BOSTON – The best, and perhaps the most uncertain, season of Loui Eriksson’s time with the Bruins officially came to a close last weekend.
Eriksson played in all 82 games for the Bruins with 30 goals and 63 points along with a plus-13 rating, and was used liberally in all situations for the Black and Gold on the power play, penalty kill and key moments at the end of periods or games. He also managed to stick around for the final months in Boston when the Bruins couldn’t find a deal to their liking at the deadline for the unrestricted free agent, and played pretty well amid the stretch of possibly getting traded midseason.
In short it was a successful individual season for the Swedish winger, and exactly what the Bruins thought they were getting in his first two seasons in Boston before a couple of concussions got in the way.
“I feel good about where I am in my game. All I can do is work hard this summer, and get even better,” said the 30-year-old Eriksson. “It’s a big decision, where I end up. So, we’ll see what’s going to happen this summer. I had three great years here, and we’ll see what’s going to happen here this summer. That’s all I can say.”
There will be no shortage of interest in Eriksson should he get to unrestricted free agency on July 1 no matter what the Bruins indicated the offers were for him at the trade deadline, and he’ll be among a number of high-profile free agent forwards including Milan Lucic, Kyle Okposo and Steve Stamkos among others. It’s certain that we’ll get the perfunctory line from Bruins general manager Don Sweeney that the Bruins would love to retain a high quality player like Eriksson at the right price, and that kind of empty talk will go right up until they trade his rights for a nominal draft pick leading up to July.
It’s also pretty clear the Bruins aren’t going to get to the five- or six-year term that Eriksson will be looking for, or the roughly $6 million per season the versatile, productive winger could get from a team like Vancouver, Minnesota or St. Louis that might be desperate for his services.
So it’s highly likely that Monday’s breakup day served as Eriksson’s last action as a member of the Black and Gold after a controversial three years following the Tyler Seguin deal with Dallas, and that the book might be almost closed completely on the franchise-altering trade that went down three years ago between the Bruins and Stars.