In this edition of Boston Bruins News & Rumors, Jim Montgomery has been named the 29th head coach in franchise history. In other news, the organization is expected to try and land pending free agent Vincent Trocheck this summer in free agency. Meanwhile, David Pastrnak’s long-term future remains in doubt, with reports still looming that he could be traded rather than extended. Last but certainly not least, speculation continues to loom as to whether or not David Krejci could return for the 2022-23 campaign.
Montgomery Named Bruins Head Coach
Less than a month after firing Bruce Cassidy, general manager Don Sweeney has named his replacement in Montgomery. The 53-year-old, who has spent the past two seasons as an assistant with the St. Louis Blues, has head coaching experience at the NHL level, having been in that role with the Dallas Stars from 2018-2020.
“The Boston Bruins are pleased to introduce Jim Montgomery as the next head coach of the Boston Bruins and welcome Jim, his wife, Emily, and his children, JP, Colin, Ava and Olivia, to the city of Boston,” Sweeney said. “Jim has a winning history, and throughout the interview process he conveyed his ability to connect with all types of players while also demanding that his teams play with structure. We are excited for Jim to begin to make his imprint on our team.”
Prior to his stint with the Stars, Montgomery spent five seasons as head coach of the University of Denver. In each of those five seasons, he was able to lead his squad to the NCAA tournament. He will look to continue those winning ways with the Bruins, who may still be able to gear up for one more run this coming season.
Bruins Expected to Target Trocheck
As was talked about throughout the entirety of the 2021-22 season, the Bruins lack a second-line centerman. While Erik Haula did step up late in the year, an upgrade is still needed at that position, and according to Elliotte Friedman, management has their eye on one particular player.
Friedman was recently on record saying the Bruins are “believed to have interest” in Trocheck, who spent the 2021-22 campaign with the Carolina Hurricanes. The 28-year-old appeared in 81 games with the Canes, registering 21 goals and 51 points. In the shortened 2020-21 season, he had 17 goals and 43 points in 46 outings.
Pastrnak Still a Potential Trade Candidate
Earlier this offseason, there were reports that if the Bruins and Pastrnak weren’t able to agree upon an extension, a trade may take place. Recently, James O’Brien of NHL On NBC Sports discussed the 26-year-old future again and made it sound as though a trade is still a possibility.
As O’Brien mentioned, Pastnrak is currently on a bargain contract that pays him roughly $6.6 million annually. Due to being that underpaid, he may choose to seek out a lucrative deal once his current one comes to an end after the 2022-23 season. While he is absolutely worth the money he may be seeking, Sweeney will have to decide whether or not he wants to continue chasing a Stanley Cup, or potentially begin a rebuild. If he chooses option two, it is likely that Pastnrak would be moved for picks and/or prospects. This will continue to be a story to monitor this summer and into the 2022-23 season.
Krejci Return Remains a Possibility
As mentioned, the Bruins lacked a second line centerman last season, and that was due to the departure of Krejci. The now 36-year-old chose to return to play in Czech Republic last season, and despite rumors of a playoff return to Boston, never did come back. That may change this coming season, however, as he is reportedly still pondering what his next move will be.
The tweet from Kevin Weekes linked above restarted plenty of speculation surrounding Krejci and a potential return. Perhaps a new head coach, paired with the rumored re-signing of Patrice Bergeron, will be enough to entice him to return on a one-year deal. He proved while playing for Olomouc HC last season that he still has plenty of offensive skill with 20 goals and 46 points in 51 games.
Looking Ahead for the Bruins
With their new head coach now in place, the focus for the Bruins will be the upcoming draft as well as free agency. The rumored return of Bergeron shows that they aren’t ready to tear things down just yet, and will chase a Cup for at least one more season. That could mean targeting not only Trocheck but perhaps another free agent or two as well. The hope is that Sweeney can perhaps make up for some of his past mistakes, both at the draft as well as free agency.
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.