Bruins Injuries and Free Agency Addressed by GM Chiarelli
There will be a lot of new faces on the ice of the TD Garden next season. Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli addressed the media on Wednesday regarding the team’s future and pending moves this offseason along with some previously unknown injury updates.
Re-signing goaltender Tuukka Rask is Boston’s top priority this offseason. Rask will be a restricted free-agent, meaning that the Bruins can match any deal that other NHL team offers him or they can let him walk away. After his solid regular season and stellar postseason, the Bs don’t want to see him go anywhere. Rask doesn’t want to leave either.
“That would be an ideal situation to play here forever,” he said. “I hope we can make that happen.”
The next item on the Bruins’ free agent agenda is Nathan Horton. After acquiring Horton from the Florida Panthers, he joined forces with Milan Lucic and David Krejci on what Chiarelli calls “the best line in hockey”. Horton declined to talk about his contract situation but added he would like to stay in Boston.
“I have enjoyed my time here,” he said. “Two out of the three years I’ve been here we’ve been in the Stanley Cup and we won one time. I’ve said a million times the guys in the room are amazing and it’s been a lot of fun. I really enjoy every player on the team.”
Chiarelli informed Jay Pandolfo, Jaromir Jagr and Andrew Ference that the team would not be retaining them next season. Ference has been on the team for seven years and has become a fan favorite for his work on and off the ice. He wants to stay but realizes the business of the game doesn’t allow him that luxury.
“With the current cap, Peter’s not going to be able to keep me,” Ference said. “I wish it wasn’t so, but that’s the way it is.”
Details also emerged that many of the Bruins were playing through injuries during the Stanley Cup Finals. Some were obvious, like Gregory Campbell’s broken leg, some were mysterious, the extent to which Patrice Bergeron was hurt, and some came out after the series was over.
Bergeron was released from the hospital and played Game 6 of the Finals with a litany of injuries. He punctured one of his lungs to go along with a cracked rib, torn rib cartilage and a separated shoulder. Chiarelli said that Bergeron underwent a nerve-freezing procedure to deal with the pain from the cartilage and is unsure as to how he punctured his lung.
Boston captain Zdeno Chara was battling a “pretty potent” hip flexor problem towards the end of the playoffs and Horton is going under the knife for a dislocated shoulder. Dennis Seidenberg battled hamstring problems and Jagr suffered a back injury that caused him to miss all of the second period of game 6. Wade Redden was also handling shoulder issues.
This offseason is vital to the Bruins future success. If they can lock-up key players at key positions then they should be set up for more runs at the Stanley Cup.