The Boston Bruins have had an interesting off-season to date. It all kicked off with an early playoff exit that has led to the uncertainty of Patrice Bergeron’s future before a handful of players went under the knife to repair injuries. The icing on the cake was the firing of head coach Bruce Cassidy as the Bruins head in a new direction.
Of the players that got surgery, three of them were on the defensive side of the puck as Charlie McAvoy, Matt Grzelcyk, and Mike Reilly all had operations. McAvoy and Grzelcyk had shoulder surgery that will keep them out five to six months, while Reilly had ankle surgery that will sideline him for four months. The Bruins went from having some depth on defense to having significant holes on the roster to start next season.
General manager Don Sweeney began the large task of reestablishing defensive depth today by announcing the signing of defenseman Kai Wissmann to a one-year entry-level contract for the 2022-23 season with an annual NHL cap hit of $825,000.
Wissmann, 25, spent the 2021-22 season with Eisbären Berlin in the German Ice Hockey Federation. The 6-foot-4, 207-pound right-shot defenseman played in 55 games, recording four goals and 16 assists for 20 points with a plus-31 rating. With his large frame and build, he would bring some much-needed size to the Bruins’ defensive group, who were just exposed in the playoffs by the Carolina Hurricanes for being undersized and lacking physicality.
The Villingen-Schwenningen, Germany native also represented his country at the 2022 World Championships, recording two goals and five assists for seven points in eight games showing his offensive potential.