In this edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, Patrice Bergeron has some fans worried as he said he will not be entertaining a contract extension right now, and instead will do so once the season is over. In other news, recently departed Bruin David Krejci scored his first goal back home in the Czech Republic, all while rumors circle the internet that the team may look to replace him with Tomas Hertl. One player hoping that doesn’t happen is Charlie Coyle, who is gunning to be the team’s second-line centerman.
Bergeron Not Talking Extension
Bruins fans are well aware of the fact that their team’s captain in Bergeron has just one season remaining on his eight-year deal with a cap hit of $6.875 million. The hope was that the 36-year-old would be interested in getting a new contract signed right away, but that doesn’t appear to be the case.
“I’m going to play out this year, and then talk about that after,” Bergeron said last Wednesday. While that in itself may not seem too worrisome, his response when asked about his future with the Bruins certainly caught people’s attention.
“That’s something that a lot of people have asked me this summer,” Bergeron continued. “I think for me, the way I approach this year is I want to concentrate on this year. I have a year left on my contract, and I think it’d be useless of me to think about the future.
“I think I want to create something special, as I said. We obviously want to work towards winning a Stanley Cup. I know everyone says that, but it’s definitely our goal as a team. And I think we always are competitive to be in that group of teams. So I think that’s where my focus is at right now.”
The elite two-way forward continues to produce despite his age, racking up 23 goals and 48 points in 54 games this past season. He has spent his entire 17-year career with the Bruins.
Krejci off to Hot Start
It didn’t take Krejci long to find the scoresheet playing back home in the Czech Republic, scoring a goal in his first game with Olomouc HC. Despite still having more than enough talent to continue in the NHL, the 35-year-old chose to return home for the 2021-22 season.
In 51 games with the Bruins last season, Krejci scored eight goals and 44 points. While there has been discussion of him returning to Boston late in the season in order to help with a playoff push, he himself has said that will not happen. Whether or not he laces up the skates in the NHL again remains to be seen.
Trade for Hertl?
In recent weeks, it has been made known that Hertl is not happy with the San Jose Sharks organization. While he hasn’t asked for a trade, that may be what ends up happening given that he has just one season remaining on his contract. Given Krejci’s departure, rumors have picked up that the Bruins may be interested in him as their new second-line center.
In order to make this trade happen, the Bruins would have to move out some salary in order to fit Hertl’s $5.625 million cap hit. If they were able to do so, it would certainly be a move worth considering, as the 27-year-old has a boatload of talent. In 50 games last season he recorded 19 goals and 43 points.
Coyle Prepared to Step Up
As mentioned above, one Bruin who would likely prefer for his team not to acquire Hertl is Coyle. The 29-year-old struggled in 2020-21 with just six goals and 16 points in 51 contests, but is hoping to take over the mentioned vacant second-line center position.
“You always want, when opportunities are out there, you always want to prove yourself, and, make yourself a better player for your team, and with the new opportunities, there’s a number of guys fighting for that spot, which is going to make our team better,” Coyle said. “I think internal competition is going to be great for us and yeah, it’s going to be a great spot to earn and it’s a big responsibility. We have a number of guys who are up for that challenge and up to do that, so I’m gonna do my part, be the best I can, and like I said be the best player for this team in this position and I’m going to take full advantage of it.”
While his down 2020-21 season has caused some concern, Coyle has proven in the past he is a skilled player who is capable of providing offence. Perhaps being able to play more minutes on a line with higher-skilled wingers will be what he needs to get back to being that player once again.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Oil On Whyte, NHLtradetalk.com, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.