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BHN Puck Links: Looking Back at Boston Bruins’ Expansion Past

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Things are coming circle for the Boston Bruins in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft. For all the hue and cry that Colin Miller was left exposed four years ago during the Vegas Golden Knights expansion draft, the current Buffalo Sabres defenseman was once again left unprotected in an expansion draft for the Seattle Kraken.

The Bruins famously protected Kevan Miller instead of Colin Miller, and the hard-nosed stay-at-home defenseman remained with the B’s with the rest of his career while battling knee problems that eventually forced his NHL retirement this month. The 28-year-old Miller had his best NHL season with Vegas after Boston lost him in the expansion draft and finished with 10 goals and 41 points while playing in all 82 games for the Golden Knights, and then he played a key role on the Vegas surprise run to the Stanley Cup Final.

Since then, however, Miller hasn’t been able to carve out a consistent role while in and out of the Vegas and Buffalo lineup as a third pair defenseman with five goals and 23 points along with a minus-29 in his last 99 games over the past two seasons. So, is that a player, in hindsight, that the Boston Bruins should have been worked up about losing?

Certainly he might have helped in this spring’s playoff run were Miller still around Boston, but he wasn’t exactly the kind of D-man the Boston Bruins needed once they lost Kevan Miller and Brandon Carlo to injuries. And Miller isn’t a guy that would have been in the Boston lineup consistently over the last few seasons given his defensive shortcomings.

Keeping Miller four years ago certainly wasn’t worth some of the machinations other NHL teams went through to try and steer Vegas away from picking their players. So, the B’s best bet is to simply let it ride and know they’re going to lose a useful player in Ritchie, Lauzon or Clifton, but certainly not a guy that was ever going to be a real difference-maker in Boston. Take a look around at the projected Seattle lineups based on the expansion lists, and most of them don’t even have a Boston Bruins player cracking the top 12 forwards and six defensemen in a Seattle lineup.

That should tell you something about how the available Bruins players are viewed by the rest of the league as opposed to being coveted by B’s fans.

Now on to the BHN Puck Links:

*Good scoop by Sheng Peng as San Jose Sharks goalie Josef Korenar was totally floored that the Sharks traded him to the Coyotes just days after he signed a one-year deal with San Jose. (San Jose Hockey Now)

*It sure seems like the Boston Bruins are planning on losing either Nick Ritchie, Jeremy Lauzon or Connor Clifton in this week’s expansion draft. (Boston Hockey Now)

*Why on Earth did the Pittsburgh Penguins protect an aging asset in Jeff Carter. Here’s a breakdown of the expansion decisions made by the Pittsburgh Penguins. (Pittsburgh Hockey Now)

*Here’s an explanation of the unprotected list for the Washington Capitals. (Washington Hockey Now)

*Some big names on the Islanders expansion list with Jordan Eberle and Josh Bailey both left on the unprotected list this week. (NYI Hockey How)

*Goaltender Chris Driedger, and whether or not he’s signed by the Seattle Kraken, is the key to expansion draft plans for the Florida Panthers. (Florida Hockey Now)

*James van Riemsdyk was a bit of a surprise being exposed on the expansion list after most thought the Philadelphia Flyers were going to hold onto them. (Philly Hockey Now)

*The Red Wings exposed a former first round pick to the Seattle Kraken expansion draft after a lot of discussion. (Detroit Hockey Now)

*The most interesting choices that the Seattle Kraken have to make ahead of the NHL Expansion Draft are pretty fascinating. (Hockey News)

*Thanks for your willingness to lead the way, Luke Prokop. I hope his journey leads him to the NHL someday.

*Plenty of holdups with Adam Larsson and the Edmonton Oilers as he mulls his options for the future, and the Oil are in a holding pattern as a result. (Edmonton Journal)

*Who doesn’t want to be Rogie Vachon when he was taking this picture?

*For something completely different: It’s a bummer that Kate Herron won’t be back for Season 2 of Loki, but perhaps she’ll be doing something else in the MCU down the line. (Deadline)

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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