Bruins News & Rumors: Pastrnak, Hall, Steen & More

In this edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, there has been talk in recent days that the club is willing to give David Pastrnak whatever he wants on a contract extension. In other news, Taylor Hall has gotten back to skating after suffering an upper-body injury last week. Meanwhile, Oskar Steen, who many expected to crack the opening night roster, was placed on waivers this Tuesday. Last but not least, Jack Studnicka has not yet made the team, but has given himself a great opportunity to do so thanks to a great training camp.

Pastrnak in Line for Massive Pay Day

Much has been made as of late regarding the contract status of Pastrnak, as the 26-year-old is currently set to become an unrestricted free agent next offseason. That said, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has been adamant that he hopes to get the superstar forward re-signed, and according to one media member, in particular, he is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that happens.

David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins
David Pastrnak, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Ty Anderson, who is a Bruins writer for 98.5 The Sports Hub, tweeted out on Tuesday afternoon that from what he understands, the team is willing to go extremely high in terms of a deal with Pastrnak, and that he may very well end up signing the richest deal in team history. Given his success, paired with the team’s willingness to get a contract done, it shouldn’t be a surprise to see his cap hit end up being north of $10 million beginning next season.

Hall Back Skating After Injury

In a preseason game this past Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers, Hall was shaken up and diagnosed with what the team deemed as an upper-body injury. This was a cause for concern in the early going, as the 30-year-old has struggled to stay healthy throughout his lengthy NHL career. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem to be anything major, as he was back skating with his teammates on Wednesday.

“His pain tolerance is really high. He’s pushing it and doesn’t want it to be week-to-week,” said head coach Jim Montgomery. “We’re just monitoring it right now. It was his first day on the ice and we’ll see how he feels tomorrow. There’s a little bit of hope that he can be back sooner than week-to-week.”

As of now, it sounds like Hall will be good to go for the season opener on Oct. 12, though that is dependent on him progressing. In his first full season as a Bruin in 2021-22, he put up 20 goals and 61 points in 81 contests, and should have no problem producing at a similar, if not slightly better pace, assuming health is on his side.

Steen Placed on Waivers

After a solid 2021-22 season which included a career-high 20 games at the NHL level, many Bruins fans believed that Steen would crack the opening night roster out of training camp. Despite having one more preseason game on the schedule this coming Saturday, however, the coaching staff decided they had seen enough, placing the 24-year-old on waivers Tuesday morning.

“I just think that other players outplayed him in camp so far and that was the determining factor,” Montgomery explained as to what went into the decision.

Oskar Steen Boston Bruins
Oskar Steen, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The good news is that Steen went unclaimed, meaning he will be at the team’s disposal if needed at any point throughout the regular season. For now, however, he will report to the Providence Bruins of the American Hockey League and await a potential call up, whenever that may come.

Studnicka Impressing in Camp

Heading into his fourth season as a pro, Studnicka admitted recently that he knew how important it was for him to stand out at training camp this year, and to this point, he has done just that. The 23-year-old looks faster and more skilled than in years past and quite frankly has done everything in his power to remain with the big club. The risk, of course, if they don’t keep him, is that he would be required to pass through waivers, the chances of which are extremely slim.

Working against Studnicka, of course, is the fact that he is seen primarily as a centerman, an area the Bruins are quite deep in. With Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Charlie Coyle all up the middle, he would likely have to crack the roster as a fourth liner, which doesn’t exactly suit his game. That said, he has done everything right to this point in camp, and at the very least has put the coaching staff in a difficult position. A decision has yet to be made but will need to be by Monday at the latest (from ‘Fluto Shinzawa: The Bruins’ Jack Studnicka dilemma: Keep or waive?’, The Athletic, 10/05/22).

Looking Ahead for the Bruins

As mentioned previously, the Bruins have one more exhibition game on their schedule which will take place at TD Garden this Saturday against the New Jersey Devils. They will then have three days off before heading on the road to take on the Washington Capitals on Wednesday, followed by their home opener against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.

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