Bruins

Report: Bruins have interest in free agent center Vincent Trocheck

Bruins

The Boston Bruins need to improve at center even if Patrice Bergeron and/or David Krejci return for next season, and one place to find those roster upgrades is NHL free agency.

The top center expected to be available is Nazem Kadri, who just tallied a career-high 87 points for the Stanley Cup-winning Colorado Avalanche. After Kadri, one of the top second-tier centers who should hit the market is Vincent Trocheck.

The Bruins are "believed to have interest" in Trocheck, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, who added the B's "won’t be the only ones" pursuing the veteran center.

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Friedman also noted that "Boston is not expected to rebuild, despite all the injuries. If they can hold themselves above water, there are some excellent mid-season reinforcements."

Trocheck spent the last two-plus campaigns with the Carolina Hurricanes. He tallied 51 points (21 goals, 30 assists) in 81 games last season and gave the 'Canes excellent defense, too. His two-way skill set and physical style of play would make him a good fit in Boston.

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The 27-year-old center also has posted 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) in 33 career playoff games, including three goals and four assists in a seven-game first-round series win over the Bruins in May.

The Bruins currently have just $2.38 million in salary cap space right now, per CapFriendly, and that's before officially re-signing Bergeron. The B's captain is reportedly returning, likely on a one-year deal. The Bruins can free up cap space by trading a veteran forward (such as Nick Foligno, Craig Smith, etc.) or a left-shot defenseman (Matt Grzelcyk, Mike Reilly, etc.).