With a record of 14-8-2 and fourth in the Atlantic Division, the Boston Bruins have found their groove. It’s clear that they do have some flaws to work on, but as of now, they appear to be a team who should be able to make the postseason. Yet, when it comes to next season, there’s no question that they will be sporting a pretty different looking roster. Every offseason brings changes. Boston’s summer 2022 will bring the same. These are five members of the team that we might not see next season in black and white.
It’s quite apparent that Jake DeBrusk won’t be back with the Bruins next season. The 25-year old Has requested a tradeIn the hopes of getting his career on track, he contacted the organization. Trades are very likely to take place during the regular season. However, because he is still part of the Bruins, this list is available to him.
It’s already been noted that the Bruins want a player of equal value for DeBrusk, so we will have to wait and see what occurs on that front. He has eight goals and five assists in 23 games this season. So, yes, it’s been another slow start for him, but one has to wonder if he will regroup on a new team. This is a winger with over 40 points twice during his career. Other teams will be keeping an eye on the 27 goals he scored during 2018-19. Alas, if he finds his old scoring touch, it won’t be with Boston next season.
Curtis Lazar has a very low cap hit of $800,000, but his contract ends at the end. The 26-year old will be able to become an unrestricted, free agent this summer. Now, that doesn’t automatically mean that he is as good as gone at season’s end, but one also can’t ignore the possibility. He will seek a raise. The Bruins might not be the right team to grant him one.
Lazar has been an excellent addition to the bottom six as he can play both right and centre. The Bruins are starting to feel a little overwhelmed down there. They already have Tomas Nosek, Erik Haula and other centers in place for next season. Trent Frederic, on the other hand, is continuing to push his case to be an everyday NHLer. Therefore, Lazar’s days in Boston could be numbered, but we will have to see what the Bruins decide to do from here.
Anton Blidh was the 180th overall pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Although he has been in Boston games occasionally since 2016, he has primarily played for Providence Bruins. However, at 26 years old, Blidh finally made Boston’s lineup after the preseason and is making a case for himself to have a permanent spot on the team’s fourth line. He already has four goals and a goal in 11 games this year. He has now scored four goals and one assist. he’s actually tied with Nick FolignoIn points, the 34-year old winger has four assists in 16 games.
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One has to wonder if Blidh might sign with another team as an unrestricted-free agent. His job security with the Bruins isn’t necessarily high and he may want the chance to have more playing time with another team. In an ideal world, Boston should certainly be open to re-signing him to be the team’s 13th forward, at a minimum. Yet, if a team like the Buffalo Sabres or Arizona Coyotes are open to giving him a permanent spot in the bottom six, it’s hard to believe he wouldn’t take it.
John Moore has two years remaining on his current contract. He will not be an unrestricted, free agent during the offseason, like Lazar and Blidh. Due to his contract expiring next season, more teams might be willing to take on his $2.75million cap hit. The Coyotes have acquired many players with very expensive contracts this summer in order to get draft picks. Maybe we will see the same thing with the 31 year-old defenseman next summer.
Moore is showing that he can be a NHL defenseman. His high cap hit was a big reason why Boston sent him to the minors to start the season, but when called up, he hasn’t looked out of place at all. In just three games, he has not only zero points but also has a plus-2 rating. With Jakub Zboril out, he has been making his case to stay in the Bruins’ lineup. Yet, even with this, if the Bruins are able to find a rebuilding team willing to take on his contract, it’s hard to believe they wouldn’t jump on that immediately.
A shocking move! Chris Wagner was not recognized by the BruinsHe sent him to the minors just before the regular season began. Since then, he hasn’t been called up once and it’s apparent that he’s fallen below players like Blidh and Karson Kuhlman on the depth chart. He struggled a lot during the 2020-21 season, with just two goals and five points, and a negative 9 rating in 41 contests. Yet, he was a mainstay in their bottom six for multiple seasons, but now that’s far from the case.
The Bruins have two options regarding Wagner’s future. The fact that Wagner will have only one year left on his contract next season means they may be able to find a team that would take on his salary along with draft picks. But, it could be worth looking into a possible buyout. We will have to wait and see what Boston ends up doing with the 30-year-old, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see him away from the organization by next season.
Captain Patrice Bergeron has also the chance to test the open markets this summer. Although it’s possible that the 36-year-old could elect to sign elsewhere or even retire, They are both not worth betting on.. The Bruins will do whatever it takes to bring him back, and they should. He’s been a part of the organization since 2003 and is still their top center by a country mile.
It will be fascinating to see what the Bruins do with all these players. It is clear that there’s a good chance that they will be without these five, so they will be forced to make changes from here.
Michael DeRosa contributes to The Hockey Writers. Since 2017, he’s written and edited for numerous websites. His work can be found on THW, BBallRumors.com and BaseballRumors.me as well as The Rat Trick, Kraken Chronicle, and NHLTradeRumors.me.