The Bruins don’t have an overly long list of unrestricted free agents, but there nonetheless are some guys who could leave come July 1. Boston’s two big UFAs are Marcus Johansson and Noel Acciari.
Johansson was acquired at the trade deadline and proved to be a solid pickup, as he was among the Bruins’ best forwards throughout the postseason. Both sides expressed some openness to trying to reunite, but Johansson likely will get a decent payday that might price him out of the Bruins’ plans.
As for Acciari, a Rhode Island native, getting a deal done probably won’t be quite as hard. Acciari is a true blue-collar fourth-line grinder, and those guys typically make in the $1-2 million range annually. For the Bruins, that means Acciari likely won’t be tough to keep, so long as he’s interested in coming back.
During Monday’s end-of-the-season press conference, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney discussed the possibility of keeping Acciari.
“Well, we’ve had conversations with Noel and his representative just like we were with all of our guys,” Sweeney said. “We’d like to see Noel come back. He’ll have options, so that’ll be up to Noel to see whether or not he feels that this is still the right fit for him. We value Noel as a player, for sure. He’s kind of a bit of that fabric of that identity group in the bottom part of our lineup, and he’s made himself into a real valuable NHL player, so he’ll have options with either us or elsewhere. You’re never going to question his courage, for sure. He puts it all on the line, as I said before, he plays with his nose over top of the puck and not everybody does that.”
The Bruins already have decent depth in the bottom six, and they have a bunch of prospects who likely would relish the opportunity to compete for Acciari’s role. Because of that, Boston wouldn’t be totally hosed if Acciari found a better opportunity, although keeping him makes sense.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images