All hell is breaking loose with the NHL offseason as franchises gird for the financial hardships of the immediate future, and the Boston Bruins could end up being the beneficiaries.
The Minnesota Wild caused major, major ripples this week when they shockingly opted to buy out the contracts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter with both aging marquee players still owed massive amounts of money and term. It’s a stunning move for the Wild, of course, but it makes sense given the lack of playoff series wins or sustained postseason drives in Minny after they shelled out massive bucks for Parise and Suter almost 10 years ago.
Suter will turn 37 years old next season, but he would absolutely be exactly what the Boston Bruins are looking for in a left shot defenseman that can play top-4 minutes, impact play at both ends and provide the B’s with stability on the back end.
The 6-foot-2, 206-pound Suter is exactly that “elusive left D” that Boston Bruins President Cam Neely spoke about at his season-ending press conference.
“The elusive left D we’ve been looking for that can chew up a lot of minutes,” said Neely, when asked what he would add to this current core Boston Bruins group in a perfect world. “Maybe play on the second pairing with Carlo. That’d be more of a shutdown or some puck movement [with] some offensive blue line acumen. As we saw, you can never have enough D and we never seem to have enough.
“For some reason or another, we get banged up. I think our D this year had maybe eight concussions, which is something I don’t know how to combat. But that position is something that we’ve been looking [at] for a while. Hopefully we can do something to grab someone that’s going to help maybe play 20 minutes a game for us.”
Suter posted three goals and 19 points along with a plus-6 while averaging 22 minutes per game, and is by all accounts a consummate pro, leader and the kind of veteran player the Bruins could use on a very young back end.
Sure, he isn’t what he was during his prime years when he nearly averaged 30 minutes per game during an entire regular season as he did from 2013-2015 for the Wild.
Even better, the Bruins wouldn’t have to inherit the big contract he’s owed in Minnesota and could instead sign him to a short term deal befitting a veteran like Suter that’s looking for a chance to win the Stanley Cup at this point in his career.
Will it work out with the Bruins and Suter as there will undoubtedly be massive interest around the league for Minnesota’s No. 1 defenseman? Right off the bat, our friends in Washington indicate the Capitals will be in on Sutter when he becomes available. It’s all tough to say right now, but the Edmonton Oilers have to be kicking themselves for bending on the Duncan Keith deal after watching a guy like Suter magically become available for nothing more than money after his buyout.
Now on to the BHN Puck Links:
*Down Goes Brown has his offseason mailbag that includes Tampa Bay Lightning talk and some straight truth from Gary Bettman. (The Athletic)
*Nikita Kucherov continues his scorched earth press conferences by dropping the F-bomb on live television during the Lightning’s Cup celebration this week. What a beauty. (BarDown)
*Speaking of the Lightning, this is a pretty cool tribute to exactly how tough the Bolts are these days as Julien BriseBois emotionally runs down the injuries his players were playing through on their two-month Cup odyssey.
“That’s how you win a Stanley Cup.”
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) July 13, 2021
*It looks Gabriel Landeskog and the Colorado Avalanche are running into issues with a contract extension. Interesting. He’s another guy the Boston Bruins have been interested in over the last five years. (Colorado Hockey Now)
*Lou Lamoriello is looking to wheel and deal with his roster to get more involved in the offseason roster improvements. I’ll say one thing: Parise makes a ton of sense there. (NYI Hockey Now)
*Gauging the odds of some massive offseason possibilities for the Vegas Golden Knights, including moving Vezina Trophy winner Marc-Andre Fleury. (Vegas Hockey Now)
*It seems like Chuck Fletcher is ready for some changes with the Philadelphia Flyers after a fire-and-brimstone press conference this week. (Philly Hockey Now)
*Good luck to Steve Kampfer and his family as he gets ready to go to Russia next season after signing a one-year deal to go to the KHL. A good guy that played a very unsung role for the Black and Gold over the last few years. (Boston Hockey Now)
*Who is Josef Korenar and why does his re-signing alter the expansion draft plans for the San Jose Sharks? (San Jose Hockey Now)
*Florida Panthers head coach Joel Quenneville says he will cooperate with any sexual assault investigations undertaken by the Chicago Blackhawks. (Florida Hockey Now)
*What if the Detroit Red Wings had ended up going “all in” and landing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter nine years ago? Some say they dodged a headache, but did they really given how terrible they’ve been for the last five years? (Detroit Hockey Now)
*Recounting some Pittsburgh Penguins memories from the last expansion draft with the Vegas Golden Knights. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)
*For something completely different: It’s a good thing Stephen A. Smith apologized for the Shohei Ohtani stuff because his take was embarrassing as much as it was hurtful. (Barstool Sports)