In this edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, speculation over where and/or if Patrice Bergeron will play next season continues to build up, and one player from a rival opponent plans to make a pitch to the 36-year-old very shortly. In other news, Tuukka Rask is dealing with a lower-body injury, which forced the team to recall Jeremy Swayman. Meanwhile, Nick Foligno missed the Bruins’ three-game road trip due to an upper-body ailment, and he may still be required to miss more games moving forward. Erik Haula was also unable to suit up in the Bruins’ most recent game against the Dallas Stars due to being placed on the NHL’s COVID protocol list.
Bergeron’s Future Remains Unknown
Though he has spent his entire 1184-game career as a Bruin, Bergeron still has no plans to sign an extension in Boston during the season. This has created plenty of speculation on whether he may indeed consider playing for another team next season or even consider retirement.
One team that has been mentioned as a potential suitor is the Montreal Canadiens, given that Bergeron grew up in Quebec. Recently, Habs forward Nick Suzuki was asked about the possibility of his team signing Bergeron in the offseason, and he said he might just discuss it with him at the upcoming All-Star game.
“We’ll see what happens,” Suzuki told reporters. “He’s been a Bruin for his whole career. I don’t know what the chances are that we get him, but it would be cool to play with him. We’re on the same team at the All-Star game, so maybe I’ll chat with him there.” (from ‘Canadiens’ Nick Suzuki looks up to Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron’ Montreal Gazette, Jan. 28, 2022)
The Canadiens could certainly use a player like Bergeron, as they really lack scoring and center depth in their lineup. However, given where they are in the standings this season, it doesn’t seem all that likely that Bergeron would sign there in what could very well be the final contract of his career.
Rask Out With Lower-Body Injury
After allowing five goals against on 27 shots versus the Anaheim Ducks last Monday, the Bruins had to call Troy Grosenick back up against the Arizona Coyotes days later due to Rask being out with a lower-body injury. Head coach Bruce Cassidy said that the 34-year-old tweaked something in that game against the Ducks, but he doesn’t expect him to miss much time.
In a corresponding move, the Bruins announced that they recalled Swayman from the Providence Bruins in the American Hockey League (AHL). The 23-year-old, who was having a solid rookie season in the NHL, was sent down to the AHL after the signing of Rask. Once Rask is good to go again, Swayman will likely be reassigned to Providence.
Foligno’s Injury Troubles Continue
It has been a frustrating season for Foligno, who, after signing a two-year, $7.6 million deal with the Bruins this summer, has only been able to play in 26 of their 42 games. The injury troubles continued for him this past week, as he missed three games with what the team is calling an upper-body injury.
Unfortunately for Foligno, he has not only struggled to stay healthy, but he’s also struggled to put up offence when in the lineup. In the 26 games he’s played in, he has managed just a single goal and six helpers. The Bruins need more from him when he returns from his current injury.
Haula Placed in COVID Protocol
Prior to Sunday’s game versus the Stars, the Bruins announced that Haula had been placed in COVID protocol. It’s an unfortunate break for the 30-year-old, who, after a slow start to the season, had really been heating up lately with 11 points in his previous 14 games.
While nothing has been announced yet from the Bruins, he will likely miss at least one more game, which comes tonight against the Seattle Kraken. It is a tough blow for a team that has struggled a bit as of late, losing three of their past four.
Up Next for the Bruins
As mentioned, the Bruins’ first game this week will take place on Tuesday night at home against the Kraken. They will then have a week off to regroup and get healthy before facing the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 8.
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.