In this edition of Boston Bruins’ News & Rumors, we look at the fall-out from the 2019-20 season and 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Included are injuries and the future of certain players in a Bruins’ uniform.
Chris Wagner Diagnosed With Atrial Fibrillation
Sports aren’t everything. Though athletes put their bodies on the line to play sports, nobody should ever want a player to play through an injury that could be seen as potentially life-changing.
For Chris Wagner, an irregular heart beat led to a trip to the hospital to figure out what was wrong and if it would have any sort of long-standing effect on his health. He was forced to leave the bubble as a result and was under quarantine for Game 5 of the Bruins’ series against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He’d officially be diagnosed with atrial fibrillation.
Though Wagner doesn’t expect there to be any sort of long-term effects as a result of this issue, it’s still something he and doctors will have to monitor moving forward. For now, though, things look good and thankfully the worst seems to be behind Wagner.
David Pastrnak Dealing With Lower-Body Injury
As many expected, David Pastrnak was dealing with a lower-body injury throughout the postseason, hampering his ability to be the same player he was during the regular season.
Though Pastrnak would still be his same self on the power play, contributing in any way he could, his play at five-on-five wasn’t quite what many would have hoped it would be. Part of this was due to the injury, part of it was due his conditioning not being where head coach Bruce Cassidy wanted it to be.
“Pasta had a lower body injury that he played through for the entire playoffs,” said Cassidy. “You could see he wasn’t at top speed. Obviously missing time, him and [Ondrej] Kase, their conditioning level wasn’t where it needed to be to stand the rigors of [the playoffs]. That was a bit of circumstance. Typically you have a whole year to build that up and we didn’t have that luxury this year.”
As Cassidy mentioned, the circumstances were different in this postseason than they would have been in the past. It’s unfortunate, but it’s simply the way the cards were dealt.
Pastrnak would downplay his conditioning as an issue but would reiterate that the lower-body injury bothered him every single game. Still, he’d score two goals and six points in the team’s five games against the Lightning with four of those points coming on the power play.
Zdeno Chara’s Future in Boston
Contrary to what many people may have thought following the Bruins’ elimination from the 2020 NHL Playoffs, Zdeno Chara still very much wants to play hockey with the Bruins moving forward.
“I want to be a Boston Bruin,” he’d tell reporters Thursday. “I want to continue to lead by example and share my experiences and my game skills with the younger players and my teammates. That hasn’t changed. I’m committed, and we’ll see what’s going to happen next.”
The 43-year-old Chara led many to believe that his future was up in the air when he mentioned he’d keep an open-mind in regards to the future, but that was just minutes after his season came to an end Monday. He’d make it clear that he still wants to be a Bruin and it would be hard to envision a scenario where the team doesn’t bring him back for at least one more year.
Patrice Bergeron Dealing With Groin Injury
Playing through injury is nothing new to Patrice Bergeron. Players deal with injuries all the time in professional sports, but few can deal with so many significant ailments while also playing at such a high level like Bergeron does. It’s simultaneously admirable and concerning.
This season was no different for Bergeron who would go into detail about his lingering groin injury that’s caused him trouble for years. Bergeron would describe the injury as “lingering and chronic” which isn’t what fans will want to hear. Not just due to the fact that they want him to play for the team, but because his long-term health is certainly a factor.
Bergeron is taking time now to work on getting healthy for the 2020-21 season, though he’d mention that it’s more difficult to do so right now given the uncertainty of dates and time-frames moving forward.
Torey Krug’s Future in Boston
Torey Krug’s future in Boston has been the topic of discussion for years, it seems. Trading him, re-signing him or letting him walk away for nothing in free agency is always the conversation and we’ve finally come to the point where that decision has to be made.
Krug’s contract has expired and he and the Bruins will have to figure out if there’s mutual interest in a return between the two parties as a price-point both sides can agree upon.
For starters, both sides would obviously love to stay united. It would be hard to see a reason why Krug would want out of Boston and the Bruins certainly won’t want to lose their best offensive defender.
The price and years on the matter is where things come into play, however, as the Bruins have to think about the long-term of their roster and salary cap. Krug also has to think about his future, though, and that’s why he’s so unwilling to take a one-year deal.
“I’m very opposed to that. I’ve bet on myself and I’ve taken shorter-term deals and less amount of money my whole career now,” said Krug to the media. “This is my time in terms of my value at its peak and I have the ability and I’m in a position now where I need to make the most of it,” he said. “I’m very opposed to something like that. I’ve done it long enough now. That’s the situation I’m facing.”
Time will tell what’s going to happen on the Krug front, but the ever-present discussion will finally see it’s conclusion sooner rather than later.
Sean Kuraly Won’t Require Surgery
One of the biggest absences for the Bruins during their series against the Lightning was forward Sean Kuraly. A player that can move up and down the lineup and play a significant role on the penalty kill, the Bruins were without the 27-year-old due to a groin injury for the team’s final three games of the postseason.
Fortunately for Kuraly, his injury won’t require surgery to repair and the offseason should be all he needs to be ready to go for the 2020-21 season.
Kuraly would score six goals and 23 points in 69 regular season games last season. He’d score another one goal and three points in 10 games in the NHL bubble and was an key cog for the Bruins.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for six years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.