While watching the second round of the 2014 NHL Playoffs, specifically the Bruins/Montreal series, it reminded me of something that I have been pondering for well over year now. The Boston franchise, while having a top tier defense, and one of the best defensemen in the game, is getting old in that department. Then the 2013 playoffs came around and Boston called up some of its young guns for the push, and youth was served. The issue here is that while the defense is young, none of the gents are yet a candidate for number one defenseman. Sure, Dougie could fill out that role at some point, but needing a leader on the back end is something that the B’s brass should be considering. In other words, P.K. Subban should be a Bruin.
Sure, the Bruins have Big Z (Zdeno Chara for the uninitiated), but at 37 years old he won’t be playing forever. The Bruins have defensemen in Providence, and a couple youngsters playing for the big club, but none of them appear ready to adopt the mantle of “number one defenseman”. P.K. has shown that he is the leader of the d-corps for the blue-blanc et rouge. Especially in these playoffs. Subban is averaging 2 points per game against the Bruins. He has 11 points in 7 games. Sure he is only a plus 1, but while averaging over 27 minutes a night, he is third among defensemen still active in the playoffs. At 24 years of age, Pernell Karl would be a nice addition to the blueliners on Causeway Street.
P.K. has stated that he is looking for top dolllar on his next contract, between 8 and 9 million dollars per year. Whether he is worth that at this stage of his career is up for debate, but the way he is playing in these playoffs, especially against his arch-rivals, definitely begins to tip the scales in his favor. Another tic in his favor, his age. At just 24, giving him a long term contract wouldn’t hurt so much. Structure it so that he gets his money in years 3-6 or something along those lines.
Chara still has four more years on his contract after this season finishes, but can we, Bruins fans or not, really expect him to play 27 plus minutes a night as he approaches the big 4-0? I would say the answer to that question is probably one that the voracious fans in Boston don’t want to have to answer.
Answer…Bring in Subban. You still get to have the Big Man roaming around the the blueline. Pair him up with P.K. Then it doesn’t matter who hangs back and who pinches in. Yes the d-corps gets expensive with Seidenberg and his 4 year 16 million dollar deal, but by trading a couple players away, it can work. It has to work.
By acquiring his services, the Boston Bruins can shore up the number one defenseman slot for the next ten years rather than hoping that Chara can maintain his torrid pace for the next four. P.K. Subban should be a Bruin…and hey, number 76 isn’t taken!