Rejuvenated Rolston wouldn't mind return to Bruins


Rejuvenated Rolston wouldn't mind return to Bruins

Things ended too soon for his liking, but Brian Rolston thoroughly enjoyed his second go-round with the Boston Bruins.

The 39-year-old forward arrived in February and appeared energized by the move to a team in the thick of the playoff hunt. He put up 15 points and a plus-7 in 21 games for the Black and Gold after arriving along with Mike Mottau from the New York Islanders. It wasnt quite the same story when Rolston ended up with three points and a minus-2 in seven games while losing to the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs, however.

The Bruins third and fourth lines were outplayed by the Caps big bodies among their bottom-six forwards as the playoff series unfolded, and that helped things end the way they did so disappointingly for Boston. Rolston shared that crestfallen failure feeling along with everybody else on the team, but he also wanted to get a chance to redeem himself with the rest of the Bruins next season.

It was a hard-fought series. There werent a whole lot of goals scored. Its a game of inches in the playoffs and they ended up getting that one goal that won them the series. Thats basically what happened in a nutshell, said Rolston. The team made me feel welcome right away. It took me a little while to get into it, but the guys made me feel comfortable. It was great to have a purpose again.

He wouldnt rule out a return to Boston, and in fact welcomed it at this point in his career. It appears Rolston is at the state where he either signs with a contending team over the summer for one more crack at things, or hell be content to call it a day if nobody else arrives at his doorstep with contract in hand. That was the lesson learned by Rolston during his time with the New York Islanders last season where he truly lost the passion to play for a time among the losing and general malaise at Nassau Coliseum.

Well cross the bridge for next season at some point, and see what happens, said Rolston. Were only a couple of days out of the playoffs, so well see how it goes. I felt great physically and mentally during the playoffs, but the biggest thing for an older player is that you have to have purpose.

I had purpose again when I came back to Boston. If you dont have purpose that can make it tough play. That was my situation on the Island. When I came here it was great. The right situation is 100 percent the biggest key for me.

Its difficult to say whether that chance will come with the Bruins again for Rolston next season as Peter Chiarelli has already mentioned hell be on the lookout for another winger in the trade market this off-season. If nothing else Rolston did show there was something left in the tank for the grizzled veteran during his second go-round with the Bs.

Bruins still in waiting mode on Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Anders Bjork

Bruins still in waiting mode on Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Anders Bjork

BRIGHTON, Mass – While the NHL debut for Charlie McAvoy is a matter of “when” rather than “if” at this point after agreeing to an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO) with the Boston Bruins, the jury is still out on Boston University center Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson and University of Notre Dame winger Anders Bjork become pros. 

Bruins general manager Don Sweeney says that Forsbacka-Karlsson has yet to make a “final decision” on his status for next season after BU’s elimination from the NCAA hockey tournament, and Bjork is readying for the Frozen Four this weekend along with the rest of his Fighting Irish teammates. The 20-year-old Forsbacka-Karlsson just wrapped up his sophomore season with the Terriers and posted 14 goals and 33 points in 38 games with a plus-11 rating, and has not given the Bruins any firm word on his plans for the immediate future. 

The urgency perhaps isn’t there for the Bruins to lock things up with Forsbacka-Karlsson right this second, because he wouldn’t be a factor for this year’s NHL team. 

Meanwhile the Bruins can’t do anything with the 20-year-old Bjork until at least the end of next weekend, but have been mightily impressed with a player that’s posted 21 goals and 52 points in 38 games for Notre Dame this season. Bjork had three assists in the game that propelled Notre Dame into the Frozen Four, and there would be a great deal of urgency for the Bruins to lock up a talented forward that might be able to help them right now. 

“I’ve been able to see [Bjork] a few times including the regional [in New Hampshire] last weekend, and he was outstanding. He played every other shift, he set up goals in the game and he’s had a really nice progression as a college player this season,” said Sweeney of the explosive Notre Dame junior, who was far and away the best player at B's development camp last summer. “They’ve done a fabulous job with their team, and hopefully they get to the Finals on Saturday against Harvard, and we get the best of both worlds seeing how our prospects play in the final game. He’s had a tremendous college career to this point, and we’re excited about his development.”

McAvoy is the front-burner issue for the Bruins at this point, but it would surprise exactly nobody if both Forsbacka-Karlsson and Bjork join him in Providence in the next couple of weeks as they wrap up their AHL season.