stanley Cup Champion Bruins

BOSTON (CBS) – Not only are the Boston Bruins Stanley Cup Champions, the team is in very good shape for future title runs.

"We're in a good position," said Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli Friday morning at his year-end press conference. "We have a lot of the team under contract. We're in a good cap position, for once. We've got some young guys, some guys that are coming up."

The Bruins have nine players on their current roster that are 25 years old or younger. Milan Lucic, who scored 30 goals in the regular season and added five more in the postseason, is just 23. David Krejci, who led everyone with 23 points and 12 goals in the playoffs, is 25. Nathan Horton, brought over last offseason for his offense, is only 26.

Captain Zdeno Chara is pretty much signed until he retires, and at 34 he will be the second oldest player on the team after 37-year-old Tim Thomas. Along with Dennis Seidenberg, who is signed for three more years, Chara will anchor the defense for years to come. Youngins Adam McQuaid and Steven Kampfer will also start to take their spot in the defensive rotation in the coming years.

Read/Watch: Chiarelli Jokes "I'm A Genius," Says Recchi Trade On Of His Best

The Bruins are set in net. Conn Smythe/Vezina/Stanley Cup winner Thomas seems to be getting better with age, when healthy, and Tuukka Rask is waiting for his shot whenever the time may come.

As for upcoming free agency, Chiarelli and the Bruins do not have much to worry about. Defenseman Tomas Kaberle, acquired at the trade deadline from Toronto, Michael Ryder and Shane Hnidy are all unrestricted FA's, and it appears Ryder may be the only likely candidate to return. The Kaberle experiment did not work out as planned, and with the defenseman likely commanding a top-of-the-line contract, it may just be better for Boston to cut its losses.

Mark Recchi is also an unrestricted free agent, but the 43-year-old is retiring after winning his third Stanley Cup.

With just a few names to re-sign, and young players like 19-year-old Tyler Seguin and 20-year-old Jordan Caron waiting in the wings, Chiarelli does not foresee the Bruins being too active when it comes to free agents.

Photos: Bruins Stanley Cup Parade

"We're going to continue to tweak. We're not going to be huge players in free agency," he said. "We're going to look at it. We have areas we want to look at, but you're not going to see us hitting a few home runs, or what is perceived as home runs this summer. We're going to go into it with our eyes wide open and see where we end up."

Chiarelli On The Bruins and Free Agency

"We're certainly not going to be big players," said Chiarelli.

The main concern for Boston will be restricted free agent Brad Marchand. The 5-foot-9 winger quickly became a fan favorite in his rookie season, working his way from the fourth "merlot" line up to the second. He promised Chiarelli he would score 20 goals after the end of last season, and he did just that. Marchand followed that up with 11 more goals in the playoffs, setting a new Bruins rookie record. The opposition hates to go against "Marshmont," so imagine if the Bruins had to play against him.

Listen: The Sports Hub's Bruins Stanley Cup Montages

The Bruins will jump right in to the offseason activities, and not just the continuing Cup celebration. The 2011 draft, in which the Bruins own the ninth overall pick, gets started June 24.

In all, it should be a fairly quiet offseason for Chiarelli and the Bruins. Chiarelli found his first line winger in Horton last season, and the most he will have to do is find a replacement for Recchi on the second line. He will likely add a few players here and there to add depth to the defense and lower lines as well.

But when it is all said and done, Chiarelli and Co. should be able to sit back, and enjoy taking the Stanley Cup on a world tour.

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