Jarome Iginla

Under Pressure: David Krejci


David Krejci registered 19 goals and 69 points in 80 games last season for the Boston, but its’ his 12 games without a goal during the playoffs, which is concerning.

Krejci registered four assists in the postseason as Boston fell to the Montreal Canadiens in the second round. It was the first time in his career he was held without a goal in the playoffs.

As he enters his eighth season in Boston, there’s a lot on Krejci’s shoulders.

The 28-year-old is entering the final season of a three-year $15.75 million contract and is a pending unrestricted free agent.

As Boston radio station WEEI points out in their Big Bad Blog, last time around Krejci didn’t sign until December 2011 well into the final year of his deal. According to the post, Krejci and the Bruins have begun “casual discussions” on a new deal for the Czech native.

Then there’s the matter of replacing Jarome Iginla’s 30 goals as the veteran forward signed with the Colorado Avalanche as a free agent.

Iginla played alongside Milan Lucic and Krejci helping him put together his second most productive season offensively.

Loui Eriksson is looking forward to the idea of filling in for the departed Iginla.

Eriksson told CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty earlier this month that, “It’s definitely two great players to play with. I played two games with (Krejci and Lucic) last season, and it was nice. We’ll see when the preseason starts, and if maybe we practice together a little bit. Then we’ll see how things work out. Krejci is a great player, and he can see the ice really well.”

As NHL.com points out, should Reilly Smith have a contract when the season starts, he could also see time with the Bruins veterans as coach Claude Julien looks to find the right chemistry amongst his forward group.

Given that he is in a contract year and could be auditioning for more than just the Bruins along with the fact he had a postseason to forget, Boston fans should expect big things from Krejci this season.

Related: Bruins’ quiet summer could have an eventful finish

Bruins’ quiet summer could have an eventful finish


The Boston Bruins watched Jarome Iginla walk away as a free agent this summer, but as far as adding players go, they’ve done almost nothing. Christopher Breen and Jeremy Smith are the only two unrestricted free agents they’ve brought on board from other organizations and it wouldn’t be surprising if neither of them are on the opening game roster.

Boston’s quiet summer might end with a bang though.

The Bruins are roughly $800,000 over the ceiling, according to Cap Geek. They will get to shave Marc Savard’s cap hit of roughly $4 million off the books, but at the same time, they still have to re-sign restricted free agents Reilly Smith and Torey Krug. Once you factor in Smith and Krug, who are coming off strong seasons and likely want to get paid accordingly, the Bruins’ situation looks murky.

With that in mind, the Bruins might resort to making a trade to give themselves some breathing room. It’s been an option that’s been discussed all summer, but with time running out until training camp, Boston might finally pull the trigger.

Among the players that have been mentioned before as potential trade candidates are forward Brad Marchand and defenseman Johnny Boychuk. Marchand would provide the Bruins with some long-term relief given that he comes with a cap hit of $4.5 million for another three seasons, but moving Boychuk or another blueliner might make more sense.

The Bruins have a defensive logjam as it is with six blueliners signed to one-way contracts, not including Dougie Hamilton or Krug and there are certainly teams out there that would be very interested if the Bruins made a top-four defenseman available. Trading Boychuk would create about $3.4 million in cap space.

Perhaps GM Peter Chiarelli has an alternate solution in mind. We won’t have to wait much longer to find out.

It’s Boston Bruins day on PHT


Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Boston Bruins.

After falling to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Final in 2013, the Boston Bruins entered the season with high expectations. They faced some adversity as one of their key offseason additions, Loui Eriksson, suffered multiple concussions and one of their top defenseman, Dennis Seidenberg, suffered a knee injury that ended his season in December.

Despite that, the Bruins’ regular season couldn’t have gone much better.

Tuukka Rask excelled in the first campaign of his eight-year, $56 million contract, posting a 2.04 GAA and .930 save percentage in 58 games en route to winning the Vezina Trophy. Jarome Iginla, who signed a one-year contract with them for the 2013-14 campaign, also proved to be a great fit with 30 goals and 61 points in 78 contests.

