David Krejci's decision to finish his playing career in the Czech Republic leaves the Boston Bruins in need of a reliable second-line center. While the 35-year-old reportedly didn't rule out a return, the Bruins could be in the market for a suitable replacement.
The Bruins intend to start the season with Charlie Coyle in that role. However, NHL.com's Amalie Benjamin points out he's coming off a sub-par 2020-21 performance, netting 16 points in 51 games. She feels they'll need an upgrade at that position to be serious Stanley Cup contenders.
With the free-agent market picked clean of quality talent, general manager Don Sweeney could be shopping around for a trade. Boston Hockey Now's Jimmy Murphy reported last week the Bruins GM has spoken with the Arizona Coyotes about Christian Dvorak.
Dvorak, 25, has reportedly drawn considerable attention from other clubs for his physical two-way play. Cap Friendly indicates he carries an affordable $4.45-million salary-cap hit through 2024-25. Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman believed he could be dealt before the start of this season.
Murphy indicated those trade discussions took place several weeks ago but they appear to have stalled. Winger Jake DeBrusk and defenseman Jakub Zboril have surfaced in the rumor mill but Murphy said there's no indication either player was pitched to the Coyotes.
Coyotes GM Bill Armstrong has been shipping out players who didn't fit into his vision for the club, but he doesn't appear to be in any hurry to move Dvorak. That could change for the right price. Whether the Bruins can afford it remains to be seen.