BOSTON — Cam Neely’s season-ending news conference Wednesday morning gave the Bruins president a chance to comment on several matters pertaining to his team, some of which general manager Don Sweeney already addressed in his own presser last week.
Here’s a sampling:
— Neely confirmed defenseman Torey Krug will undergo offseason surgery on his shoulder. He could not offer an update on the status of winger Matt Beleskey, whom Sweeney said might require hand surgery in the coming weeks.
Krug is set to become a restricted free agent July 1.
— Speaking of free agents, Neely said the Bruins are continuing negotiations with winger Loui Eriksson on a potential contract extension. Eriksson will hit unrestricted free agency July 1 if he and Boston do not come to terms on a new deal.
?I know Don spoke with his agent the other day, so ongoing talks,” Neely said. “We?d like to try and sign him, as we?ve said, but it certainly has to make sense for both sides. For Loui?s position, you don?t get too many kicks at the can where you?re unrestricted, and I think it?s really a matter of if he feels like we?ve offered him something he can?t turn down, then he?d take it. If not, then he?s going to see what?s out there.”
Neely also echoed Sweeney in saying he does not regret the team’s controversial decision to keep Eriksson at the trade deadline.
“Not when we were in third place at the time,” he said. “We were in the playoffs, and it would have been the wrong thing to do at that time to make our team worse. Loui was having a fantastic year, and we had a number of discussions about the deadline. If we thought we could have done something by moving Loui that we could get some help in return today, we would have considered that.”
— Neely said contract buyouts are a possibility this summer, though he did not specify which players might be buyout candidates.
— When asked last week whether he considers any current Bruins players untouchable, Sweeney mentioned only center Patrice Bergeron by name. Neely took it a step further when asked a similar question, implying that even Bergeron would be available for the right price.
?Well, Patrice is a pretty special player that everybody should be pretty pleased that they have an opportunity to watch play,” Neely said. “I certainly enjoy the way he plays — his commitment, his dedication. Everything about him is what we want a Bruin to be. But if there?s opportunities to improve our club, we have to look at them. ? I don?t know if Don was just being vague as much as — you don?t really know what?s out there, and if somebody comes knocking on your door, you?ve got to listen.”
— Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs and CEO Charlie Jacobs also spoke Wednesday. Both agreed the responsibility for the team’s performance on the ice ultimately falls on Neely.
?He?s my leader right now, and I ride with him,” Jeremy Jacobs said. “… He?s the personality that I look forward to seeing, and he has a clear deck right now to do it. He had a difficult year last year, but it wasn?t unanticipated. They said it would be rocky, and it was. And it was disappointing in the end, wasn?t it?”
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images