The Boston Bruins are furiously making preparations for the 2021 NHL season with a Jan. 13 starting date, and that means checking in on their injured players with the season just a few weeks away. Brad Marchand (sports hernia) and David Pastrnak (hip surgery) are both rehabbing from September surgeries, and Bruins President Cam Neely at least had some encouraging news about the Bruins agitator.
The rapid return of both Perfection Line wingers is going to be key for a Boston Bruins team that will need to get off to a good start in the compacted season.
Marchand has been working out at Warrior Arena with a small group of Boston Bruins players over the last few weeks in preparation for the season and appears to at the very least be on schedule in his recovery. That would likely leave him potentially ready to go when the season starts in mid-January, but the news wasn’t quite so overwhelmingly rosy for the NHL’s leading goal-scorer.
“As you know we’ve had a couple of players had some offseason surgeries that they’re on track and they’re coming back, but they might miss a little time,” said Neely. “I don’t know, Brad [Marchand] is maybe ahead, I don’t want to say ahead of schedule, but ahead of where [David] Pastrnak is [right now].
“As far as hard dates [for a return], it’s hard to put a hard date on those guys. Brad I know has been on the ice a couple times, which is a good sign. David recently got back into town and will continue his rehab. I’m sure you know we can get you some dates as things progress here, but right now I don’t really have any hard dates for you.”
Pastrnak is expected back until some time in February, and that timetable appears to still be in play with the 23-year-old expected to miss at least a few weeks to start the season, and perhaps more than that depending on his rehab. The good news for the Boston Bruins is that A) there aren’t any other offseason injuries to speak of and B) there doesn’t appear to be any Bruins players looking to opt out of the 2021 season at this point.
With Marchand expected to be ready at some point in January, it leaves the Bruins with the ability to play with some extra cap money with Pastrnak expected to be on LTIR to begin the regular season. It remains to be seen if they’re going to do that, but Neely voiced hesitancy about spending to the cap given some of the unique features (taxi squad, compressed schedule) that will be facing the Boston Bruins and everybody else in this 56-game season.