C Charlie Coyle
With the departure of David Krejci, Charlie Coyle is expected to take over his spot at second-line center. That’s a huge task for the 29-year-old, as Krejci held the role for many seasons and was fantastic in the process. Coyle, on the other hand, is coming off of a down season. In 51 games, he scored just six goals and had 16 points. Thus, it is understandable if fans are concerned with him taking over this spot of the lineup.
Yet, it also is important to remember that Coyle had a 37-point campaign in 70 games the season before with Boston. His best year came during the 2016-17 season when he had 18 goals and 56 points in 82 games with the Minnesota Wild. He also scored 21 goals the season before in 82 games. He is still fairly young as well, so there is reason to believe that he can turn it around.
Furthermore, in this spot, he will have the opportunity to play with a very skilled player in Taylor Hall. This alone should be enough for him to produce a bit more moving forward. At right wing, one has to assume that it will be Craig Smith on the line, as he formed great chemistry with Hall at the end of the season. Both of these two are upgrades over his linemates last season, as Jake DeBrusk had his struggles and recently departed Nick Ritchie had his cold streaks at times.
This is a big chance for Coyle to rebound and make his $5.25 million cap hit look far less rough. Bruin fans should be rooting for his success, as he has the tools to turn it around. There’s nothing wrong with possessing some optimism, right?