Before the 2019 NHL trade deadline, Boston Bruins center Charlie Coyle went through a trying experience. Then a member of the Minnesota Wild, Coyle was told that he had been traded. However, he couldn't yet know where he was going.

“I had a missed call and a text from [general manager] Paul [Fenton] and so I just knew, obviously,” Coyle said, per Michael Russo of The Athletic. “I called him and he told me I was involved in a trade, so don’t go on the plane. But he couldn’t tell me where I was going yet because it’s not finalized. He felt really bad about it.

“It was so weird because suddenly I’m at a place where I’m not on an NHL team for however many hours. I don’t know where I am. I can’t say goodbye to my teammates. It’s so hard to tell my family, my girlfriend, my friends, ‘I’m traded, we’re going somewhere … but I don’t know where yet.’”

Fenton did say to Coyle “I think in the end you’ll be OK” with the destination. And that certainly was the case.

Coyle was sent to the Bruins in exchange for Ryan Donato and a fifth-round pick. Coyle had grown up in Weymouth, Mass., and was being given a chance to play for his hometown team. And since joining the squad, he has provided a massive upgrade for a problem spot in their lineup.


Coyle has solidified the Bruins' weak third line and has proven to be a revelation for the team, especially during their Cup run. So far in the postseason, Coyle has been excellent, logging 12 points (six goals, six assists) and a plus-9 rating through 17 playoff games. That rating is tied for third-best on the team.

Most importantly, Coyle has proven to be clutch and scored a key, game-winning goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of their series. In overtime, Coyle took a pass from Marcus Johansson and placed it perfectly into the back of the net from close range on Sergei Bobrovsky. It was a beautiful play and one that fulfilled a life-long dream for Coyle.

“I can’t tell you how many times in my life I’d put the net in front of my driveway and either play with the neighborhood kids or myself and score the big playoff-winning goal for the Bruins,” Coyle said via Russo. “And then to actually do it in reality … with my family in the crowd, oh my God.”

Coyle will certainly have a chance to perform well and etch himself into Boston sports folklore during the Stanley Cup Final. But certainly, the Bruins have to be glad about the return they got on the trade for Coyle. While some thought that giving up Donato and a draft pick was a steep price, Coyle has proven to be a key cog for the team.

Coyle will once again suit up in front of the TD Garden crowd on Monday at 8 p.m. ET when the Bruins take on the St. Louis Blues. Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final can be seen on NBC or streamed on the NBC Sports App.

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