Jesse Puljujarvi wants a change of scenery, and the Boston Bruins could use a little help on the wing.
Sound like a perfect marriage? That’s because it is.
The disgruntled Edmonton Oilers winger has wanted out for some time, and that’s become increasingly apparent this offseason, especially as we near free agency. In his 31 Thoughts column published Wednesday, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman shared the latest on the 21-year-old, and the Bruins were referenced.
“Jesse Puljujarvi’s preference is to resume his NHL career outside of Canada,” Friedman wrote. “Someplace a little quieter. Boston, Carolina and Tampa Bay are among the possibilities.”
While Boston may not be *quite*, that nugget still is interesting.
First, let’s talk finances.
The Boston Bruins, save for shedding a significant amount of salary through a trade of some kind, likely will be unable to afford much beyond their restricted free agents this offseason, so it’s pretty unlikely Marcus Johansson is back. Pretty much all last season prior to the trade deadline, and when Johansson was hurt, the Bruins struggled offensively on the wings in the middle six, save for Jake DeBrusk. Assuming the Bruins are unable to make a splash in free agency, the only way they can bolster their winger corps is through a trade, or pray that one of the prospects works out (an approach that seldom worked in 2018-19).
Puljujarvi is a restricted free agent and was tendered a qualifying offer from the Oilers. Even if he rejected it, the likelihood of him fetching an AAV with even a remotely significant cap hit seems pretty unlikely. So if the Bruins have to keep the purse-strings tight, reeling in Puljujarvi probably still would be doable.