When the expansion lists were announced at 10:30am this morning, the Bruins did not provide any surprises. While there were a few decisions to be made, none of them were shocking, and the Bruins were in a better position than most teams in the league. They went with the 7-3-1 format.
The players protected were:
F: Patrice Bergeron, David Backes, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, Ryan Spooner, Riley Nash
D: Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug, Kevan Miller
G: Tuukka Rask
As for the forwards there are no real surprises here. The first 5 are locks. Some questioned why Ryan Spooner was protected, but he definitely still has trade value as a 25 year old center who is good on the PP and can easily score 40 points when given the ice time. Matt Beleskey was originally thought of to be a shoo in to be protected, but after a disastrous season filled with injuries, Riley Nash took that spot instead with real good play down the stretch of the regular season, earning the trust of Bruce Cassidy. Nash was a bit of a question mark at the beginning of the season, as he wasn’t scoring (albeit unlucky), but his ability to move up and down the lineup and stabilize an offensive minded line can be invaluable at times, especially when injuries hit.
Chara and Krug were the easy decisions on defense, but the toughest decision came with the third D spot, with Kevan Miller, Colin Miller, and Adam Mcquaid all in contention. Kevan Miller, who probably had the best season of the three, was protected, as he should be. He averaged 25:14 in the playoffs and played almost all 2 minutes on every PK with Zdeno Chara, proving just how valuable he is to the Bruins d-core. Colin Miller is the flashy choice. He’s 24 and has high upside, but he’s a bit of a wild card. Often scratched under Cassidy, turnovers are an issue. He’s a dynamic skater with a big shot, but his decision making is often suspect. He’s got great #fancystats which prove his future could be bright, but as of right now, Kevan Miller is the safer choice. McQuaid has been a workhorse for the Bruins for 8 seasons, and is a huge reason why the Bruins Penalty Kill is at the top of the league every year. He doesn’t bring much offense, but he balances out an offense-focused Torey Krug. His $2.75M is a big reason why he was exposed.
Players who are exposed to Vegas are:
Matt Beleskey, Brian Ferlin, Jimmy Hayes, Alex Khokhlachev, Dominic Moore, Tyler Randell, Zac Rinaldo, Tim Schaller, Drew Stafford, Linus Arnesson, Chris Casto, Tommy Cross, Alex Grant, John-Michael Liles, Adam Mcquaid, Colin Miller, Joe Morrow, Anton Khudobin, Malcolm Subban
Besides Beleskey, C. Miller and McQuaid, there are 2 other interesting players who GMGM (Vegas GM George McPhee) could be interested in. Goalie Malcolm Subban jumps off the page. He’s the brother of PK and was a first round pick in 2012. He’s had two NHL starts, and both were disastrous. He’s been inconsistent in the AHL, and showed it with a decent .917 save percentage last season. He’s got first round pick potential as he was drafted before both Matt Murray and Frederik Andersen, so it will be interesting to see if GMGM takes a flier on him. The only issue is that Subban is waiver eligible next season, so unless Vegas plans on keeping him on their roster or flipping him, they will likely avoid him.
The other is Alex Khokhlachev. He played in the KHL last season, but GMGM has a history with Russians from his time in Washington with Alex Ovechkin, Alex Semin, Sergei Fedorov, Semyon Varlamov etc. He’s 23, and the Knights will definitely give him a call to see if he’d be willing to come over and play for Vegas.
All has gone planned so far, and if it continues, Colin Miller will be the likely choice unless Don Sweeney negotiates a side deal with Vegas. 24 year old defenseman seems enticing and he’ll likely get more ice time there then he would in Boston. It would be a tough loss, but one the Bruins can swallow with Charlie McAvoy coming in hot.
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