The John Tavares saga wasn’t very fun for the New York Islanders, as they watched their captain and face of the franchise head to the Toronto Maple Leafs in free agency. It also might not have been the best time for an opposing center, as David Krejci tells Joe Haggerty of NBC Sports. Krejci didn’t hear from anyone in the Boston Bruins organization during their own courtship of the star free agent, one that many believed would force the team to move on from one of their more high priced forwards. There’s no one in the Boston organization with a higher price tag than Krejci, who also happens to play the same position as Tavares.
With all that finished now, Krejci will get his chance to show why he earned his own big paycheck by taking on Tavares and the Maple Leafs this season. The Bruins knocked the Maple Leafs out of the playoffs last season by smothering top options like Auston Matthews and William Nylander with two defensively capable centers in Krejci and Patrice Bergeron. Toronto had little answers this spring, but will now be heading into the 2018-19 season with arguably the best group of centers in the league. The Bruins will have to find an answer for Tavares and Matthews if they want to get by them once again, given that the two teams seem destined for a collision in the postseason once again as two of the top contenders in the Atlantic Division.
- The Ottawa Senators have announced the hiring of three additional scouts, hiring Kyle Flanagan, Peter Havluj and Christian De Blois. Each will have their own individual territories, with Havluj spending his time in the Czech Republic. The Senators notably passed on Czech forward Filip Zadina in the most recent draft, but may get some more insight into the country’s top prospects going forward. Ottawa’s scouting staff is notoriously small, but has found some solid results in the last few drafts in players like Alex Formenton, Filip Chlapik and Jonathan Dahlen, all selected outside of the first round.
- Erik Gudbranson spoke to Luke Fox of Sportsnet about several pressing matters for the Vancouver Canucks this season, including the now-vacant captain position after Henrik Sedin’s retirement. Gudbranson believes the team needs a captain this season and suggests that “guys would be excited” about Bo Horvat as a candidate. Horvat is entering his fifth season in the NHL and has long been expected to take over a leadership role on the team when the Sedin twins finally called it quits. The 23-year old center wore an “A” with the London Knights and could be the center of the next wave of Canucks playoff hopes.