Bruins General Manager Provides Updates on Development Camp, Bergeron, Bertuzzi

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney met with the media Friday at the conclusion of Development Camp at Warrior Ice Arena. Sweeney spoke about a successful camp that was well-attended and organized and commented on how several prospects had good showings. The camp included top prospects Fabian Lysell, Mason Lohrei, Matthew Poitras, and Brett Harrison, among many others. The Bruins have been working hard to improve a farm system that has been ranked among the worst in the NHL, with limited high draft picks available due to trades.

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Sweeney also touched on other topics regarding the Bruins, and here are some key points:

Sweeney reiterated that there were no updates on the statuses of long-time centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci. Bergeron and his wife just had their fourth child, a boy named Felix, but there has been no decision on whether the captain will retire or return for a 20th season. People close to Krejci have expressed the 16-year veteran’s intentions to play for his native Czechia in the 2024 IIHF World Championship in Prague. Rumors are that the right-shot center could play in Czechia mid-season in preparation for the tournament. At the end of the 2022-23 season, Krejci stated that he would retire or play for the Bruins, but plans might have changed.

Sweeney was asked about the negotiations with free agent forward Tyler Bertuzzi, who eventually signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sweeney stated that a one-year deal was never on the table from the Bruins, and the team was not interested in dumping more salary to accommodate a longer, more lucrative contract with the left wing. At the end of the day, the Bruins felt they could not get the value in trades for current players to make room for Bertuzzi.

Sweeney explained the team’s stance by saying, “I’ll speak more generally than just about another player on another team at this point in time. There were players looking for longer-term deals, and my discussions were focused on that,” Sweeney told reporters Friday, per Bruins video. “Some teams were in a good position to absorb shorter-term deals at the right numbers. We had to go and fill our gap. We made a move to open up the space we needed. It would have required us to be even more proactive and do deals we explored, but we didn’t feel the value was there to open up even more space or be overly aggressive and have to make a move as a result of that.”

The Bruins now have several players joining the club on one-year, low-cost deals, including a return to the team by forward Milan Lucic and the arrivals of other veterans such as forward James van Riemsdyk, defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, and 24-year-old center Morgan Geekie. The roster is still playoff-caliber, and the Bruins will maintain much more salary cap flexibility heading into the 2024-25 season.

Season 3. Episode 40. There’s Always Next Year Bruins Benders Podcast

Don Sweeney takes a dig at Jeremy Swayman and digs his heels in on Jake DeBrusk. Cam Neely mentions possible philosophy change. The Bruins want to be aggressive in free agency. What does it take to get Leon Draisaitl? Plus much more! DraftKings Sportsbook – Boston’s hometown Sportsbook is LIVE right here in Massachusetts! Bet local on all your favorite sports from the comfort of your own home with DraftKings. To celebrate, ALL new customers will receive up to TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS in BONUS bets when you sign up for DraftKings Sportsbook using code ITR! You can now bet local on money lines, spreads, props, and more with one of America’s top-rated Sportsbooks – DraftKings Sportsbook!  Download the DraftKings Sportsbook app and sign up with code ITR to get up to TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS in BONUS bets to use now that mobile sports betting is live in Massachusetts. That’s code ITR only at DraftKings Sportsbook. If you or a loved one is experiencing problems with gambling, call 800 327-5050 or visit helplineMA.org to speak with a trained specialist, free and confidentially, twenty four seven. 21+. Physically present in MA. Eligibility restrictions apply. Subject to regulatory licensing requirements. Eligibility and deposit restrictions apply. Opt in required. Bonus issued aree bets. Terms at draftkings.com/MA.
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