Bergeron's decision on retirement sets course for Bruins offseason . plans

Bergeron’s decision on retirement sets course for Bruins offseason . plans

Boston – For the Boston Bruins, it all flows from one question.

will Patrice Bergeron Return or retirement?

That decision alone rests with Bergeron, the Bruins captain and No. 1 quarterback. He said Wednesday that he will take time to assess his future with his family, to see if he has the desire to return for his 19th season in the National Hockey League, all in Boston.

His choice will determine Bruins’ next course of action.

One thing is settled, it seems: General Manager Don Sweeney will be returning for his eighth season. Bruins’ president, Cam Neely, has said he intends to terminate a contract with Sweeney in the near future.

But the stature of coach Bruce Cassidy, who finished his sixth season, looks less certain.

Neely said he has yet to talk about Cassidy’s situation with Sweeney, who will have the final call on the coach job. Since Cassidy replaced Claude Julien on February 7, 2017, the Bruins have had a 672-point ratio (245-108-46), second only to Tampa Bay Lightning (0.698).

“I think we have to look at making some changes in terms of the way we play and the way we do some things,” Neely said on Thursday. “I think Bruce is a great coach. He’s had a lot of success for this organization. I love him as a coach. We’ll see where it goes. But I think we need to make some changes.”

The question is how far these changes will go.

Bruins weren’t happy with his end of the season. They believed they could defeat the Carolina Hurricanes and move into the second round of the Eastern Conference and beyond. straight ahead Brad Marchand The Bruins said they thought that had they eliminated the Hurricanes, they would have at least made it to the Eastern Conference final.

But the Bruins lost Game 7 in Carolina, their third consecutive season when they never made it past the second round after losing Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final to the St. Louis Blues in 2019.

Speaking of the Bruins’ ownership, Neely said, “They’re frustrated, and rightfully so.”

So if Bergeron isn’t back, will the Bruins consider rebuilding?

“I’ve been looking into it for a while now,” Neely said. “As your key players and your top players start getting older, you have to look at that, no doubt. But we have some really good young players in this squad and hopefully they keep growing and hopefully we can add to that.

“But that’s something you think about.”

Will the fans accept that?

“I don’t think anyone really wants to watch hockey lose and that’s not the plan, is to start losing,” Neely said. “You look at teams all over the league that have lost a lot of hockey games over the number of years and are in the process of rebuilding and getting better draft picks and, ultimately, better players.

“I think we’ve done a good job over the last 10 or 11 years of trying to stay in that window to win.

“Eventually it will catch up with you. But we have some good young players in this squad that we hope we can build on in the next couple of years so that we don’t have to rebuild completely.”

As Neely said, the Bruins have some basic building blocks. They’ve had a good rookie season out Jeremy Swayman And he seems to believe in him as a goalkeeper after-Touka your head era. Swayman and Linus Olmark The position is closed.

Their defense forces are solid, too. They have what could be one of the best defensive pairs in the NHL in Charlie McAvoy And Humpus LindholmYou’re supposed to get better with a whole season together. Each is signed through 2029-30.

Their crime? This is where the problems come in. The Bruins still regretted the missed opportunity from the 2015 NHL Draft, when they had a 13-15 pickup and a defender selection. Jacob Zborel and the attackers Jake Debrosk And Zach Sensation; The players selected at number 16-18 were attackers Matthew Barzal (New Yorkers) and Kyle Connor (Winnipeg Jets), the man of defense Thomas Chabot (Ottawa Senators). Also, forward David Pasternak He is approaching the final season of his contract. Nellie was frustrated with the Bruins’ inability to be more creative in the power game, and everyone in the organization admits that their 5v5 attack wasn’t good enough.

Then there is the center problem.

They have no substitute for Bergeron in the organization. The best center options on the list are Charlie CoyleAnd Eric Hola and probability Jack Studnica, and there were draft picks that were sacrificed to preserve team status. The Bruins don’t have a first-round pick in 2022 NHL Draft and you don’t have a second-round pick in 2023 NHL Draft or 2024 NHL Draft.

It is a major concern.

“You can look at Plans B and C and so on, but let’s be honest, you’re not replacing that kind of player and what it means to our organization,” Sweeney said of Bergeron. “It could take years to replace this player in that sense.”

The Bruins have had years of these departures, and the defensemen among them are Zdeno Chara And Tori Krugstraight ahead David Krigsey and your head.

Bergeron is next, whether this is off season or beyond. The organization is eagerly waiting.

“I think it would be difficult to have the year we were without Bergeron,” Neely said. “It’s hard to find Bergeron. I hope he comes back. But if he doesn’t, we have to go to work.”

2022-05-19 18:14:20

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