The Boston Bruins have some moves to make this offseason. After losing defenseman Jeremy Lauzon to the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft, they now have to sign at least one left-shot defenseman from free agency as well as re-sign trade deadline acquisition Mike Reilly.
If they do not re-sign Reilly, they’ll have to bring in at least two left-shot defensemen from free agency. Reportedly, these two veteran defensemen may be who the B’s play on bringing in as they will be short-term and cheap options.
Both Keith Yandle and Ryan Suter could fit with the Bruins.
Yandle should be “Option B” to Mike Reilly. Meaning, Yandle should only be brought in if the B’s are unable to bring back Reilly. This is because they would serve similar roles and with Reilly and Grzelcyk on the team, Yandle’s talents wouldn’t be needed.
Yandle is one of the best powerplay quarterbacks in the league despite being 34 years old. His vision from the point as well as being able to anticipate where his teammates will be is arguably unmatched.
However, besides this, Yandle is quite replaceable. His defense is subpar as he struggles to contain the opposition in his own zone. But, he’s decent in restraining the rush.
Despite Yandle being such a one-trick pony, the rumors of him to Boston will never end due to the fact that he’s from the city. He’s definitely not my first choice to fill in the Black and Gold’s left side, but he wouldn’t be a terrible choice to bring in if Reilly walks.
Suter is a defenseman I can get more onboard with adding. Although he isn’t what he used to be defensively, he’s still decent and can drive the play up ice. His veteran presence and leadership is much needed in a rather young and inexperienced Boston defensive corps.
However, as I previous said, Suter is very good defensively anymore. But, he’s still much better than Yandle in this aspect of the game. Over the previous couple of seasons, Suter has been carrier by his defensive partner. But, this wouldn’t be an issue on the B’s as both Charlie McAvoy (who carried Zdeno Chara) and Brandon Carlo are capable of carrying their partners.
Honestly though, Suter may play much better under the B’s structure and system. The Minnesota Wild aren’t known for their defense, unlike the Black and Gold. On Boston, every skater plays defense. The forwards help out the defense and the defense help out the forwards. This could greatly benefit Suter and could make his life a lot easier as a high-mileage 36-year-old.
Overall, the market for left-shot defensemen this offseason is rather weak. There aren’t many great options in free agency as Suter and Yandle kind of headline the class. However, the B’s may be looking for a short-term, cheap option rather than long-term as they are nearing the time to rebuild. But, if they are looking to win the Cup next season, they need to go all in and I’m not sure going with washed up defensemen such as Suter and Yandle are the best options.