Well, the Boston Bruins now have a hole to fill on the roster.
Young defenseman Jeremy Lauzon was scooped up by the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday in the expansion draft. Ultimately, the Lauzon was not all too surprising of a selection, and him going probably was a best-case scenario for the Bruins.
But Lauzon was an everyday player when healthy this past season, a campaign in which Boston used 11 different defensemen due to myriad injuries. You can bet the objective this offseason already was to add some blue line depth — with Lauzon, Steven Kampfer and Kevan Miller all ticketed somewhere other than Boston, and now that’s even more important.
As it stands right now, the left side of the Bruins defense consists of Matt Grzelcyk, Jakub Zboril, and John Moore. Connor Clifton can play on the left side when needed, and they have Urho Vaakanainen, Jack Ahcan and Nick Wolff at the prospect level.
The simplest thing they can do first is retain a pair of their free agents. We’ve already made the case for bringing back Jarred Tinordi in the Kampfer role, and it sounds like Mike Reilly and the Bruins are mutually interested in a reunion.
But the Bruins are going to have to go outside the organization to get something done. They’ve readily admitted that they are eyeing a minutes-eating, left-shot two-way defenseman, and that was before the loss of Lauzon. Signing someone like Ryan Suter makes a ton of sense, especially with Jamie Oleksiak off the market. Keith Yandle, though limited defensively, might be worth a flier if the price is right. Alec Martinez would be a good fit, but after the postseason he had, somebody probably will overpay for him and it shouldn’t be Boston.
They could pursue an Oliver Ekman-Larsson trade, but only if Arizona retains a lot of his salary. He’s also a flawed player that has been trending downwards for a little while. Another possible trade candidate would be Nikita Zadorov in Chicago. He’s a restricted free agent who only is 25 and has shown flashes of brilliance with the Blackhawks.
We can throw out names until we’re blue in the face. The fact of the matter is the Bruins need to add from outside the organization to the left side of their defense. That was the case even when Lauzon still was in Boston, but the urgency to make sure they get something done on that side has been ratcheted up even more now.
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