Boston Bruins: Anton Blidh will eventually replace Joakim Nordstrom

The Boston Bruins could have a nice problem soon, with Anton Blidh pushing to take Joakim Nordstrom’s job.

With Joakim Nordstrom on an expiring contract at the end of this season and no doubt seeking a boost to his pay check, there’s every chance the Boston Bruins consider letting him leave and plugging in Anton Blidh full-time.

Joakim Nordstrom this season has played 39 games compared to Anton Blidh’s 5 appearances, but in those games Nordstrom has contributed 7 points at even-strength, whereas Blidh isn’t yet off the board points-wise.

Balancing those statistics out, Blidh is producing at a rate of 0 points per game, Nordstrom is slightly better at 0.17 points per game. However, neither guy is on the ice to produce great quantities of points.

Both players are in the same realms when it comes to average shots blocked, hits laid and hits taken. Given the Boston Bruins play a checking game with their fourth line, these are vital statistics.

Anton Blidh is still developing his NHL game and it can be seen in the fact that Joakim Nordstrom averages less giveaways and also tallies more takeaways.

There is also the slight difference in the way the two guys play, with Blidh much more likely to make a rush attempt, which in turn plays into the giveaways – without taking the risk, you can’t get the reward.

Right now, the points that come for taking that risk haven’t quite arrived for Blidh, but given more time, they will, especially as the coach gains more trust.

So far, there has been a degree of faith placed in Blidh by the Boston Bruins, with his short-handed minutes also comparable to Nordstrom. With more time on the Boston roster, he’ll continue to gain Cassidy’s trust.

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Contractually, 24 year-old Anton Blidh is tied up at a very favorable $700,000 for this year and next at which point he’s a restricted free agent.

By comparison, Joakim Nordstrom’s $1 million deal expires this summer. He’s likely to seek a raise similar to his linemate last season, Noel Acciari, who had very similar basic totals heading into his contract year.

If that comes to pass, you’re looking at around $1.5 million with 3-4 years’ term, meaning Joakim Nordstrom is under contract until his 31st birthday.

If you’re the Boston Bruins, you’d have to imagine looking at the potential pay increase versus Anton Blidh’s potential to fill the same role and allowing Joakim Nordstrom to depart.

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The salary cap world forces some tough decisions to be made; luckily for the Boston Bruins, Anton Blidh is making the decision slightly easier on them long-term.

Statistics courtesy of CapFriendly and Natural Stat Trick.

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