The Bruins are looking to fill the Patrice Bergeron-sized hole in their top line, and they might not have to go very far to do so.
According to Joe McDonald of The Athletic, the Bruins expressed interest in the Minnesota Wild’s Charlie Coyle prior to the start of the season. With Patrice Bergeron out for a few more weeks with a rib injury, McDonald reports the Bruins are once again eyeing the Weymouth, Mass. native to center their top line.
McDonald says that ideally, the Bruins would fill the open spot with rookie Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson. The Bruins have given the 2015 draftee some time to prove that he’s capable of stepping up and filling the gap in their top line, but over a month after recalling him from Providence, the Bruins are yet to solidify any roster changes.
Should the Bruins pull the trigger on the Coyle trade, fans could be saying goodbye to some of the Bruins’ young, fast forwards— Ryan Donato, Anders Bjork, Danton Heinen or even JFK— sooner than they’d have thought.
Coyle is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2019-20 season and carries a $3.2 million salary cap hit until then. If the Bruins do opt for the trade, they could find themselves using what wiggle room they do have under their salary cap to make the move a reality.
The Bruins have reached a sweet spot in their season and are finally turning a corner, having notched their third straight win on Tuesday. But even general manager Don Sweeney acknowledged that, in the midst of all these injuries, Boston needs help up front.
Pierre LeBrun, a Hockey Insider from TSN’s ‘Insider Trading,’ believes that though the trade isn’t quite underway yet, it’s not entirely impossible.
“What I can tell you is this: I believe the Boston Bruins have kicked the tires on Charlie Coyle,” LeBrun said. “Not really surprising given that the Bruins have all those injuries that they’re still dealing with. I don’t know that this is something that’s imminent, but in terms of the Wild, I think [Minnesota general manager] Paul Fenton maybe finally is ready to act.”
Coyle, a former Boston University Terrier, has spent all seven of his years in the NHL with the Minnesota Wild after being drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the first round of the 2010 NHL Draft. With 15 points in 30 games this season, Coyle could be just what the Bruins are looking for in Bergeron’s absence and would bring some serious depth to their offensive end come Bergeron’s healthy return.