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Loui Eriksson and Boston Bruins still talking new deal?

May 18, 2016, 5:07 PM ET [24 Comments]
Ty Anderson
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Like so many of his teammates, the future of Loui Eriksson in Boston has remains a mystery.

The 30-year-old pending unrestricted free agent was a wizard in his potential last year in Boston, came through with 30 goals and 63 points, and finished the year as one of the B’s three 30-goal scorers (Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand were the other two). It was Eriksson’s first 30-goal season since 2008-09, and his highest single-season point total in three years in town (his previous high was 47).

It was a year in which Eriksson was finally utilized in a top-six role and worked seamlessly as a winger for top-line center David Krejci, and seemingly priced himself out of town. ‘Cause obviously.

The Bruins and Eriksson attempted to hammer out a new deal before the trade deadline, ultimately hung on to him, and decided to revisit talks at some point. That always seems like a deathblow and subtle confession that this guy is a goner towards the highest bidder come July. ‘Cause obviously.

“Loui was having a fantastic year, had a fantastic year, and was a big part of our success to that point,” B’s general manager Don Sweeney said at his year-end conference of the decision not to sell Eriksson off at the deadline. “I’ve never discussed what may or may not have been thrown our way. There’s been a heck of a lot of speculation in that regard, but they’re not getting it from me. I felt I was always, and always will do, what’s best for this organization in the here and going forward. And this team at that time deserved the opportunity to have players to add to our group. We needed to. But in the context of Loui I’d been clearly in favor of trying to reach signing Loui Eriksson. Whether or not that materializes still remains to be seen. He has options lying in front of him, but it doesn’t take away that he was an important part of our group. And I felt I did what was best for the organization at that time.”

But according to Elliotte Friedman’s latest 30 thoughts, the door for Eriksson and the B’s is still open.

From Sportsnet:

23. On unrestricted free agent-to-be Loui Eriksson: there were some conversations when Boston GM Don Sweeney and agent J.P. Barry were both at the World Under-18s in North Dakota. There are plans to talk again in the near future. Sounds like both sides searching for more common ground.

It’s believed (and that’s always tricky) that Eriksson would prefer a long-term contract (think five to six years) with a total payout anywhere from $28-35 million (dependent on years, of course). The Bruins, who just worked their way out of cap-hell, are reluctant to commit long term money to guys over 30.

But the Bruins do not have an in-house replacement ready to step in and do all the things Eriksson does -- from his power play presence to penalty kill skill to playing either side of the top line without much of a drop in his effectiveness -- which complicates everything moving forward without No. 21 in town.

Eriksson made $4.25 million per year on his last deal.

Ty Anderson has been covering the National Hockey League for HockeyBuzz.com since 2010, has been a member of the Pro Hockey Writers Association's Boston Chapter since 2013, and can be contacted on Twitter, or emailed at Ty.AndersonHB[at]gmail.com.
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