In this edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, Nazem Kadri is still available in free agency and is being considered by some as an option for Don Sweeney to pursue. In other news, Jim Montgomery recently dove into the message Brad Marchand had for him upon being hired. Meanwhile, Patrice Bergeron still has yet to make a decision in regards to his playing future. Last but not least, former Bruin Mark Stuart was able to land an assistant coaching gig with the Edmonton Oilers.
Kadri a Potential Fit for Bruins
Given the uncertainty surrounding the future of both Bergeron and David Krejci, Kadri may be a target worth looking into for the Bruins. The 31-year-old entered free agency expecting to get a long and lucrative deal, but the market simply hasn’t been there, at least not at his asking price. With his contract demands almost certainly being lowered by the day, Greg Wyshynski of ESPN believes the Bruins may be a great fit.
“If we’re to believe the notion that Kadri is waiting for a team to clear space for his arrival, then the Bruins have to remain on the radar because he’s a potential fit as a center and a perfect fit as a pain in the posterior.”
While Bruins Nation are no fans of Kadri given that he spent several years on the rival Toronto Maple Leafs, that would soon change if he were to head to Boston. Not only is he coming off of a career-best 87 points, but he is also terrific in his own end and plays the game with a feistiness that Bruins fans crave from their players.
Montgomery Reveals Conversation With Marchand After Hiring
Shortly after being hired at the beginning of July, Montgomery had a conversation with the most talented player on his roster in Marchand. In fact, the 53-year-old bench boss said recently on the Cam & Strick Podcast that it was the star winger who reached out through a phone call to him, not the other way around.
“The day I was announced, he called me,” Montgomery said. “I think he was in the Bahamas, where he has a place. I don’t know if it was Bahamas or Bermuda, I forget. But again, it goes back to the same thing. The impressive thing that he said to us was, ‘We’re ready to be coached. Whatever you demand, we’ll do.’ You don’t hear that in your first conversation all the time.”
This goes to show that despite Marchand’s critics, he is a great leader in the Bruins’ dressing room, while also proving that he still has that drive to want to continue to grow as a player. After a number of rumors that several players weren’t seeing eye to eye with Bruce Cassidy, having Montgomery as his replacement could go a long way in helping out team morale.
Bruins Waiting on Bergeron
Though Krejci also remains undecided, the Bruins’ main concern right now surrounds the future of Bergeron. Despite being 37 years old, he continues to play the game at an elite level. Just this past season, he not only managed 65 points in 73 games but also was able to win his record-setting fifth Selke Trophy. Safe to say, his return is imperative to the Bruins getting into the playoffs this upcoming season.
Unfortunately, word on whether or not Bergeron wishes to continue his career remains unknown. There were reports earlier in the offseason that he would soon be signing a one-year deal, but it appears those were false. The most recent update on the future Hall-Of-Famer came from Luke Fox of Sportsnet on Wednesday, who said the chance of retirement still remains a possibility.
Oilers Hire Stuart
On Tuesday morning, it was announced by the Oilers that Stuart had been hired as an assistant coach for the 2022-23 season. With the news, he will join head coach Jay Woodcroft, along with the club’s two other assistants in Glen Gulutzan and Dave Manson. The 38-year-old spent the 2021-22 season as the head coach of Colorado College, a school in which he played for from 2002-2005.
“It’s an amazing opportunity, I’m ecstatic to be joining this organization and this staff,” Stuart said Thursday on Oilers Now on 630 CHED. “I’ve known a few people over the years, but I’ve heard nothing but good things about a lot of the people in the organization. I’m feeling very fortunate right now and I’m excited to get going.”
Stuart was a long-time member of the Bruins organization. His time with them began in 2003 when he was selected with the 21st overall pick. He then went on to play parts of six seasons with them, before going on to play one season with the Atlanta Thrashers, followed by another six with the Winnipeg Jets after their relocation. By the time his NHL career came to an end, he had amassed 26 goals and 93 points along with 722 penalty minutes in 673 games.
Looking Ahead for the Bruins
Though we are in the dog days of summer, there are some important things for Bruins fans to monitor moving forward, and they are all in relation to both Bergeron and Krejci. If one, or perhaps neither, chose to return for the 2022-23 campaign, that could very well mean Sweeney changes his focus to specifically targeting Kadri. One would expect the reigning Stanley Cup Champion to not be on the market much longer, meaning Sweeney getting an answer from those two as soon as possible will be very crucial for this Bruins squad.
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.