According to Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, the Boston Bruins are looking to sign one specific player for a professional tryout invite before the team’s 2022-23 training camp kicks off this Thursday.
Speaking to a small media contingent of Kevin Paul Dupont (Boston Globe), and Mark Divver (NHL.com) at the final day of the Prospects Challenge in Buffalo on Monday, Sweeney revealed that he and his staff are targeting a certain player but wouldn’t say who or what position this PTO target plays.
Per GM Sweeney:
Bruins considering bringing one player to camp on PTO.
Would not name player. Would not reveal position.
— Kevin Paul Dupont (@GlobeKPD) September 19, 2022
After the Boston Bruins signed centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci, Sweeney indicated that PTO’s and the waiver wire could be an option before the regular season kicks off on Oct. 12 in Washington D.C. against the Capitals. With Bruins defensemen Matt Grzelcyk and Charlie McAvoy, as well as winger Brad Marchand eligible to go on long-term injury reserve, Sweeney acknowledged that he will have some temporary cap space to use.
“We have some challenges, as do several teams and how we do that through trade or be it through waivers that really all teams are going to have to face,” Sweeney acknowledged on August 8. “We don’t have an issue certainly through November. We don’t have an issue because of LTI and the likelihood that will be an LTI with the injuries we have, the amount of injuries we have.”
So while the Boston Bruins are currently $2.2 million over the $82.5 million salary cap, they should have some solid cap space to play with by the time the 2022-23 regular season begins.
Three weeks ago, it was suggested here that, if they hadn’t already, the Boston Bruins should look into signing one or both of veteran defensemen P.K. Subban or Keith Yandle to a professional tryout. Both players are still available for Sweeney to bring in on PTO’s. However, there’s also some other veteran unrestricted free agents that could be of interest as well. Here’s a quick look at three more potential defensemen PTO’s and three potential forward PTO’s for the Boston Bruins:
Zdeno Chara – As reported here last week, it’s highly unlikely that Zdeno Chara returns to the Boston Bruins to play what will likely be his final season, if he hasn’t played his last already. As Chara’s agent, Matt Keator, told my BHN colleague Joe Haggerty, there ‘nothing’ to read into with Chara’s surprise visit to Warrior Arena last week. With that said, never say never right? And wouldn’t this be such a great story? With that slight hope in mind, Chara makes this list. The 45-year-old, left-shot future hall of famer is coming out of a one-year, $1.5M ($750,00 AAV) contract with the New York Islanders. Chara had two goals and 12 assists in 72 games last season.
Anton Stralman – The 36-year-old, right-shot defenseman is coming off a three-year, $16.5 million (5.5M AAV), contract he signed with the Florida Panthers but finished with the Arizona Coyotes last season. In 74 games with the Coyotes last season, Stralman had eight goals and 15 assists.
Kris Russell – Russell is coming out of a one-year, $1.2 million contract with the Edmonton Oilers and six straight seasons playing for the Oilers. The 35-year-old, left-shot rearguard had two goals and seven assists in a 31-game injury-riddled season in 2021-22.
Tyler Ennis – The 32-year-old, 5-foot-9, 161-pound Ennis is coming out of a one year, $900,000 contract with the Ottawa Senators. Ennis had eight goals, 16 assists in 57 games for the Senators last season. Ennis is a pesky and fast winger but would be a long-shot to make the Bruins roster.
Brian Boyle – After making the 2021-22 Pittsburgh Penguins roster on a professional tryout, Brian Boyle became a key part of the Penguins on and off the ice, and emerged as another leader on a team with strong leadership core already. The Hingham, MA native and former Boston College center/wing had 11 goals and 10 assists in 66 games last season. Could the 36-year-old Boyle do the same for the Bruins this season?
Blake Comeau – After going unclaimed on waivers last November, Comeau never returned to the Dallas Stars lineup and finished with just a goal in six games. Comeau did battle multiple injuries and truth be told, his current status is unknown. However, he makes this list because Sweeney has tried to trade for and sign Comeau in the past. He’s 36 and may not have anything in the tank but maybe Sweeney says ‘What the heck? Let’s give it a try’