In this edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, there has been some buzz lately with the re-signings of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci that management may be looking to bring in Milan Lucic from the Calgary Flames. Meanwhile, the club announced this past week that they have agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million deal with Pavel Zacha. In other news, Fabian Lysell has been outstanding at this summer’s World Juniors, including a highlight reel goal versus Team Austria on Friday. Last but not least, the B’s announced several changes to their hockey operations staff for the upcoming season.
Lucic Linked to the Bruins
Last week, the Bruins announced that they have re-signed both Bergeron and Krejci to one-year deals. As such, many have viewed it as management getting the band back together, though that band wouldn’t feel complete unless Lucic was also added to the fold. The 34-year-old carries an ugly $6 million cap hit, though the Flames are responsible for $5.25 million of it. On top of that, it is also being said that they may be willing to retain some salary to move the hulking winger.
Steve Macfarlane of Calgary Hockey Now suggested he believes the Flames may indeed still be looking to bring in another player or two this summer, which they would not have the money to do unless they moved a current contract. Of course, moving Lucic, who is coming off of a 21-point season, would be no easy feat, but perhaps the two sides are able to figure something out. You can bet that the player himself would love the opportunity to run it back one last time in the organization he spent the prime of his career with.
Zacha Signs One-Year Extension
This past week, it was announced that the Bruins and Zacha have agreed upon a one-year, $3.5 million extension. The Bruins acquired the 25-year-old from the New Jersey Devils just over a month ago in exchange for Erik Haula, though he had no contract in place at the time of the deal.
Despite having plenty of talent, Zacha has yet to live up to the expectations he had placed on him after being selected sixth overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. That said, he has shown glimpses of the player he can be throughout his 386-game career, perhaps none better than the 2020-21 season, one in which he scored 17 goals and 35 points in just 50 outings. The Bruins are hoping that the change of scenery can turn him into the player many believed he would be.
Lysell Impressing at World Juniors
The Bruins have been extremely high on Lysell since selecting him 21st overall in the 2021 Draft. In fact, management was even considering adding him to their roster for the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. While that didn’t happen, it was a clear endorsement of just how talented the 19-year-old winger is, and he has demonstrated that at the World Juniors over the past week.
Through Team Sweden’s first three games of the tournament, Lysell has registered an impressive three points. While he is capable of even more productivity, it is clear to anyone watching his games just how skilled he is. He was able to prove just that by scoring one of the most beautiful goals we have seen yet in this tournament in a game this past Friday over Team Austria.
While an excellent training camp this Fall may change things, the belief amongst most is that Lysell will head back to the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League for the 2022-23 season. Regardless of how that situation plays out, he has become an extremely exciting prospect for this organization in short time and appears to have a very bright future ahead of him.
Bruins Announce Changes to Hockey Operations
This past Wednesday, general manager Don Sweeney spoke with press about several changes to his team’s hockey operations for the upcoming 2022-23 season. Jamie Langenbrunner has been named as the club’s assistant general manager. Meanwhile, Dennis Bonvie will be the new director of pro scouting, while Ryan Nadeau has been named the new director of amateur scouting.
While these were the most significant moves of the bunch, there were several more Sweeney announced, all of which can be found here. The hope is that these moves can help the Bruins in their ultimate goal of winning their first Stanley Cup championship since 2011.
Looking Ahead for the Bruins
While the Lucic trade rumors are worth keeping an eye on, there isn’t a lot else to monitor for the Bruins at this time. They will have to do something ahead of camp, however, as they currently sit roughly $2.2 million over the salary cap, which in itself may prohibit them from bringing back Lucic. That said, we are in the dog days of summer at this point, meaning things will likely remain rather quiet over the next few weeks.