Bruins still await Bergeron & Krejci decisions as free agency kicks off
Given the rumors and what general manager Don Sweeney and team president Cam Neely have said publicly over the last week or so, many figured Patrice Bergeron would be under contract prior to free agency kicking off at noon on Wednesday.
Many also expected the same from David Krejci who is expected to return from the Czech Republic for a Bruins reunion tour.
But the Bergeron signing, the Krejci signing, neither have come just yet.
“Nothing’s changed, there’s no update as of right now in terms of finalizing anything. As I referenced the other day, I think we’re in a really good place with Patrice, just the timing and working out the details of his contract and allowing him to declare he’s good to go," said Sweeney.
"David Krejci, we’ve had numerous discussions throughout the day. Going to try to continue to try to find some common ground there. Remains positive, but I just don’t have a clear cut answer for you.”
The Bruins started their day Wednesday by sending Erik Haula to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Pavel Zacha.
It's a move that leads me to believe the Bruins know both Bergeron and Krejci will be in the mix, otherwise, why trade a guy who gave you top six minutes last season and exceeded expectations in the role.
Sure, Zacha can slide into a second-line center role if needed, but Zacha seems more like a third-line fit.
“I suppose a little of it depends on Patrice and David both in that sense. He’s more than comfortable playing all three positions and being productive. And again, we can always move other people around," Sweeney said.
"I think he sees himself as a center and he’s excited to be joining the Boston Bruins. We’re excited to have him. Not really worried about the position, I think down the road he’s definably a center. I think that helps us if we’re able to find the term and agreement.”
Tight to the cap, the Bruins will have to get creative in any deals signed with Bergeron and/or Krejci. Sweeney hinted towards such Wednesday afternoon. Incentive heavy deals likely to come.
With the Bruins cap situation an unfriendly one, the Bruins quiet day one is no surprise. Fireworks in the coming days don't seem to be in the picture either.
"No, we’re not being aggressive. We’ve got a little bit of view to the back end, given a couple of our injuries, if something presents itself there," Sweeney said. "Some teams have asked about some of our players, so we’re staying in talks in that regard, so we’re not aggressively in the marketplace at this point.”
Active or not, things can change in a hurry with one right phone call, one right conversation. Until then, when it comes to Bergeron and Krejci the clock is ticking.
“In Patrice’s case there’s certainly not a deadline. He’s dictating his timeline, but the conversations have gone well, so I’m not overly concerned about it. David’s recently indicated in terms of where he’d like to be, so I don’t think there’s a level of urgency," Sweeney said.
"Obviously, the sooner you get these things, if you can, to a closure, the better off you’ll be. Ideally yes, I would like an earlier timeline on everything.”
Bruins sign five on day one
A.J. Greer to a two-year, one-way contract with an annual NHL cap hit of $762,500.
Dan Renouf to a two-year, two-way contract with an annual NHL cap hit of $762,500.
Connor Carrick to a one-year, two-way contract with an NHL cap hit of $750,000.
Keith Kinkaid to a one-year, two-way contract with an NHL cap hit of $750,000.
Vinni Lettieri to a one-year, two-way contract with an NHL cap hit of $750,000.