Bruins Off-Season Progress Report

May 4, 2021; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Boston Bruins center David Krejci (46) during warm ups before the game against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
May 4, 2021; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Boston Bruins center David Krejci (46) during warm ups before the game against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports /

The Boston Bruins walked into the off-season in an interesting way. Their Captain was up for a new contract, rumors of a former beloved center coming back for another run at Lord Stanley, a new head coach, and almost no cap space definitely meant that there was going to be a lot of work to do for the front office if they were going to improve their team.

New Coach Takes the Reigns

The Bruins announced Jim Montogmery as the new head coach of the club on July 11. In his press conference, Montgomery made it clear that the Bruins will look to push the pace on the ice, saying  “around the league I want us to be known as a team that you better be prepared for or else you’re going to be put on your heels”. Montgomery complemented the coaching staff of last season and added to it by saying he wanted to see a little more offense from the club. Montgomery says that his ability to connect with players of all ages is something that will differ from Bruce Cassidy’s style who was never shy about calling out his players in the media which had apparently rubbed players the wrong way. Here is the Boston Bruins off-season progress report.

Return of the Old Guard

Rumors of Patrice Bergeron’s return have been up and down like the tide at the beach. Recently, a report was made that the Bruins are in negotiations to bring back their captain for at least one more season. Bergeron has been very public about not rushing his decision and is currently still reflecting on whether or not he wants to return. I’m sure that ownership and the front office are in agreement that Bergeron has a contract waiting for him if he wants to sign.

Another old name that might make it on the Bruins roster come October is former Bruins center David Krejci. Krejci played last season in Czechia but after the season ended reporters and fans alike were all over a possible return to Boston. A video from Bruins star David Pastrnak’s Instagram showed the 2 were together playing for Czechia in the IIHF World Championship and Pastrnak asked Krejci if he was coming back and Krejci just smiled and did not comment. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire and those flames were stoked recently when a tweet was published saying the two parties were in negotiations on a new contract. Some fans ahve some reservations about his re-acclamation to the NHL but with a lot of players on the roster out for the start of the season, this season would be the best one to get into. No official news has been released as of yet but there is plenty of optimism from Don Sweeney regarding both players. With only $2 million in cap space, both contracts are probably going to be covered with bonuses to make them work.

Making Moves

Don has also been busy trying to add to the roster while being creative with the money. On the first day of free agency, he traded away center Erik Haula to New Jersey for center Pavel Zacha. Zacha has one more year on his deal before he becomes a restricted free agent at the end of this season. There are a couple of ways that Sweeney can play this. He could leave the contract the way it is and then submit a qualifying offer next year or, they can see what kind of value Zacha has at the trade deadline and go from there. The best bet is for Sweeney to extend an offer at the end of the season. Zacha is 25 and scored 15 goals and had 21 assists on an average of 15 minutes of ice time. Don could have just gottan a solid piece for the rest of this younger core. Haula served as a great second line center towards the end of the season but he slowed down in the playoffs. and at 31 years old, it was crucial for the Bruins that Sweeney capitalized on his high value after such a great season.

The Bruins also added five players on two-way deals totaling around $3.5 million. It’s good to add to a prospect pool that hasn’t had a first-round pick for a few years. There will be more on those players in another article but we couldn’t gloss over those moves.

Overall, the Bruins are doing what they can now to give them some new faces and hopefully be able to compete in a powerhouse division. This off-season so far is at about a C level. Didn’t exactly get better but definitely didn’t get worse either.