Bruins center Charlie Coyle had a quiet 2020-21 campaign but it appears he was playing through a knee issue for at least a portion of the season as Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic relays (subscription link) that the 29-year-old recently underwent a pair of knee surgeries to repair an avulsion fracture and a torn patellar tendon.
Coyle notched just 16 points in 51 games which is hardly the return he or the team were expecting in the first year of a six-year, $31.5MM contract. Things weren’t much better in the playoffs either as he managed just two goals and a single helper in 11 games. While it’s known exactly when the knee issues were sustained, it’s clear that it was hindering him for a significant chunk of the season.
The good news for Boston is that Coyle is expected to be ready for training camp in September. With David Krejci’s future with the team uncertain – he becomes an unrestricted free agent later this month with no decision yet made on his playing future – Coyle could be called upon to take a bigger role and could slide into the second center slot behind Patrice Bergeron. If Krejci returns, Coyle will remain their third-line pivot but will undoubtedly be counted on for a bounce-back season offensively in 2021-22.