BUFFALO – Bruins general manager Don Sweeney updated some of the team’s other roster decisions, aside from Loui Eriksson, that the Bruins are now facing this week leading up to the July 1 open of unrestricted free agency. Sweeney confirmed that the Bruins will be moving on from young defenseman Zach Trotman and backup goaltender Jonas Gustavsson as both are unrestricted free agents, and instead the B’s will be looking for a youngster like Malcolm Subban to claim that spot behind Tuukka Rask.
The 6-foot-3, 220-pound Trotman finished up with three goals and 12 points in 67 career games in Boston after being the final player selected in the 2010 NHL Draft.
In addition, Sweeney said that the Bruins are still talking with the agents for Lee Stempniak and John-Michael Liles about new contracts as players that aren’t likely to be in high demand when free agency opens next week.
“I am in discussions with Lee and his group. Zach Trotman is a Group VI [free agent], and will not be returning. He’ll go to market. Whether or not we explore [Trotman re-signing] again after the fact, that’s a possibility. We’ve been in talks with [Liles] group as well, and we’re just fitting all the pieces together of other things we’re exploring…and where we want to go.
“I’ve spoken to [Gustavsson’s] camp, and we’ve got a very strong internal candidate in Malcolm [Subban]. We’re going to look at all of the possibilities for goaltending.”
Stempniak would be a good, low-cost signing for the Bruins, a player who could play up and down the lineup while providing offense, veteran leadership and versatility for the Black and Gold.
The 33-year-old Stempniak finished with 19 goals and 51 points combined with the New Jersey Devils and Bruins last season, and had three goals and 10 points in 19 games riding shotgun with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand last season.
One would expect Liles probably won’t be back unless the Bruins really, really strike out in their attempts to land a top-4 defenseman this weekend. Liles finished with six assists and a minus-7 rating in 17 games for the Black and Gold last season.