3 Players Bruins Should Target in Free Agency

The Boston Bruins should be active in free agency after the salary cap increased for the 2024-25 season. Here are three free agents that they should consider signing.
Florida Panthers v Boston Bruins - Game Six
Florida Panthers v Boston Bruins - Game Six / Rich Gagnon/GettyImages
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For the second time in two seasons, Boston was bounced from the Stanley Cup Playoffs by the Florida Panthers - this year's eventual Stanley Cup champion.

The 2023-24 edition of the Bruins was considered a bridge team after key veterans Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci hung up their skates and Taylor Hall and Tyler Bertuzzi moved on. General manager Don Sweeney and president Cam Neely were up against the hard cap last offseason, necessitating those moves. Well, they won't have that problem this offseason.

Sweeney and Neely will have some additional cash to work with this offseason after the NHL and NHLPA announced on June 8 that the salary cap for the 2024-25 season would increase by $4.5 million to $88 million. The raised salary cap leaves Boston with $23.265 million in cap space, the 10th-highest amount in the league.

Boston will also have some difficult decisions to make, regarding their own expiring players. The group hitting free agency includes Jake DeBrusk, Danton Heinen, Pat Maroon, and James Van Riemsdyk among the forward group.

On the back end, Derek Forbort, Matt Grzelcyk, and Kevin Shattenkirk are also pending unrestricted free agents. Star netminder Jeremy Swayman is also expected to receive a huge contract extension this offseason as well.

With a prime opportunity in front of them to reload the roster this offseason with extensive cap space, here are three free agents that could look good in Black & Gold.

3. Jake Guentzel

Guentzel has been one of the best goal scorers in the league over the past few seasons. The winger has scored at least 30 goals in each of his last three seasons. He also hit 40 goals in both 2018-19 and 2021-22.

A trade deadline acquisition by the Carolina Hurricanes from the Pittsburgh Penguins, the 29-year-old ended the season with 30 total goals and 47 assists for 77 points across the two squads.

Frank Seravalli of Daily FaceOff cites the Vancouver Canucks, Washington Capitals, and New York Rangers as potential landing spots for Guentzel. The Los Angeles Kings, Detroit Red Wings, and Carolina Hurricanes have also been floated. Guentzel's contract is predicted to come in around seven years with a $9.3 million average annual value. This would be a hefty price, but good goal-scorers don't come cheap.

The Bruins' top priority should be to land a top-six center, but Guentzel presents an interesting option with his consistent ability to find the back of the net. Boston winger Jake DeBrusk is also a free agent. If DeBrusk does ultimately walk, that could open the door for Guentzel to slide in.