In this edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, fans are growing restless as Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci have yet to sign new deals. Meanwhile, the club did announce just days ago that they have re-signed Jack Studnicka to a multi-year deal. Last but certainly not least, newly hired head coach Jim Montgomery opened up about the struggles of his past and what led to his firing from the Dallas Stars.
Bergeron & Krejci Yet to Sign
In recent weeks, it seemed like a foregone conclusion that both Bergeron and Krejci would be inked to deals for the 2022-23 season. However, we are now past the midway point of July, and neither has signed a contract to this point. Despite this, Sweeney continues to remain optimistic in regards to getting deals done for both.
“I think we’re in a really good place with Patrice,” Sweeney told reporters. “Just the timing and working out the details of his contract and allowing him to declare that he’s good to go could be any timeframe there. Just working through some of the stuff, letting some of this day pass. He’s the only one that’s going to make that final announcement. He has the final say. David Krejci, we’ve had numerous discussions throughout the day. Going to try to continue to find some common ground there. It remains positive. But I just don’t have a clear-cut answer for you.”
It goes without saying that getting both signed would be instrumental for the Bruins in their hopes to make another run at a Stanley Cup. Given all the optimism that surrounded the return of each just weeks ago, it still seems likely to happen, but the fact it hasn’t yet is certainly somewhat concerning.
Studnicka Signs Two-Year Deal
On Saturday morning, the Bruins announced that they have re-signed Studnicka to a two-year, $1.525 million deal that will carry an average annual value of $762,500. The now 23-year-old had hoped to land the Bruins’ vacant second-line center position for the 2021-22 season, but was unable to do so and instead, spent the majority of the year in the American Hockey League (AHL). That said, he still has a ton of potential, making this a solid re-signing by Don Sweeney.
As mentioned, a good chunk of Studnicka’s 2021-22 season came in the AHL with Providence, whom he scored 10 goals and 35 points in 41 games with. He was able to get in an additional 15 games at the NHL level but failed to produce anywhere close to the same level of offense, registering a measly three assists. The 2017 53rd overall draft choice will look to prove he has what it takes to become an NHL regular once camp begins this September.
Montgomery Opens Up About Past
Approximately three weeks ago, the Bruins announced the hiring of Montgomery as the 29th head coach in franchise history. It marks the 53-year-old’s first time as a head coach since the 2019-20 season when he was surprisingly fired by the Stars due to “unprofessional conduct”, and shortly after he himself announced that he had entered rehab for alcohol abuse. Looking back, he recognizes his firing as somewhat of a blessing in disguise.
“Over time, as you start to work on yourself first and then get back to being a more productive self, being a part of a team again and very fortunate to work with great people [in St. Louis] … you start to see the possibilities again,” Montgomery said.
“[I’m] just very lucky to have worked with those people and very lucky to be going to work with great people [with the Bruins].”
As mentioned by Montgomery, after his firing with the Stars, he chose to hop back behind the bench with the St. Louis Blues for the 2020-21 season, a role he continued to hold until being hired by the Bruins. He also went on to discuss the fact that his addiction didn’t get swept under the rug when interviewing with the Bruins, something he welcomes as he does not want to hide from his past. You can bet he will be well motivated by the time training camp gets going in September.
Looking Ahead for the Bruins
The biggest thing to watch for with the Bruins moving forward is whether or not they are able to get deals done with Bergeron and Krejci. If they do come back, the general consensus is that they will be doing so on inexpensive one-year deals. On top of that, the recently acquired Pavel Zacha remains without a contract as well, which is a situation to monitor moving forward.
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: Yahoo Sports, Las Vegas Chronicle, Oil On Whyte, 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.