Propelled by superb goaltending and a deep offense, Boston claimed the Presidents’ Trophy with a 54-19-9 record. The Bruins cruised past Detroit in the first round, but ultimately lost a bitter seven-game series against Montreal.

Because of their difficult cap situation, the Bruins watched Iginla sign with Colorado and they also decided to cut ties with Shawn Thornton, who instead signed with Florida. Boston made no move to replace them through the free agent market and was equally quiet on the trade front. Instead, the Bruins are hoping that a healthy season out of Eriksson will help them replace the offense lost by Iginla.

With training camp mere weeks away, they also still need to sign restricted free agents Reilly Smith and Torey Krug.

Although their summer hasn’t been exciting so far, the Bruins remain a well-rounded team that figures to be very competitive in 2014-15.

Cunningham could solve Bruins’ problems


We mentioned last week the salary cap crunch the Boston Bruins are currently under. Adding to general manager Peter Chiarelli’s problems is the fact both Torey Krug and Reilly Smith (both restricted free agents) are unsigned.

The Boston Globe suggested moving one of the Bruins pending unrestricted free agent defensemen in order to both clear cap room and potentially add a right winger – an area the Bruins are currently lacking since the departures of veterans Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton.

However, Bruins’ prospect Craig Cunningham has another idea.

Cunningham, the Bruins fourth-round selection at the 2010 NHL Draft, has his eyes set on the Bruins roster for the upcoming season.

“Once you play and get sent back down, it makes you that hungrier,” Cunningham told Steve Ewen of  The Province. “The life is night and day, pretty much. It’s the life that I want. Everything’s different.”

The 23-year-old made his NHL debut on Dec. 17, 2013 and also suited up for the Bruins April 13 – the only two games he has on his resume.

Cunningham has been a model of consistency at the AHL level with the Providence Bruins registering three straight seasons of 20-plus goals. This past season he led Providence in goals (25) and was third in points (47).

In July, Boston rewarded him with a new, one-year, two-way contract, which pays him $85, 000 at the AHL level and $600,000 at the NHL level.

Cunningham hasn’t really had an opportunity to prove himself at the NHL level and though he’s a right-shot, right-winger – what the Bruins could use, he’s hardly a guarantee to make the team.

Boston also has Jordan Caron, Justin Florek and Matt Fraser, who are all likely ahead of Cunningham in the pecking order.

“You need to go to camp in the best shape possible and see where you fit in and what role you can play,” said Cunningham. “It’s always nice to know that there’s an opportunity. It pushes you that much more throughout your summer.”

Cunningham will need to have an excellent showing during the preseason to get any sort of consideration for time in Boston.

Related: B’s strength coach once viewed Lucic as ‘stringbean’

Tanguay helped sell Iginla on Colorado


Jarome Iginla’s had a little bit of help in choosing to sign with the Colorado Avalanche this summer.

According to L.A. Lariviere of TVA Sports (link in French), former Calgary Flames and soon-to-be Avalanche teammate Alex Tanguay helped convince Iginla Denver was the place to be. Here’s a poorly translated quote from the story:

“A week before, Joe Sakic (vice-president of hockey operations) called me,” Tanguay said. “He asked me Jarome’s phone number. They asked me to call him to sell the merits of Colorado. It was not difficult!”

Tanguay and Iginla were teammates in Calgary for two seasons from 2006-2008 and they worked together as part of a dynamic top line with Daymond Langkow. In Colorado, they figure to be more the veteran leaders on a team that’s relatively young and talented.

Iginla’s three-year, $16 million contract after coming off a 30-goal season with the Boston Bruins puts him in a bigger position to help out right away. Tanguay, on the other hand, dealt with injury trouble last season and played just 16 games.

Getting to play alongside Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon, Ryan O’Reilly, and Gabriel Landeskog probably had a lot to do with Tanguay’s sales pitch. Having Patrick Roy as coach and Sakic running the show doesn’t hurt either.