Montreal Canadiens player leaving for the Boston Bruins: an interesting statement from forward Anthony Richard
BY JULIEN TREKKER JULY 28, 2023 (8:18)
Speaking with La Presse last Saturday during the KR Classic in Boisbriand, the player explained that he made this decision more for business reasons than from the heart. Seeing the number of forwards under contract for the upcoming season, he decided to opt for a team where he would have a real chance of securing a spot in the NHL.
Indeed, the CH currently has 14 forwards under NHL contracts. The forward group is so crowded that even Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, who had an outstanding season with the CH in 2022-2023, might start the next campaign in Laval, as he is one of the few forwards who would not need to pass through waivers if sent down.
The situation in Boston is quite different, especially since Tuesday morning when Patrice Bergeron officially announced his retirement. His departure from the team and, who knows, the potential retirement of David Krejci will make Richard's task a bit easier. Currently, only 12 Bruins forwards have one-way contracts, including enigmatic players like Patrick Brown and Jayson Megna. Therefore, the former CH player prefers to bet on his own performances in Boston rather than relying on the shortcomings of others in Montreal.
One might think that Richard, with over 400 games of AHL experience, will start the season in Providence. But his low NHL annual salary of $775K ($450K in the AHL) could be beneficial. Richard understood from his conversations with GM Don Sweeney that the team's budget is limited, especially considering they need to sign the young Jeremy Swayman and they only have $5M in cap space. Having efficient and low-cost skaters like Richard will undoubtedly help alleviate the team's salary cap situation.
On the Bruins' side, head coach Jim Montgomery mentioned that he is looking for speed, which Richard possesses. However, the Quebec native will have to have a good training camp, as Montgomery has not promised him a spot in Boston for the start of the next season.
Considering these new elements, we can understand Richard's decision. At 26 years old, he no longer has much time to wait for others and must prove right away that he can play in the big league.