By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
That fresh start that Boston Bruins winger Peter Cehlarik wanted will apparently come in Switzerland, as the disgruntled tweener has reportedly agreed to a deal with HC Lugano of the National League.
Back home in Slovakia following the indefinite suspension (and subsequent cancellation) of the 2019-20 AHL season, the 24-year-old Cehlarik sounded off on Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy not giving him what he considered a fair chance to stick with the NHL club.
“Sometimes I felt as if he was just waiting for my mistake to send me back to the farm,” Cehlarik, who appeared in three NHL games this season, offered. “They know what they are doing. They’ve invested years of development in me. It’s all about trust from a coach I don’t get. I still hear that I’m ready for the NHL, I have it, but when it goes like this, I need a change and a new start. It is high time.”
Drafted by the Bruins with the No. 90 overall pick in 2013, Cehlarik appeared in 40 NHL games over four seasons in Boston, tallying six goals and 11 points while averaging 13:03 of time on ice per night. The 6-foot-2 winger was much more of a factor at the AHL level, where he totaled 59 goals and 136 points in 185 games with Providence, ranking him fourth on the club’s all-time scoring list.
While his departure is hardly a shock, and while there was almost no way he had enough NHL juice to defeat this narrative, Cehlarik’s exit locks in the 2013 NHL Draft as a gigantic bust for the Bruins. And though it’s obviously worth noting that the Bruins didn’t have a first-round pick in this draft (they traded that to Dallas for Jaromir Jagr), that six-selection draft has produced just 68 NHL appearances to date. All 68 of those have come from Cehlarik and fourth liner Anton Blidh, too, and with only Blidh, Ryan Fitzgerald, and Wiley Sherman still in the organization in 2020. That’s by far the fewest among the league’s 30 teams from that draft, “leading” the second-worst Wild (155 NHL appearances between seven picks) by 87 games.