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As a not-quite-free-agent, Charlie Coyle was a bit of a ‘safe’ bet by Sweeney. And it paid off.

It will definitely be an interesting show-me season for Coyle, and for Bruins management as well.

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-St. Louis Blues at Boston Bruins Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Player Rating: 7.4

Another homecoming season for a forward - first Chris Wagner, then Paul Carey, and now Charlie Coyle. Is Massachusetts the only US-based team that draws back its homegrown talent? I have to imagine Canada’s retention/reacquisition rate is pretty high but, let’s be honest, it’s Canada. Most hockey players are from there, so any movement north of the border counts. (Oh, yeah, Pat Maroon. Whatever.)

Coyle was pretty much as advertised. Walking into the Bruins locker room with ten goals already on the season, we couldn’t realistically expect him to explode for offense. Granted, that wasn’t really what Bruins management brought him in for: were there already a third-line center in place, Coyle would’ve been somewhat firmly placed on David Krejci’s right wing. After all, the din of ‘he can play wherevah’ has yet to die down - and don’t let it, Bruins fans, versatility is a good thing. So, in other words, to pot six points over 21 games with Boston was decent.

Coyle shone in the playoffs. He is a sizeable player at 6’3” and 220lbs, officially. He can definitely move, and does have a bit of higher-speed Krejci in him, in that he does seem to float near the puck and had a knack for getting involved in the play - he just seems to do it a bit faster and occasionally looked as though he was blowing past the available play. Still, to be generally disruptive on the forecheck and with some solid hands made Coyle look really good at pushing play, which is quite a boon for an NHL third line.

When it came to the playoffs, Coyle was a gem, scoring 16 points in 24 games and matching David Krejci for fifth in Bruins postseason scoring behind David Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Torey Krug. It was refreshing to see him provide energy in the bottom six beyond Sean Kuraly’s endless energy. He absolutely benefitted from Marcus Johansson’s resurgence in the postseason, and will miss that element next year for sheer offensive output. If we are to place hope with Charlie Coyle, it has to be that he learns some of the most excellent habits from the world’s most excellent defensive center of this generation and solidifies not just energy but reliability. Tall order? Nah, not for a good Massachusetts boy in a contract year. He’s a workah.

You heard it here, folks. Charlie Coyle gets north of 40 points for the third time in his career this season. Call it a renaissance.

#fancystats and visual:

If we pull only Coyle’s ‘18-’19, it’s not quite so great, but forgive the man his transition back to home cookin’ and to a team not run by a barely competent gibbon.

If we look at a three-year average, we have much to be excited for in Coyle. We also need to hope that a defensive-center role doesn’t tank his offensive potency.

And, if we look at THESE VIDEOS, we can recharge the tanks for the preseason, which will be SHORTLY UPON US.

The Night vs. Columbus to Remember.

Mr. Sure, I Can Muscle This Out Of My Own End and Still Keep Up to Score. IN THE CUP FINAL.