DeBrusk finished with 25 goals after a torrid second half on the No. 1 line with Brad Merchant and Patrice Bergeron (“It wasn’t pretty at times,” he says, “but we got there”). He signed a two-year extension (average annual value of $4 million) just before the March trade deadline, while still hoping to be processed.
After the Bruins’ season ended in mid-May, DeBrusk said he “didn’t think about” his future with the team. He wanted to take the time to think about his future. In June, after Cassidy was fired, the 25-year-old chief executive informed Don Sweeney he wanted to stay.
“I think the biggest thing was the support I got from the guys in that room last year,” DeBrusk said Tuesday. “I felt like there was a lot of stuff happening to me, for obvious reasons, and the guys in that room really stuck with it and kept it as one. It’s something I’ve always liked about this team. I’ve always liked boys, and also the city and everything else. That’s what I know. That’s what I’m comfortable with. Honestly, it wasn’t such a hard decision to make. »
When asked if Cassidy’s exit had anything to do with his trade request being turned down, DeBrusk certainly didn’t say “no.”
“I mean, hey, that’s been pretty speculated, I think,” he said, with a smile. “I think you know how I see things. Of course, that’s an easy answer.
“But, that’s one of those things that we could talk about and talk about – I respect that you guys, obviously your job is to ask those kinds of questions. Obviously, that’s one of those things that’s kind of interesting – you can have a lot of hot topics [about] the situation, even why I asked for a trade – but I’m looking forward to this year.
“I think I said that [after the trade deadline], I was looking forward to not having to answer these questions anymore. It’s one of those things that belongs to the past. This whole summer has been focused on preparing well and preparing for the season, and that’s kind of how I see this issue.
Now he hopes his contract extension will lead to another one.
“I think everyone wants [think] long term when you play in a city like Boston,” said DeBrusk, who is expected to start the year on a line with Bergeron and the left-winger Pavel Zasha. “Obviously you have to earn this, don’t you?”
• Former Bruins captain Zdeno Chara was spotted at Warrior Ice Arena on Tuesday, but apparently was just seeing old friends, an associate of Chara said. On Tuesday, there was no deal with the Bruins in the works. Chara, 45, is said to be in no rush to decide his playing future.
• David PastrnakAs David Krejci and Taylor Room, was yet to report to camp. He had not yet signed a contract extension. “We would like that,” DeBrusk said. “I think he wants it too. I haven’t spoken to him in a while. I think he froze me.
Pastrnak is entering the final year of its deal ($6.67 million per year)
• DeBrusk on Zacha, his potential new linemate: “I think he scribbled on me last year and gave someone a 360 degree pass through a back door. It was a nice race.
DeBrusk was referring to a February 2021 game where, in a 4-on-4 game, the then-Devil received a pass and spin-o-rama around DeBrusk, opening up and scoring on a backdoor giving and going with Andreas Johnson. The “dash,” in hockey lingo, means a minus in DeBrusk’s plus-minus stats.
• One of the highlights of Tuesday’s skating came from an undersized defender jack ahcan. Ahcan, who was shooting on the left, was coming out the left side of the zone when he fired the puck to his backhand and delivered a smooth, powerful cross pass behind his back. His height (5-foot-7 and change) means Ahcan may need to make those kinds of plays to be effective.