While Bruins GM Don Sweeney admitted that he has made “significant progress” on the expansion of pending unrestricted free agent Taylor Hall, things are more suspicious with respect to fellow UFA-to-B David Crazy, who played such a great tandem. Hall after acquiring Winger from Buffalo at the trade deadline last April.
Krejci said in his conference call with reporters at the end of the season that he was deciding whether he wanted to return to play in Boston or go home to end his career in his native Czech Republic. Apparently he hasn’t reached that decision yet.
“I have been in contact with David and I am going to respect all his privacy and decisions at this time. He has not given any concrete indications,” Sweeney said Thursday morning. He has a few things he wants to address and then he’ll just let us go. But I have been in regular contact with David. There is no timeline for making a decision. ”
While Crazy’s time of outstanding service to the organization has earned him plenty of time and space to explore this major life decision, time moves on in the NHL calendar. On July 28, less than a week later, the league’s free agency period begins. It might be good to know if Sweeney needs to have “second line center” on his shopping list.
Asked whether the indecision has put the organization in a bind, Sweeney said it didn’t and expressed a level of optimism that Crazy would be back. But he acknowledged that if the decision goes the other way, he’ll have to figure something out.
“We have people who will step into the roles,” Sweeney said. “Obviously, we will address the needs across our entire lineup and will certainly explore options to address this. We certainly have to accept that this is going to be a huge hole if we want to fill it, but if If we go in that direction it will be a good opportunity for someone. If David decides (not to return) we will have to find a way to diffuse things but it is not a sign and we hope he comes back And we’ll see.
Candidates aren’t plentiful to bump into the center spot of the second row in the event of crazy departures. The logical choice to move up in the lineup would be Charlie Coyle, coming off a subpar year that was affected by at least one knee injury that required offseason surgery. There is also Jack Studnick, a two-way centerman on whom the B has been high, but whose development stalled last year because most of his opportunities at the NHL level were right-wing.
Meanwhile, multiple reports had a new deal for Hall in the range of four years at $6 million per season. The league’s roster freeze is on Thursday at 1 pm.
B needs defensemen
While the uncertainty surrounding the craze is significant, it also isn’t the biggest question mark facing Bee this off-season. After the retirement of Kevan Miller and then the Seattle Kraken selection of Jeremy Lawson in Wednesday’s expansion draft, the Bee need some big, rugged defenders in which one can play in the top four and play on a penalty kill. .
“We all thought we were going to lose a good player in this practice and we did,” Sweeney said of Lausanne. “We have to recognize that we have some holes and gaps to fill. We have addressed Brandon (Carlo)’s long-term future and we are happy to have him back as an important part of our defense. And, yes “We have to address a need, if not one, but two, from a depth standpoint, but also to handle heavy minutes in all situations. We’re going to try to be aggressive on that front and see if we can can meet the need.”
The two biggest names in the free agent market are Ryan Sutter, who was bought by Minnesota, and Alec Martinez of Vegas. There’s also local man Keith Yandle (Milton), but he’s an aggressive-minded player unlike the 200-footer who needs a B.
As for UFA Mike Reilly, whom Bee received from Ottawa on the deadline, Sweeney said he had not found “a finish line” with him.
“But I thought a lot about Mike and what he added to our group, so we will continue to talk there and we will see what can happen there. On the 28th he will have some options and he will want to explore that,” Sweeney he said.
Risks of having surgery at the end of the month
Sweeney said Tukka Rusk would return to the US soon and undergo hip surgery at the end of the month. Rask is a UFA who only expressed his desire to play in Boston if his health allows. Sweeney said that if Rask really felt like he wanted to continue playing, he would let the healing process go before a new deal could begin.
“We want him to be healthy first and then see where he is and see how he is physically,” Sweeney said. “Tukka has certainly earned this right, to make sure he has made the right decisions for his health and well-being and where he wants to be from a sporting standpoint. He is very, very involved in communicating with us. We were honest and we were comfortable moving forward. We will see how he progresses step by step.”
Sweeney said he would explore adding experienced help to go along with young Jeremy Swaman and Daniel Vladder….
Sweeney said he would make qualifying offers to RFA Nick Ritchie, Ondrej Kase and Zach Senishin, who work to maintain their rights. The QO for Kasey, which missed last year with almost all but one blow, is $2.6 million. Richie also has arbitration rights and will line up for a decent salary in his 15-goal season in 56 games. The league deadline for teams to extend qualifying offers to the RFA is Monday.