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Bruins must keep an eye on Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews
The Boston Bruins need help up front. After all, the retirements of Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci create a huge hole in the lineup.

The problem for them? It’s getting late.

By the time August rolls around (and towards the end of the month, at that), it’s clear that the majority of teams have done what they needed to do to prepare for the upcoming campaign.

But the Bruins, playing in a competitive division, aren’t done yet. Salary cap complications and the fact that they don’t necessarily have the resources to make a deal for a big forward are putting a spanner in the works for management.

The other solution to consider is the autonomy market. There are still names available, but if they’re still available at this point, normally, it’s not without reason.

Players ready to make an impact this year are signed at this time, normally.

But there are still two big names on the market. We’re talking about two guys who won three Stanley Cups in Chicago: Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews.

Of course, we know that Kane won’t sign a contract until he’s healthier. According to David Pagnotta (, he may still be a few weeks away from seeing his market grow.

Pagnotta has therefore linked Kane’s name to the Bruins. That said, it’s worth remembering that the club’s main need is for a center, which could mean that putting money on Kane would not be optimal.

That said, center or not, if Patrick Kane is healthy… he’s one of the big names available and the little break could be salutary in his case. I don’t know if it’ll happen, but we’ll see.

Of course, the case of Jonathan Toews is very different. After all, Pat Brisson’s client (like Kane) is indeed a center, which would fill a need in Boston.

But since Pagnotta linked Toews’ name to the Bruins, the veteran player has announced that he won’t be playing in 2023-2024.

Why am I still talking about Toews? First, because the player has announced that he wants to play field hockey again. And since it’s obviously not going to happen in Chicago, it will take him, if it happens, a new home.

Pagnotta reported “mutual interest” between Boston, an original-6 club that’s going to be among the good NHL clubs in my eyes, and Toews. He didn’t give a timetable either.

We agree that while he may not have known that #19 was going to announce that he wasn’t going to play this year, Pagnotta suspected that Toews wasn’t going to show up at an NHL camp in 2023. He brought back the longer-term interest.

Once the interest is there, there’s the possibility of talking again. There’s no telling how long it will take the Bruins to build a good line of center players, and Toews could be seen as a solution.

And between you and me: is it impossible, if he gets better, to see him sign a contract next February? Things can change quickly in six months…

If the former Hawks player doesn’t ask for too much money – and I don’t see him being greedy, honestly – on his next contract, it could be another attractive aspect for a club like Boston when Toews is ready to come back.

I still have my reservations about the possibility of him ever returning to the game. That said, if he’s motivated, I can see a club giving him a chance at a discount, hoping to recapture the player of yesteryear.

To be continued.

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