By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
A month away from the start of free agency, the Bruins have started letting players know their future status in town.
And Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has started that process with the easier decisions of his current free agent group, a list bottomed out by forwards Kenny Agostino and Brian Gionta, as well as defenseman Paul Postma.
“Postma, Agostino, Gionta will not be offered contracts, and we’ve told as such,” Sweeney confirmed Thursday.
The club’s ‘big’ free agent signings last July 1, Postma nor Agostino could carve out a spot in the Boston lineup, and spent the majority of their season in Providence (in the case of Agostino) or in the Garden press box (in the case of Postma).
In five games for the Big B’s last season, Agostino recorded one assist and peppered 11 shots on goal. Utilized as a power-play specialist of sorts during his cameo in Boston, Agostino once again thrived at the AHL level, with 16 goals and 53 points in 64 games with Providence, and added four helpers in four postseason contests in the minors.
Postma, meanwhile, endured a stretch that saw him serve as a healthy scratch in an absurd 32 straight games from mid-December through February. That only reason that stretch finally came to end, mind you, was because the Bruins placed Postma on waivers, where he went unclaimed and played for the P-Bruins. A year after establishing career-highs in games, assists, and points in Winnipeg, Postma’s tenure in Boston comes to a close with just one assist in 14 games.
The 39-year-old Gionta, meanwhile, signed with the Bruins right before the trade deadline, and contributed two goals and seven points in 20 games down the stretch, but ended his B’s tenure with one point in his final 15 regular-season contests. Gionta also had a forgettable postseason showing, too, as he did not provide a lick of defense on Dan Girardi’s overtime goal in Boston’s Game 4 loss to the Lightning in the second round (a series they ultimately dropped in five games).
One player, however, seemed to make his own decision and inform the Bruins that he would be testing the open market: Austin Czarnik.
Seemingly stuck in Providence, where he posted 25 goals and 69 points in 64 games for the P-Bruins (his 69 points were just two behind Chris Terry’s 71 for the most in all of the AHL), the 25-year-old is ‘intrigued’ by what’s out there, said Sweeney.
“Czarnik is going to be a group six [free agent]. We’ve had discussions with Austin. I think Austin is intrigued by what may exist elsewhere,” Sweeney said. “We certainly haven’t closed the door, I don’t think he has as well, but I would be surprised if he doesn’t get to at least to see what may present itself as options for him.”
An undrafted free agent, Czarnik has spent his entire professional career with the Bruins, and has amassed 51 goals and 155 points in 157 AHL games.
The 5-foot-9 Czarnik also has five goals and 17 points in 59 career NHL games, including four assists in 10 games with the Black and Gold this past season.
Ty Anderson is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Ty? Follow him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.