Chris Wagner

Bruins reveal length, salary of Charlie Coyle's, Chris Wagner's contract extensions

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USA TODAY Sports

Bruins reveal length, salary of Charlie Coyle's, Chris Wagner's contract extensions

The Boston Bruins have locked up two of their veteran forwards to long-term contracts.

The B's announced Wednesday they have signed center Charlie Coyle to a six-year extension with a salary cap hit of $5.25 million. They also announced a three-year extension for right winger Chris Wagner with a salary cap hit of $1.35 million.

Coyle, 27, was acquired by the Bruins in a deal with the Minnesota Wild before last season's trade deadline. He's tallied 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 24 games this season. 

Wagner, 28, has tallied five points (one goal, four assists) in 23 games. He signed with the Bruins as a free agent before the 2018-19 campaign. Wagner scored a career-high 12 goals last season.

Both of these contract extensions begin in the 2020-21 season.

The Bruins still have five players eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer: Defensemen Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug and Kevan Miller, forward Joakim Nordstrom and goaltender Jaroslav Halak.

NHL Network's Ryan Whitney was the first to report the length of the extensions earlier Wednesday.

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Sean Kuraly, Bruins fourth line 'trying to get back to what makes them a good line'

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Sean Kuraly, Bruins fourth line 'trying to get back to what makes them a good line'

BRIGHTON, Mass. — While there are obviously plenty of things that have gone right for the Bruins given their standing in first place in the Atlantic Division, their fourth line hasn’t really been one of them.

A big part of it, obviously, is the number of injuries suffered early in the season with left winger Joakim Nordstrom out of the mix for 11 games, so the continuity wasn’t there early in the season with a number of different faces on Boston’s energy line.

But the regular trio has been together for the last few weeks, and still hasn’t completely found the footing that made them one of the most effective fourth lines in the NHL last season. They have combined for just four goals in the first 20 games this season, and both Chris Wagner and Sean Kuraly have been minus players this season.

The good news is that some offensive opportunities are beginning to come their way, enough so that Wagner has been unsuccessfully tapped for the shootout in each of the last two instances where the Bruins made it to the extra season.

But it’s also clear to Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy that his fourth line needs to get back to basics and do what they do best in playing with speed and physicality, shutting down top lines and occasionally popping in secondary offense when chances present themselves. Right now they are doing some of that, but clearly haven’t hit the high levels they were at a little more often last season.

“I think [Kuraly] is losing sight a little bit of what makes them a good line, and what makes him a good player. He’s visibly frustrated when he’s not finishing, which I get. Guys want to score. But that shouldn’t then affect the rest of his game, and I think it has a little bit. We’ve pulled them aside as a line, especially the assistant coaches, and have gone through things when they’re solid,” said Bruce Cassidy. “I think the puck is finding Sean and the rest of their line; they just have to finish. But he really has to make sure what his primary role is and that’s been our message to him.

“That’s being a shutdown guy and making life miserable for one of their top two lines, and then get the job done on the penalty. I don’t want to say the offense is gravy, but you’ve just got to play through that part of it and not let if affect you mentally.”

Kuraly himself admitted that it hasn’t been an easy go of it this season and understands exactly what needs to be done to get them back to their high level of play.

“My details can be better and that’s my focus. I want to be top end at the little things and the details,” said Kuraly, who has been a minus-3 with just five shots on net in the last five games for the Bruins. “I think some of that might have slipped lately and my focus is going to be getting that back to what it was. It’s realizing when I do that, I give the team a good chance to win — and when I don’t, it can hurt us. A lot of that can fall on me.”

Maybe what the B's fourth line needs is simply to play crash-and-bang hockey with some responsible defense thrown in for a couple of games. Once they have become difficult to play against once again, then the offense will follow afterward.

It remains to be seen exactly when the B’s energy line is going to make the expected turnaround, but it sounds like everybody is on the same page as to how exactly that’s going to happen, when it does happen.

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Joakim Nordstrom (infection) and Chris Wagner (foot) out, Peter Cehlarik on the way for Bruins

Joakim Nordstrom (infection) and Chris Wagner (foot) out, Peter Cehlarik on the way for Bruins

NEW YORK CITY, NY – The Bruins were without David Krejci headed into this weekend, and now they’ll be without a couple more forwards on the second end of a back-to-back after Saturday night’s physical match-up with the St. Louis Blues.

After returning on Saturday following an absence with an upper body injury, fourth liner Joakim Nordstrom is back out with an infection issue and Chris Wagner is also out of the lineup after absorbing an Alex Pietrangelo slap shot to the left foot that forced him to leave the bench briefly during the shutout win over St. Louis.

Bruce Cassidy hinted after the morning skate that Peter Cehlarik would be the emergency call-up from Providence, and indeed the AHL transaction page has the Bruins winger being called up to Boston for Sunday night’s tilt vs. the Rangers. The 24-year-old Cehlarik is off to a hot start in Providence with six goals and eight points in six games, and has five goals and 10 points in 37 career games with Boston over the years.

“Nordstrom is out. He’s got an infection issue that he’s dealing with, so he want play today. And Wagner won’t play after taking the shot to the foot,” said Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. “So I think we’re going to see Peter Cehlarik today, but other than that the D will be the same and [Jaroslav] Halak is going.”

The issue with Cehlarik has been maintaining his high level of play after the initial burst when he’s been called up to the NHL, so it will be interesting to see what happens if he gets a couple of games due to the forward injuries.

With two forwards out, it’s also expected that David Backes is going to return to the lineup as well after being a healthy scratch on Saturday night against the St. Louis Blues. Here are the projected Bruins line combos and D-pairings vs. the Rangers:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Coyle-Ritchie

Bjork-Lindholm-Cehlarik

Heinen-Kuraly-Backes

 

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Clifton

 

Halak

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