Bruins’ 5 Best Contracts for 2022-23

Generally during an offseason, there is some change to NHL rosters, but this was not the case for the Boston Bruins this summer. A cap team, general manager (GM) Don Sweeney had very little room to make additions and subtractions, but he did make one trade with the New Jersey Devils, sending out Erik Haula for Pavel Zacha.

The Bruins did bring back Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci on one-year free agent contracts, while they settled with Zacha, who was a restricted free agent, on a one-year- deal. With nearly the same roster coming back, let’s take a look at the best contracts the Bruins have for the 2022-23 season.

Patrice Bergeron

Contract: One year, $2.5 million

Years Left: 1

AAV: $2.5 million

When the Bruins lost Game 7 to the Carolina Hurricanes in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs last May, it sure seemed like that Bergeron’s career might be over. After taking some time to reflect on his choices, it was reported in late June that he was coming back on a one-year deal, and on Aug. 8, it became reality.

Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins
Patrice Bergeron, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Bergeron agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million average annual value (AAV) deal with a $1 million signing bonus and $1.5 million in base salary, and a $2.5 million bonus if he plays in 10 games. The 37-year-old gives the Black and Gold a true No. 1 center who was still producing at a high level in 2021-22 with 25 goals and 40 assists, while winning his record fifth Selke Trophy. He will not have the services of Brad Marchand to begin the season as he recovers from offseason surgery, but who better to mentor Zacha in his first season in Boston until Marchand returns? If he can produce anywhere close to his numbers from last season, this is a great deal for Sweeney.

David Krejci

Contract: One year, $1 million

Years Left: 1

AAV: $1 million

When Krejci left following the 2020-21 season to return to his home country of the Czech Republic to continue his career, that left a big void behind Bergeron that Haula ended up filling in the second half of the season. After trading Haula in July, the Bruins were still looking to fill the gap between Taylor Hall and David Pastrnak and they did it on Aug. 8 when Krejci, like Bergeron, agreed to a one-year contract.

Related: Predicting Bruins 2022-23 Opening Night Roster

Krejci is under contract this season for $1 million, with another $2 million in bonus incentives. This is a steal of a deal for the Bruins if Krejci can be motivated like he was following the trade for Hall in 2021. The deal brought new life to Krejci and he will most likely be centering the second line between Hall and Pastrnak, which could create one of the league’s top second lines. This could be even better for Sweeney if Krejci comes back on a mission.

Jake DeBrusk

Contract: Two Years, $8 million

Years Left: 2

AAV: $4 million

It was a rollercoaster of a 2021-22 season for Jake DeBrusk and the Bruins. He requested a trade through his agent, never got moved at the trade deadline, and signed a two-year extension for $8 million. After being moved to the first line in late February with Bergeron and Marchand, he became a different player and an impact player.

Jake DeBrusk, Boston Bruins
Jake DeBrusk, Boston Bruins (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

He finished the season with his second career 20-goal season with 25 and 17 assists and then in early July, rescinded his trade request to play under first-year coach Jim Montgomery. DeBrusk was due a $4.41 million qualifying offer this summer as a restricted free agent, but once he signed the extension, that was off the table and his production took off. If he can have another season of at least 20 goals in 2022-23, the Bruins will get a great value in his deal as a top-six forward.

Jeremy Swayman

Contract: Three years, $3.15 million

Years Left: 1

AAV: $1.050 million

After bursting onto the scene for 10 games in 2020-21, Jeremy Swayman returned for his first full season in the NHL and with Linus Ullmark, formed one of the better combinations. This season, Swayman is entering the final year of his entry-level contract he signed in 2020, which will make him a restricted free agent next summer. The Bruins will most likely re-sign him, but they can take full advantage of the final year of his current deal.

Jeremy Swayman Boston Bruins
Jeremy Swayman, Boston Bruins (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Swayman went 23-14-3 with a 2.41 goals against average (GAA) and a .914 save percentage (SV%) and three shutouts. The former University of Maine standout has settled in between the pipes and will eventually take over the No. 1 spot for the future. If he can come close to the season he had last season, this is quite the deal for Boston.

Pavel Zacha

Contract: One year, $3.25 million

Years Left: 1

AAV: $3.25 million

Zacha has been someone that has been on the Bruins’ radar for the last couple of trade deadlines, but Sweeney was finally able to get him this summer. He was a restricted free agent when he was acquired and the team and player avoided arbitration by agreeing to a deal in early August.

Zacha, the sixth overall pick of the 2015 Entry Draft, has a golden opportunity in Boston at the beginning of the season. He will more than likely find himself in the top-six until Marchand returns and then he will slide to the middle-six. He also gives the Bruins an option up the middle in a pinch as a center. There is no doubt that Zacha has the talent to be a consistent top-six forward and he should be motivated to produce in a contract year. Playing with Bergeron, Krejci, or Charlie Coyle can help him this season breakout into a consistent player.

There is a good chance that the Bruins have an opportunity to get some bang for their buck this season with these contracts. There are other players that could have been on this list, but these deals were too good to pass up. 

Sign up for our regular 'Bruins Newsletter' for all the latest.