It’s time for the Boston Bruins to go their separate ways for a while, before the players who remain on the roster reconvene for next season. But they’re not all done playing hockey.
The 2022 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship is already underway, and a trio of Bruins will represent their countries in the tournament now that their season is over. Winger David Pastrnak will suit up for Team Czechia, while goaltender Linus Ullmark was summoned to play for Team Sweden. Jeremy Swayman was also recently named to the roster for Team USA. America, Sweden, and Czechia are all part of Group B in the tournament, with Team USA set to face Team Sweden on May 21 and Team Czechia on May 23.
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Interestingly enough, former Bruins center David Krejci is also playing for the Czech Republic at the World Championship. So perhaps Pastrnak could do some recruiting while he’s out in Finland, maybe convince Krejci to come back to the NHL after a year playing in Europe.
Bruins GM Don Sweeney, ostensibly, is holding out hope that Krejci is interested in returning to the Bruins. He hinted at possible talks of a reunion during his end-of-season press conference this week.
“Knowing how close [Pastrnak and Krejci] are, I’m sure there will be a conversation that maybe filters back to me,” Sweeney said. “I certainly kept in touch with David and his camp throughout the year. He had hard decisions to make in terms of the promise he had made to his family overall. Just ultimately decided to stay and see it through.
“I’m sure at some point in time if he decides he wants to return, then hopefully I get a call and we can have a conversation. But I have not gone down that path for several months.”
Pastrnak has already arrived in Finland, based on this video:
Pastrnak’s move to Finland for the tournament is a good sign for his health. He missed time late in the regular season with an upper body injury, but returned for the playoffs and didn’t miss a game against the Carolina Hurricanes. He scored three goals and six points over the course of the seven-game series.
Ullmark, meanwhile, posted the best numbers of his career in his first season with the Bruins. He won 26 games with a 2.45 goals against average and .917 save percentage, all career-bests among his seasons with at least 20 starts. He played well down the stretch of the regular season, with a 6-1 record and .953 save percentage over his final nine appearances, which earned him the start in the first two games against Carolina.
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