In this edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, there was recently talk that the team was interested in Evander Kane, but that no longer appears to be the case. Meanwhile, many are beginning to speculate what the future could hold for Patrice Bergeron, who is without a contract for next season. In other news, former Bruin Milan Lucic was able to get a proper ovation for his 1000th NHL game, a milestone he hit last season. Last but not least, after a shaky start, both Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman are picking up their play in recent weeks.
Kane Not a Likely Trade Candidate
After having served his length 21 game suspension due to violating league COVID-19 protocols, Kane was immediately waived and sent to the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League (AHL). Since then, there has been plenty of speculation as to which team, if any, would have any interest in trading for the highly talented but controversial winger.
One of those teams was the Bruins after reports indicated they had a scout in attendance during his latest AHL game. However, Joe Haggerty has since reported that while they did indeed have a scout at the game, it isn’t believed to have been for Kane. Haggerty, like many, believes the Bruins would be wise to stay far away from Kane given all the negative headlines surrounding him at the moment. Until a team does end up acquiring him, however, these rumors are likely to remain out there.
Should Bruins Move on From Patrice Bergeron?
Appearing recently on The Greg Hill Show on WEEI this past week, Mike Milbury discussed what he believes the team should do moving forward given their aging veterans. One player, in particular, who they discussed was Bergeron, who will become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.
“It’s possible that it could be a playoff team, but if you look at the standings the first six spots are gone,” Milbury said. “They’re not going to catch any of those teams ahead of them, so there’s a couple of spots available and there’s some pretty good competition. The fact they might not make it is a real possibility. What do you do in that situation? Bergeron is 37. Does he want to go play in Montreal for the last couple of years of his [hockey] life? I don’t think so because they suck right now. If he’s going to go anyplace it’s somewhere where he might win a Stanley Cup.”
While some may be quick to dismiss the comments, given that Milbury isn’t exactly beloved by the majority of hockey fans, he has a legitimate point here. Trading Bergeron isn’t likely to happen, given how much he means to the city, but if they were to miss the playoffs and lose him for nothing, that could set this organization back several years. This situation will be an interesting one to watch unfold as the season progresses.
Lucic Honored for 1000 Games
During the 2020-21 season, Lucic was able to suit up for the 1000th game of his NHL career. While he was recognized at the time, he didn’t get the ovation he deserved, given that no fans were in the building at the time. As a result, the Flames chose to honour him in front of a full crowd at the Saddledome this past week. Several of his former Bruins teammates congratulated the 33-year-old on the big accomplishment.
Though Lucic isn’t the same dominating power forward he was with the Bruins, he has settled in nicely with the Flames and has become a true fan favorite. Out of the now 1042 career games that he has played, 566 of them came in a Bruins sweater from 2007-2015.
Both Ullmark and Swayman Improving
Early into the 2021-22 season, both Ullmark and Swayman were playing inconsistent hockey, and it resulted in the Bruins failing to pick up wins in bunches. At the time, both general manager Don Sweeney and team president Cam Neely voiced displeasure with their netminders, but they have picked things up tremendously in recent weeks.
Leading the way is Swayman, who, through 13 games played, has a very impressive 2.15 goals-against average along (GAA) with a .922 save percentage (SV%). Meanwhile, Ullmark has solid totals himself with a 2.56 GAA and a .921 SV% in 11 games. If they are both able to keep this up, the Bruins should be able to pick up wins as the season rolls on.
Up Next for the Bruins
The Bruins have four games this week, with the first coming on Tuesday versus the Vegas Golden Knights. From there, they will take on the New York Islanders, Montreal Canadiens, and the Ottawa Senators in what should be three winnable games.
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: Oil On Whyte, NHLtradetalk.com, 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.