With Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci retired, that leaves the door open for the remaining Boston Bruins centers to advance up the depth chart.
One of the prime candidates to do so will be Charlie Coyle, who many have pegged in as the No. 2 center on the 2023-24 Boston Bruins roster. The 6-foot-3 centerman is hot off his second-best year on the stat sheet. The Weymouth, Massachusetts native notched 16 goals and 29 assists in 82 games. That was his second-best season points-wise, dating back to 2016-17 when he played for the Minnesota Wild and had 18 goals and 38 assists. Coyle is poised to reach those heights and beyond this season, and he knows his teammates will need that from him.
“I’m excited,” Coyle told Boston Hockey Now on Tuesday. “We all miss Bergy, and all wish he were here, but it is a great job opportunity. So, that gets me excited. It gets a lot of guys excited because there are jobs open. There is more responsibility, and everyone wants to take that on.”
Patrice Bergeron had 58 points in 78 games in his last NHL season, and Krejci had 56 in 70 games. Points-wise, Coyle can slot into one of their spots and provide similar point production. Looking at the leadership void heading into this season, though, Coyle is on board with the “lead by committee” method the Bruins organization is going with.
“There is more responsibility, and everyone wants to take that on,” Coyle pointed out. “We always want to be a bigger part of the team you’re on, but that comes with preparation and getting ready for that. That’s what this summer was. That’s what I’ve been striving for this summer. I want that. I want to play in all situations and be a guy the team can rely on. No one is going to be Bergy or Krejci, though, but we have a lot of good pieces here that we all kind of put our hand in and take a little more responsibility this year.”