Boston Bruins: Trading Brandon Carlo Would be a Mistake

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 27: Boston Bruins Defenceman Brandon Carlo (25) in action during an Eastern Conference matchup between the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers on October 27, 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. (Photo by David Hahn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 27: Boston Bruins Defenceman Brandon Carlo (25) in action during an Eastern Conference matchup between the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers on October 27, 2019, at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. (Photo by David Hahn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Trading Brandon Carlo would be a mistake that the Bruins can’t afford to make.

There is no secret that there are a lot of questions surrounding the Boston Bruins defense as the front office plans for next season. Torey Krug signed a free-agent deal with the St. Louis Blues for seven years, $45.5 million and captain Zdeno Chara is still up in the air as to whether or not he will return for a 15th season.

Regardless if Chara returns or not, the Bruins’ defense is going to get younger and go through a passing of the torch. They re-signed Matt Grzelcyk to a four-year, $14.75 million contract and also have Charlie McAvoy who is turning into one of their top defensemen at 22 years old.

Boston also re-signed veteran Kevan Miller to a one-year deal despite him missing the last 18 months while he recovered from a knee injury he sustained in the 2019 playoffs. What they are able to get from him still remains to be seen. Beyond that, Jeremy Lauzon has had his moments for the Bruins, while Connor Clifton and John Moore will also be in the fold.

Youngsters Jakub Zboril and Urho Vaakanainen are a good training camp away from making a serious case for a top-six spot in Boston.

With Krug leaving for the Blues and Chara still weighing his options, there has been some talk about the Bruins and general manager Don Sweeney fielding calls on whether or not 23-year old defensemen Brandon Carlo is available for the right trade package.

If Sweeney is trying to make a deal for a big-name forward to fill a need upfront, it’s understandable. Carlo might be the best-seasoned player with a prospect or two that could get a good return if the Bruins decide to part ways with any blueliner.

In the big picture, it might not be worth subtracting from the blue line with a player who has four years of experience and a trip to the Stanley Cup Final under his belt.

Carlo will be in the final year of his contract with a $2.85 million AAV before he becomes a restricted free agent (RFA) after the 2021 season. He has been reliable for coach Bruce Cassidy as he has missed just 31 regular-season games in four years, despite being a physical presence at 6-foot-5 and 205 pounds.

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The Bruins head into next season looking for depth to add to their forwards and more importantly, depth that can score. Sweeney has to look at all of his options that are available, but trading Carlo and taking another defenseman off of a unit that has at least one big loss already would be a mistake.