Muir predicts a possible early departure for Bergeron

bergeron_patrice_hockeycardToday at SI.com, NHL columnist Allan Muir acknowledges what most of us already know — that Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron is starting to play like his old self again.

But Muir then connects the dots between Bergeron’s improved play, the presence of Marc Savard plus the Bruins’ need to re-sign a goaltender, Phil Kessel and David Krejci, and writes that Bergeron might wind up being the odd man out when the salary cap cookie crumbles (or something like that) come summer.

Bergeron carries a cap hit of $4.75 million for two more seasons beyond this year. Muir ponders whether that’s too much for the Bruins to pay their third-line center.

MK: Moving Bergeron might make sense this summer, but the Bruins paid Bergeron what they did, 1. to make sure he didn’t get away via free agency; 2. because they didn’t think he was just a third-line center. Assuming Bergeron’s play continues on its upward trend, he could re-emerge as that No. 2 center, and that might make Savard or Krejci the trade bait. Of course, this all way on down the road. I doubt the Bruins would entertain the idea of moving Bergeron between now and March 4, if for no other reason than it’d be tough to get value for a guy still trying to regain his form.

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