In this edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, Linus Ullmark’s starting position may already be in jeopardy before he has played in a single regular season game with the team. In other news, David Krejci has sold his house in Boston, making a return in the future seem much less likely. Meanwhile, the coaching staff, led by Bruce Cassidy, isn’t thrilled with what it has seen from Trent Frederic in camp to this point. Last but not least, 2015 first-rounder Zachary Senyshyn was assigned to the American Hockey League today.
Ullmark Struggling Early
When the Bruins signed Ullmark to a four-year, $20 million contract this offseason, the expectation was he was to become the teams new starting netminder, at least in the present as Tuukka Rask continues to weigh his options. However, that may no longer be the case, as the former Buffalo Sabre has struggled immensely in preseason, while his goaltending partner in Jeremy Swayman has been stellar.
On Saturday night, Ullmark did not do much to win fans of his new team over, as he stopped just 15 of 19 shots in a 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers. To make matters even worse, he made a huge mistake in the extra frame when trying to pass the puck up ice. Instead, Alexis Lafreniere batted down his attempted pass with relative ease and fired it into the yawning cage to end the game.
“It’s the preseason,” Ullmark said to reporters postgame. “Mistakes happen. You’ve just got to move on from it and learn from it. It’s alright, there are some things that need to be dealt with obviously. The first few games with a new team there’s going to be some communication stuff out there, but you just need to get back to it and go through it with (goalie coach) Bob (Essensa) tomorrow and see what we can change, or just if it was one of those days.”
Ullmark, 28, has had the unfortunate task of playing behind the Buffalo Sabres for parts of the past six seasons. Despite this, he has managed to maintain pretty good news, including the 2020-21 season where he posted a respectable 2.63 goals against average along with a .917 save percentage and a 9-6-3 record.
Krejci Sells Boston House
Bruins fans were very sad this summer when it was announced that Krejci had made the decision to return home and play the 2021-22 season in Czech Republic. The 35-year-old had spent his entire 962 game career in Boston and was a very dependable second line center the entire time, including this past season where he recorded 44 points in 51 games. Despite signing overseas, there was some hope amongst Bruins nation that he may return to the team later in the season, though that doesn’t appear likely anymore.
According to multiple outlets, including TMZ, Krejci sold his Boston house last week. The property sold for just over $4 million, which is apparently the highest sales price ever for a single-family home in the history of Charlestown. While it isn’t a guarantee, it doesn’t seem likely that he would have sold his home if he had any thoughts of returning to the Bruins.
Frederic Needing to Ramp It Up
Though it may feel like longer to some, it was just one season ago that Trent Frederic really began to have his presence felt with the Bruins. The now 23-year-old, who was taken in the first-round (29th overall) in 2016, burst onto the scene as an agitating and physical forward who was great at getting under opposing player’s skin.
Unfortunately, his play cooled off as the 2020-21 season went on, and is failing to be repeated early on in training camp this year. Cassidy admitted to media that Frederic hasn’t been as good early on as he was expecting.
“I don’t want him going through the sheet, thinking ‘Ok, I’ve got to fight the toughest guy.’ That’s not it with Freddy. To me it’s ‘Wake up in a bad mood somehow.’ So that you’re going out there and being a little more belligerent and less worried about who’s in the other sweater,” Cassidy explained. “It’ll find you if you’re like that. Then that part will take care of itself. That’s what he was doing when he was on his game last year. He was annoying (Alex) Ovechkin, (Tom) Wilson and these guys, whoever. It might have been (John) Carlson that night.
“But he was annoying them and then the attention gets brought on to him. That part of his game will fuel him and brings out the better of him. Now he’s involved. But we’ve got to get him to that point, where he’s a little more annoying to some people. And if he protects the puck a lot, all of a sudden, the D are on him and there’s an exchange in the corner, a physical confrontation that could happen. We want him to do it on the forecheck. That’s why he’s been on the wing a little more than center, you’ve got a little more freedom. Maybe you take the puck to the net, drag some people with you and bump into somebody to annoy them. There’s different things he can do in that regard.”
Frederic suited up for 42 games with the Bruins last season, which was a career high. In those 42 contests he managed four goals and five points. As mentioned however, his play faded late in the season and as a result he was healthy scratched late in the year and throughout the playoffs. Hopefully he is able to get back to his agitating style of play, as he was an important member of this team when doing so last season.
Senyshyn Placed on Waivers
According to Capfriendly.com, the Bruins placed forward Zachary Senyshyn on waivers on Sunday. The 24-year-old has been a massive disappointment since being selected 15th overall in 2015, and may have just blown his final shot at becoming a regular NHL forward.
Senyshyn was recently signed to a one-year, two-way contract with the Bruins, and was hoping to finally secure a roster spot with the team this season. Unfortunately for him, that doesn’t look like it will happen, though he could be one of the first players called up in case of injury assuming he goes unclaimed. He suited up in 18 AHL games in Providence last season, recording seven goals and 13 points, while also dressing in eight NHL games, where he was held off the scoresheet.
Up Next for Bruins
It’s hard to believe, but the Bruins have just two preseason games remaining. The first comes tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers, the the final will take place against the Washington Capitals on Wednesday. From there, fans will have to wait until October 16 to get a taste of action, as that night marks the season opener against the Dallas Stars.
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.