The offseason for the Boston Bruins continues to be even more frustrating than their seven-game series loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
In an early Friday evening press release, the Boston Bruins announced that defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk each had successful shoulder surgery and that fellow defenseman Mike Reilly had successful surgery to repair a right ankle tendon repair and had some bone fragments removed.
The recovery time for McAvoy could be up to six months; Grzelcyk up to five months and Reilly up to three months. That means the Boston Bruins will now start the 2022-23 regular season without two of their top four defensemen in McAvoy and Grzelcyk, as well as arguably their MVP of the last two seasons, winger Brad Marchand, who had successful surgery for both hips a week ago and like McAvoy, will be out up to six months.
The loss of Charlie McAvoy until potentially December is equally, if not arguably more devastating than that of Marchand. Following the loss of longtime captain Zdeno Chara following the 2019-20 – COVID interrupted – season, McAvoy was elevated to the team’s No.1 defenseman and in his first season with more responsibility and as a bigger target for opponents, the 2016 first round pick (14th overall), by the Boston Bruins shined. McAvoy had five goals and 25 assists in a shortened 51-game regular season and finished a plus 22. He then had a goal and three assists in 13 games during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
McAvoy followed that up with a breakout season in 2021-22 and finished fifth in Norris Trophy voting with ten goals and a second-best in team assists with 46 helpers. McAvoy, who had to miss Game 4 against the Hurricanes after testing positive for COVID, finished with five assists in six first round games this season.