Free washer | Life without Patrice Bergeron in Boston?

We have already had happier results in Boston.

Posted at 12:37 p.m.

Mathias Brunet

Mathias Brunet
The Press

But the uncertainty surrounding the future of captain Patrice Bergeron obviously sows a lot of concern in Boston.

“We could go for a plan B and C, but let’s be honest, we don’t replace this type of player and his impact within the organization in all respects,” GM Don Sweeney admitted to reporters this week. It could take years to replace it.

There was already not much depth in the center this year with the departure of David Krejci. Erik Haula, 31, 44 points in 78 games, played between Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak. Charlie Coyle, 30, same production as that of Haula, ensured the center of the third line between Trent Frederic and Craig Smith.

Bergeron’s departure would obviously leave a terrible void from which they could suffer for several seasons.

But with a solid top three made up of Charlie McAvoy, Hampus Lindholm and Brandon Carlo, aged between 24 and 28, a rising 23-year-old goalkeeper, Jeremy Swayman, and a quartet of forwards of which only Brad Marchand has more than 31 years among Taylor Hall, David Pastrnak and Jake DeBrusk, a major phase of rejuvenation does not seem to be on the agenda for the Bruins.

Among the temporary solutions, we could bring back David Krejci, 36, after a year with Olomouc HC in the Czech Republic. Krejci is currently competing in the World Championships and has also competed in the Olympics with the Czech Republic. This would, of course, be a very short-term option.

“I stayed in touch with David all year,” said the Bruins GM. He had some tough decisions to make given a promise he made to his family. He decided to stay (in the Czech Republic) and think about his future. If he decides to come back, I’ll be happy to take his call, but we haven’t had any discussions to that effect for several months. »

Among the unrestricted free agents at that position are Evgeni Malkin, 35, Vincent Trocheck, 28, Nazem Kadri, 31, and Ryan Strome, 28.

There is also the market for free agents with compensation, either by submitting a hostile offer or by making a trade for a Pierre-Luc Dubois, Kirby Dach, Dylan Strome or Pavel Zacha, but the Bruins would have to recover a choice. first round, a complex operation to say the least under the circumstances.

In their pick bank, the Bruins still hold a 2022 second-round pick and their 2023 first-round pick, but the 2023 and 2024 second-round picks belong to the Anaheim Ducks for defenseman Lindholm.

The Bruins are suffering from their recent drafts. Team held no first-round picks in 2020 and 2018, drafted 30e rank only in 2019 (John Beecher, don’t inflate your expectations), nor second-round picks in 2019 and 2021.

The team’s 2017 first-round pick, one of only two the club has in five years along with Fabian Lysell (2021), moved to the Ducks in the Lindholm trade.

The 28-year-old defenseman will be a mainstay in the first pair of defenses with Charlie McAvoy, but he will have cost a first-round pick, a first-round draft defenseman and two second-round picks.

Sweeney secured his services until 2030 at a reasonable annual salary of $6.5 million, but it will have been expensive and we understand the management of wanting to keep open the favorable window of success.

However, it will take a lot of creativity to replace the heart of the team if ever Patrice Bergeron opts for retirement.

Seeing him hugging his teammates one by one following the elimination of the club, we understand the direction of being worried…

No vote of confidence for Bruce Cassidy

Photo Gene J. Puskar, archives Associated Press

Coach Bruce Cassidy

Still in the world of the Bruins, the team’s VP hockey operations, Cam Neely, in turn gave an assessment Thursday morning and he was not exactly complimentary of coach Bruce Cassidy. “It’s one thing to have a good regular season, it’s another to lose in the first round. We are disappointed. Some things will have to be changed. Bruce is a fantastic coach, but I think we need to change the way we coach. Neely was more reassuring towards Don Sweeney who should sign a contract extension shortly…

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