Getting and playing through injuries during the playoffs is no new story, but this off-season the Boston Bruins are seeing more than the usual amount at the end of this season. Two weeks ago the Bruins announced that Brad Marchand had surgery and would miss the beginning of next season. This alone was concerning enough as Marchand is a big presence on the ice. However, the Bruins organization was just hit with more setbacks on not just one player, but three. The team announced that Charlie McAvoy, Matt Grzelcyk, and Mike Reilly all had surgery Friday and will be out well into next season.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) June 3, 2022
Three Boston Bruins Defencemen Have Surgery
All three Boston defencemen had successful surgeries on Friday. McAvoy underwent left shoulder arthroscopic stabilization surgery and is expected to be out for six months. McAvoy, who had a career season, scoring 10 goals and recording 56 points is arguably one of Boston’s best defencemen. The 24-year-old signed an eight-year, $9.5 million contract that starts next season. His contract is one of the highest in the National Hockey League for defencemen. He is also a minute-eater for the Bruins and averages well over 20 minutes of ice-time per game. If the bleeding stopped at McAvoy, the Bruins could probably find a temporary replacement for one of their two top d-men. However, they are also losing two others.
Grzelcyk had surgery Friday on his right shoulder. He had an open stabilization procedure and his recovery time is expected to be five months. In 59 games played Grelcyk scored five goals and recorded 14 points. Additionally, Reilly also underwent surgery today to repair his right ankle tendon and remove bone fragments. He is only expected to miss three months and could possibly see the beginning of the season. In 70 games played he scored four goals and recorded 17 points. Losing this many defencemen is going to leave the Bruins scrambling at the beginning of the 2022-2023 season.
What This Means
It is no secret that Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron is already conflicted about returning to the team. His contract ended after this season and he has to decide if he is ready to hang up his skates. Before today, with Marchand being out, the idea of making a playoff run again wasn’t out of reach. If Bergeron wanted to make one more run for the Cup, the next couple of years would be the time to do it. With the majority of their defence out for a good portion of the season, the Bruins might consider stepping back and rebuilding around what they have.
There are also rumours about not bringing back head coach Bruce Cassidy as well. President Cam Neely stated that they were looking to change some things during his post-season interview with the media. If the Bruins are going to take this season off to do a mini rebuild and possibly lose their captain, this could be the final push to bring in a new coach. The Bruins will have some big decisions to make this off-season.