Turns out a number of Bruins were playing with significant injuries during their second-round playoff series against the Carolina Hurricanes.
David Krejci and Phil Kessel, two of the Bruins’ best young forwards, are slated to undergo surgery this offseason. Both are questionable to be ready for the start of the regular season according to general manager Peter Chiarelli.
Defenseman Andrew Ference will undergo groin surgery next month, and forward Chuck Kobasew confirmed he played against the Canes with two broken ribs.
“There’s a variety of injuries we had throughout the course of the playoffs,” said Chiarelli this afternoon. “Every team has injuries. But we seemed to have a few more than other teams. I have to hand it to the players for playing through those injuries.”
Krejci, 23, will have hip surgery next month. He is not expected to be ready for the start of training camp.
Kessel, 21, will have shoulder surgery on Thursday to repair a torn rotator cuff and labrum. Kessel is also not expected to be ready for camp.
In his first full NHL season, Krejci played all 82 games and finished second on the Bruins in scoring with 73 points (22 goals, 51 assists). He led the NHL in plus/minus with a plus-37 rating. In the postseason, he had two goals and six assists in 11 games, finishing at plus-6.
Kessel led the Bruins with 36 goals during the regular season, and his 60 points ranked third on the team. He played in 70 games, missing time in January with mononucleosis.
In the playoffs, Kessel, who is slated to become a restricted free agent July 1, had six goals and five assists in 11 games, finishing with a plus-7 rating.
Both Krejci and Kessel will be restricted free agents on July 1. Chiarelli said their surgeries will not affect contract negotiations.
“As far as their contracts go, I don’t see anything being different, other than the fact that they probably won’t be playing when the team starts,” Chiarelli said. “I would expect to take the normal course with them and try to get them signed.”
Ference suffered a groin tear against the Rangers on April 4. Ference then absorbed more groin damage in Game 3 of the second round when he was belted by Scott Walker. Ference also suffered a pelvis injury on the hit.
Kobasew broke two ribs in Game 1 of the Carolina series when he was cross-checked from behind. Kobasew said the pain improved as the series went on, but that it was still uncomfortable to play.
Other Bruins who played through injuries included Mark Recchi (kidney stone), Marc Savard (knee), Milan Lucic (toe), and Zdeno Chara (shoulder, knee, and groin). Chara will not require surgery on any of his injuries. Savard noted that his knee problem probably would have kept him out for two weeks during the regular season.