Boston Bruins, Morgan Geekie

Bruins’ Geekie Primed for Big Season With Bigger Role in Boston

Last summer, Boston Bruins general manager (GM) Don Sweeney made a trade with the New Jersey Devils to acquire Pavel Zacha in exchange for Erik Haula. It was a one-for-one swap and the move ended up working out for both teams.

For the Bruins, Zacha was better than they had hoped for as he ended up having a career year in goals (21), assists (36), and points (57). He was able to move into the middle when David Krejci missed time and didn’t miss a beat. He was given a four-year contract extension in January and now is a big piece of the 2023-24 Bruins.

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Zacha’s flexibility was big for first-year coach Jim Montgomery and the Black and Gold hope that they are getting a similar player in Morgan Geekie, who signed as a free agent after two seasons with the Seattle Kraken and is still looking fr his breakout career in his young NHL career so far.

Geekie Struggled to Find Consistency With Kraken

Geekie was selected in the fifth round of the 2017 Entry Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes and was also taken by Seattle general manager (GM) Ron Francis in the Expansion Draft in the summer of 2021 as Carolina’s selection. He played right away for the Kraken and had seven goals and 15 assists in 73 games in 2021-22.

Morgan Geekie, Seattle Kraken
Morgan Geekie with the Seattle Kraken (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)

Last season, he increased his numbers to nine goals and 19 assists in 68 games after re-signing last summer to remain in Seattle on a one-year deal. Seattle decided to move on from him with their forward growth being deep and let him leave in free agency after not giving him a qualifying offer as a restricted free agent (RFA) (from ‘NHL free agency: 10 best contracts signed so far,’ The Athletic, July 5, 2023). Sweeney and Bruins are hoping they find lightning in a bottle as they did with Zacha. Geekie has been thought of as a player who is better than his performance has shown so far.

Geekie Offers Montgomery Multiple Options

Going into training camp at Warrior Ice Arena next month, Zacha and Charlie Coyle are penciled in as the top two centers for the Bruins with Krejci and Patrice Bergeron retired. Geekie could be considered the third-line center, but finding a spot on the second line on the wing or even at center is not out of the question.

Pavel Zacha Boston Bruins
Pavel Zacha, Boston Bruins (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Geekie offers flexibility as Zacha did. I’m not saying he’s as good as Zacha or even projected to be better than him, but there are a lot of similarities when you see what Geekie can do. He should see time on the second power-play unit and being able to play the wing and center gives Montgomery an opportunity to move him up and down the lineup. He averaged just under 11 minutes a night in Seattle last season and that number is expected to rise and rise pretty big in Boston.

“I think for me, just with a little bit more of an expanded role and a few more minutes, I think I can get into more of a rhythm and kind of grow into myself,” Geekie said. “Just be the player that I know I can be in and help the team in the best way that I can.”

You have to think that in conversations with the Bruins ahead of signing, he was offered a bigger role in Boston and it’s becoming clear that is going to happen with Krejci and Bergeron’s retirements. Patrick Brown was signed as a free agent and Trent Frederic is also returning on a new two-year contract, so there are plenty of options for Montgomery to move people around and make in-game adjustments.

Bruins Hope to Find Value in Two-Year Contract With Geekie

Geekie was given a two-year, $4 million contract by the Bruins with an average annual value (AAV) of $2 million and they are hoping to find some big value in that deal. The Bruins offensively are a question mark and it’s likely they will be relying on their defense and goaltending to keep them in and steal some wins. Offensively, Boston is hoping for David Pastrnak can continue his scoring, but finding depth offensively is the question as to where are they going to get it. 

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If Geekie can come close to having the same season Zacha did last season for the Bruins with more playing time and an expanded role, he could be a sneaky good pickup by Sweeney, who is known for finding some diamonds in the rough in free agency.

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