In this edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, Craig Smith is reportedly being shopped around. In other news, David Krejci spoke on whether or not the Bruce Cassidy firing had any impact on his decision to return on a one-year deal for the 2022-23 season. Last but not least, the Bruins announced days ago that they had invited J.D. Greenway to training camp on a professional tryout offer (PTO).
Bruins Discussing Smith Trade
According to Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey Now, the Bruins have had Smith available on the trade market since the offseason first began. Even more intriguing is that they supposedly had serious conversations with one team rather recently. As to this point, there has yet to be a move made, but there is plenty of buzz surrounding the 32-year-old winger, who has just one season remaining on his deal with a cap hit of $3.1 million.
Though Smith hasn’t produced as Bruins management was likely expecting when they signed him to a three-year, $9.3 million deal back in October of 2020, he has provided solid secondary scoring, particularly this last season. In 74 games in 2021-22, he registered 16 goals and 36 points in 74 outings.
It doesn’t come as a major surprise that the Bruins are looking to move Smith, as they currently sit more than $2.2 million over the maximum salary cap. There is no rush to do anything just yet, though they will have to make sure they are cap compliant by the time the 2022-23 season begins. While Smith appears to be the most logical trade candidate at this point and time, Nick Foligno is another player who they may consider moving.
Krejci Diffuses Cassidy Rumors
It became abundantly clear that Krejci was not a big fan of Cassidy’s, thanks to an interview with a Czech outlet earlier this year. The 36-year-old made it known he wasn’t a fan of line combinations formed by the bench boss. As a result, many fans came to the conclusion that the veteran centerman chose to depart for the 2021-22 season due to Cassidy being behind the bench. While it did appear to have some legs, Krejci dismissed that notion in an interview earlier this week.
“That would be a good story if I said yes, but no, my decision was made before [the Bruins] hired the new coach,” Krejci said. “The firing of Butchy had nothing to do with my decision coming back.
“I think my last game was sometime [in] early June, the World Championship ended, and then I went to the U.S. [and] got away from hockey and just cleared my head. After a few weeks of talking to my family about our future, we decided to go back to Boston, back to the NHL. Obviously, Boston was my No. 1 option, and pretty much my only option. But [with] the decision, I have to give credit to Bergy and Pasta. We had so many conversations in the last few months about coming back, and they’re the reason I want to come back and play with those guys again.”
Whether or not Krejci is being truthful here is unknown to everyone aside from those in his circle, though, in all honesty, it doesn’t really matter. He is back now and ready to help this aging yet talented Bruins team as they try to go on a deep playoff run this upcoming spring.
Bruins Invite Greenway to Camp
Earlier this week, the Bruins announced that Greenway would be attending training camp on a PTO. Interestingly enough, it appears he will be coming into camp playing forward, despite playing his entire career prior as a defenseman. While it may take him some time to adapt, he certainly brings some unique skills to the table, in particular, his size as he stands at 6-foot-5, 211 pounds.
Greenway, 24, is the brother of Minnesota Wild forward Jordan Greenway, who has really established himself as a solid NHL power forward over the past three seasons. While he hasn’t shown nearly the same offensive skill as his older brother to this point, perhaps the changing of positions will help that side of his game come along. In 16 American Hockey League games with the Providence Bruins last season, he recorded two assists along with 17 penalty minutes.
Looking Ahead for the Bruins
The biggest thing to watch with the Bruins right now is their cap situation. It is quite clear that they will need to make a trade at some point ahead of the 2022-23 season, and as of now, it appears Smith is the lead candidate. That said, we seem to learn time and time again that oftentimes in the NHL, we should expect the unexpected, meaning that until a move is official, it could involve several different players on this current roster.
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.