Bruins expecting Hayes to step up next season
Having missed the playoffs for two consecutive seasons, the Boston Bruins are in a transitional period, trying to locate the winning formula that recently slated them as a powerhouse in the East.
General manger Don Sweeney has tweaking to do, and while he's exploring landing Steven Stamkos, he believes some of the teams' problems can be solved with current personnel - notably, forwards Jimmy Hayes and David Pastrnak - elevating their game.
"We have internal candidates that might have to step up, and David is a player like that ... Jimmy is a player like that. There's no question we're not a complete team right now," Sweeney said, according to Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com. "So we'll go to work now, and that could be through free agency, or through potential trade stuff. It could also be about the excitement if somebody pops from the development side of things."
Hayes, acquired by the Bruins last offseason, contributed 29 points in 75 games, but wasn't an impact player for most of the campaign.
"I think Jimmy had a pretty start to the year, but he really tailed off when the team needed him most," Sweeney said. "He should take some serious responsibility for that. We had a pretty frank discussion about that to challenge him to take his game to another level, and be able to help out a younger player."
Hayes, 26, is locked into the Bruins books for another two seasons at a $2.3-million cap hit.
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