The Boston Bruins are taking a ‘by committee’ approach to replacing David Krejci.
Now, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has already tabbed Charlie Coyle as the early favorite for the B’s vacant second-line center spot between Taylor Hall and Craig Smith. But there’s no shortage of potential options, be it in-house or on the trade market. But one of those external options officially jumped off the board Saturday.
With Montreal in need of a center following their decision not to match a $6.1 million offer sheet sent to Jesperi Kotkaniemi by the Hurricanes last week, the Canadiens almost instantly swung a deal for the Coyotes’ Christian Dvorak, with a 2022 first-round pick and 2024 second-round pick sent the Arizona in exchange for Dvorak.
Possessing two first-round picks certainly made the trade more palatable for the Habs, and came with some conditions, with the Coyotes set to receive the higher of Montreal’s two first-round picks in the 2022 draft, but the lower of the two selections should both of the Canadiens’ first-round picks fall inside the top 10 of the 2022 NHL Draft.
Owning multiple first-round selections was not a luxury the Bruins, who had an apparent interest in Dvorak around the 2021 NHL Draft, had at any point this offseason (nor was it do-able without a significant subtraction from their roster), which made this an obviously tougher trade to pull off for the July and August Bruins than the September Canadiens.
And it’s worth wondering if the Bruins even considered Dvorak, who totaled 31 points in 56 games last year and had a career-high 38 points in 2019-20, a player they’d part with a first-round pick to acquire. It felt like the majority of their allure regarding Dvorak came back to his chemistry with Hall back in 2019-20. Banking on that coming together in a new city and with a new team and structure was a lot when talking about that kind of package going out the door.
But it’s clear that the Coyotes were going to demand such a return in any trade involving Dvorak.
“I felt Christian had a lot of value, not only for our club but also on the open market because centers, this year, seem to be hard to find, so we tried to maximize that,” Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong said. “We had to look at obviously improving our team down the road, and this move did that.”
So, for Boston, the committee rages on, and with members of that committee beginning to make their way back to Boston in preparation for the 2021-22 NHL season.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.