With the NHL roster freeze ending at 1 P.M. today, Thursday, Boston Bruins‘ general manager Don Sweeney met with the media this morning and gave some updates on free agents and what the team’s plan is after losing defenseman Jeremy Lauzon to the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft.
Sweeney confirmed that the B’s and Taylor Hall had made “meaningful progress” on a new deal as well as gave an update on who was thought to be a packaged deal with Hall in veteran center David Krejci.
Per Sweeney, Boston’s longtime second-line center has yet to tell the team what he plans to do for next season. From a previous interview with Krejci, we know that he doesn’t want to play for another NHL team besides the Black and Gold. But, if he and the B’s can’t get a deal done he is willing to finish his hockey career in his native Czech Republic.
Now, to make things clear, the two parties (Krejci and Boston) seem like they just haven’t had contact since exit interviews. This doesn’t mean that Krejci is leaving and it seems like the B’s want to bring Krejci back as they are awaiting HIS decision.
The Bruins have options if David Krejci leaves.
With Krejci being the best center on the market and him being the second-best center on the B’s, it’s going to be hard to replace him if he decides to leave. But, the Black and Gold do have options internally and in free agency.
To start, the B’s could promote third-line center Charlie Coyle to 2C. He had a rough 2020-21 season, but it turned out he was playing through a knee injury most of the season. A healthy Coyle should be much better in 2021-22.
The B’s top prospect, Jack Studnicka, has reportedly gained almost 10 pounds in muscle so far this offseason. He seems very motivated to make the NHL roster full-time for 2021-22, and he very well could if the rumors are true.
Wennberg averaged 0.52 points per game this season and averaged just over 18 minutes of ice time per game. He was Florida’s second-line center behind Sasha Barkov and played well in the role. The 26-year-old would take up the same role with the B’s.
Granlund averaged 0.53 points per game in 2020-21 and averaged nearly 19-and-a-half minutes of ice time per game. If he came to the B’s he probably would play a bit less as he wouldn’t be the No. 1 center on the team with Patrice Bergeron ahead of him.
These are just a few options the Bruins have if Krejci doesn’t return next season. Internally, the options are a bit weak and unproven, but externally, the options are solid. However, they aren’t Krejci, so hopefully, Krejci decides to return to Boston for at least one more run.