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Saturday, 17 May 2014 16:50

Free Agent Preview: Andrew MacDonald

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While we saw the Boston Bruins defense this year in the playoffs just flat out fall apart it looks like it is time to add another defnesmen, which they should have done at the trade deadline.

 

The Boston Bruins this season can be considered a failure. The team had 54 wins in the reguar season but that wasn't good enough as they were bounced in the second round of the playoffs by their arch rival, Montreal Canadiens. So what has to be changed on this team?

They need a defensemen. In this past offseason they made the choice to let very friendly and fan favorite, Andrew Ference leave. Ference had a very good time in Boston especially in 2010-2011 when he was a plus 22. Ference brought a leadership to the Bruins and and they made the decision to let him go he wound up in Edmonton, where he captained they very young Oilers team.

A big loss this year was of coarse Dennis Seidenberg who missed most of the season after tearing his ACL and MCL against the Ottawa Senators on Dec. 27th. Many questioned why Seideberg was held out of the playoffs, especially game 7 as he made it pretty clear he could play.

The loss of Seidenberg was really felt mostly by Zdeno Chara as you could see his struggles during the playoffs. The Bruins young defensemen held up pretty well during the regular season but once the playoffs hit fell apart. Chara had many mental breakdowns and one of his biggest was game 7 against Montreal when he kicked the puck into his own net. Seidenberg was considered by many as the glue of the defense and would really make up for a lot of the lackluster play of Chara sometimes.

When asked about Zdeno Chara's window closing, GM Peter Chiarelli was a bit concerned.

"Sometimes it creeps into my mind, and I have cold sweats." Chiarelli said. "You talk about replicating in aggregate. That's probably what we have to do. We're not going to find another player like Z."

In my opinion, the Bruins needed a D-man before the Seidenberg injury and then went the trade deadline came and went and they were only able to acquire Andrej Meszaros, I knew they were in for trouble come the playoffs.

A little thing that really fell under the radar was the loss of Adam McQuaid, who was the Bruins third defenseman, after he underwent ankle surgery on May 4th and was done for the season.

The Bruins went through this season with a very very young defense. D-Man like Matt Bartkowski, Torey Krug, Kevin Miller and Dougie Hamilton were really stretch thin and it showed with their lack of production.

No knock on Johnny Boychuck but when he is your second defenseman you're going to be in some trouble.

For the Bruins to get back to Stanley Cup caliber they have to be willing to spend and willing to bring in veterans. Veterans like Thomas Kaberle, Greg Zanon, Andrew Ference. And I think a step in the right direction would be going after defenseman, Andrew MacDonald.

MacDonald spent the 2013-2-14 season with the New York Islanders before being traded to the Philadelphia Flyers. Don't let his -19 +/- fool you this kid is a good, gritty hockey player and will grind it out. MacDonald offers a left handed shot and would be a great addition the Bruins.

MacDonald has spend his career learning from veteran future Hall of Famer, Mark Streit. The Flyers are tight on cap space so it is likely they will not be able to re-sign this top defenseman.

2014-2015 Bruins Defense with Andrew MacDonald

Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg

Andrew MacDonald-Dougie Hamilton

Kevin Miller-Johnny Boychuck

*Adam McQuaid could be traded

*Torey Krug could be moved to forward due to lack of defense and good offense

*Matt Bartkowski if he comes back is a 7th D-Man

 

My grade for Andrew MacDonald: 84

Chances the Bruins land him: 65%