The Boston Bruins have very few expiring contracts entering the 2021-22. In fact, among players that appear to be a lock for an NHL roster spot this season, only six will be free agents next summer. Of that group, only two will be unrestricted free agents and just three are set to make over $800K this season. By and large, the Bruins face very little risk of a roster shake-up via free agency next off-season. Yet, amongst this small group of expiring contracts is two of the most important players on the team, captain Patrice Bergeron and young stalwart Charlie McAvoy. Both career Bruins, one represents that remnants of the 2011 Stanley Cup-winning core and the other appears to be the future of the franchise as they look to transition to a new core. Negotiations with each player will be crucial for the Bruins, but the club has not rushed to extend either just yet; and neither seems to care.
Bergeron, 36, is focused on winning another title this year before shifting his focus to what’s next. Speaking to the media, Bergeron said of his next contract, “I’m going to play out this year, and then talk about that after.” GM Don Sweeney stated last month that Bergeron has free reign to sign on for as many more years as he likes in Boston. While the cap-strapped Bruins will need to be more careful about the cost, they are open to whatever term the future Hall of Famer is seeking. Bergeron has been a face of the franchise for many years, establishing himself as arguably the best defensive forward in league history and with a point-per-game campaign could crack 1,000 career points this season. He has earned the right to decide when he wants to retire or otherwise leave Boston, whether that be next year or several years for now. This season really is less about establishing anything more for contract negotiations and instead focusing solely on the pursuit of the Stanley Cup and continuing to build a lasting legacy in Boston. As Amalie Benjamin relays for NHL.com, Bergeron stated the thinks this Bruins group can be “special”, not only this year but even beyond his playing days.