What keeps linking Arizona Coyotes center Christian Dvorak to the Boston Bruins on the NHL trade rumor circuit? Is it an actual fire still or simply the fumes left behind from what was a swirling NHL trade market just two weeks ago?
Remember, sources confirmed to Boston Hockey Now that in the midst of that chaotic NHL trade market heading into the NHL Entry Draft (June 23-24) and through the opening bell of NHL Free Agency, the Bruins and Coyotes did discuss Dvorak in trade talks. NHL sources confirmed to BHN Friday night and again on Saturday morning that Sweeney has indeed kept in touch with Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong to see where he’s at with the 25-year-old Dvorak. Dvorak is in the third season of a six-year contract that carries a $4.4 million cap hit.
Bruins fans let it be known in a recent three-choice tweet poll that Dvorak, who had 17 goals and 14 assists in 56 games last season, is the man they want to fill the 2C void Krejci left behind. Dvorak (42.1%), edged out Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel (39.3%), who has also been constantly linked to the Bruins but more so because he’s a North Chelmsford, MA native, which makes for a great narrative. The other choice was Nashville Predators center Ryan Johansen, who is still currently available on the NHL trade market. Johansen mustered up just 18.6 percent of the vote.
— MurphysLaw74 (@MurphysLaw74) August 1, 2021
In a media Zoom call with Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney on Friday, the topic du jour was the team’s present and future at the center position. On more than one occasion during the call, Sweeney let it be known he’s open for business when it comes to finding a center on the NHL trade market.
“Well fortunately we still have a No.1 center in Patrice and the level that he upholds,” Sweeney replied when asked about his team’s depth at center. “Then it’s gotta be by committee and growth. Obviously, we got Jack [Studnicka] there and if we can’t do it internally then obviously we’re gonna have to look externally. It’s an important position and we even identified through the draft with [Brett] Harrison and you have to have strength up the middle of the ice. A lot of professional sports teams will identify that and we’re no different in that regard. You’re never comfortable unless you just have a wealth of talent and drafted extremely well.”
A week after watching longtime Bruins center David Krejci leave the NHL to return home to the Czech Republic, Sweeney hinted at Krejci potentially returning to the Bruins later in the upcoming 2021-22 regular season.
“I think we addressed some areas that we wanted to,” Sweeney said. “Ultimately, with David making the decision. …We’re wondering whether or not he may return at some point in time, but that’s open-ended.”
In order to avoid Krejci, 35, having to pass through waivers, the Bruins would have to sign the UFA center by December 15. Sweeney also confirmed that discussions on a contract extension for 36-year-old captain Patrice Bergeron have begun and are ongoing.
Now the question is: will the Bruins do what they did with their blueline last season when they tried to solve the voids left behind from Zdeno Chara’s and Torey Krug’s departures from within? Or will they reward their fans and acquire Dvorak before the season begins on October 16?