BOSTON — Loui Eriksson wore a black Red Sox cap as he addressed the media Tuesday morning, a subtle reminder that Boston, at least for a few more months, still is his home.
The Bruins surprised many Monday when they opted not to trade Eriksson, an impending unrestricted free agent, before the NHL’s trade deadline.
The sides also did not reach an agreement on a contract extension, meaning the coming months will be filled with many more hours of negotiations. But for the time being, the winger is just happy to be staying put.
“You never know what’s going to happen,” Eriksson said Tuesday. “It was a pretty stressful day (Monday), and today, I’m still here, and I’m happy to be here and be a part of this team and try to help them as much as I can here to make it to the playoffs and go far. It’s definitely nice to be still here.”
Eriksson is in the middle of his most productive season as a Bruin, racking up 23 points and 25 assists through Boston’s first 63 games. And now he won’t need to worry about a midseason change of scenery.
“I definitely feel comfortable here,” Eriksson said. “I’ve got my role, and I feel good about my game. Now I can just focus even more on getting better and play good, so after 3 o’clock (Monday), it’s definitely nice to know where you’re going to be. And like I said, it’s really nice to still be here.”
The 30-year-old did admit, however, that the endless trade rumors began to wear on him in the days leading up to the deadline. He was a non-factor in the Bruins’ last three games, failing to record a point and tallying just three total shots on goal.
Bruinscoach Claude Julien noticed, but now that the rumor mill has stopped churning, he expects to see a much more at-ease Eriksson.
“It’s always a tense moment the day of the final trade deadline, and then the next day, it’s the complete opposite,” Julien said. “Guys are happy they’re here. Given Loui’s situation, to know that he’s here makes a big difference for him. I could sense the last couple of games he wasn’t as comfortable as I’d seen him, which is totally natural. So it’s nice to see him relaxed and saying, ‘OK, I know I’m here for the rest of the year.’ And we’re hoping for maybe longer, so we’ll see where that goes.”
Thumbnail photo via Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports Images
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