A day after Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic blew up the Boston Bruins, he wrote a much rosier piece (still behind a paywall, but hey that’s what you have me for, right?) about what it would look like if everything went the Bruins way.
1. Patrice Bergeron doesn’t retire
2. David Krejci returns from Czechia
3. Bruce Cassidy remains as head coach
4. Pasta signs an extension
5. Marchy delays his surgery by a year
6. Jake DeBrusk rescinds his trade request
7. Jack Studnicka signs an extension and improves
8. Trade Mike Reilly; keep Grzelcyk
9. Trade Craig Smith
10. Buyout Nick Foligno
11. Bring in another center
A lot of this is self-explanatory.
Again, the biggest and best thing to possibly happen to the Bruins is the return of Bergy. I don’t need to get into that. Pair that with Krejci having a change of heart after having played hockey in front of his friends and family, albeit a lower tier of hockey than the NHL, and you have a potential to have two great lines with Pasta getting his wish to play aside his hero. Krejci and Hall played well together and Hall and Pasta play well together. By the transitive property this would be awesome.
With regards to Jack Studnicka Fluto is referring to the fact that Don Sweeney had noted that his play has flatlined. It’s easy to see why: his first full professional season was cut short due to Covid, his second one was spent between the shortened AHL season and the taxi squad with the big club, playing 20 games with Boston and 11 for the P-Bruins. In 2021-22, he still split time between the two clubs after failing to make the final cut during training camp, a crucial misstep after he put on sizable muscle training in the offseason. So, Fluto may believe that if the team shows confidence in him by extending him now, that should help him in his development, to improve from the flatline diagnosis. He is one of three RFAs the B’s need to sign and the only one that isn’t arbitration eligible. If they don’t sign him he could be included in a trade package at his lowest possible value. That isn’t likely so we’ll assume he will be signed and then it’s up to him.
Between the two columns, reality is probably somewhere in the middle. Is Bergy returning? Maybe? Is Krejci coming back stateside? Probably not. Never say never.