Should the Boston Bruins bring West Roxbury, MA native and former Harvard defenseman Jack Rathbone home?
The Vancouver Canucks defenseman passed through waivers on Monday and was assigned to the team’s AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Canucks. The feel around the NHL now is that Rathbone will be traded soon.
“I think it’s a bit of a shame because I really thought for a time ago that was a really good marriage, the Canucks and Rathbone. It’s been slowly deteriorating,” Sportsnet NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman said on the most recent 32 Thoughts Podcast.
“I do think that there were times that Rathbone considered asking for a trade but never did. But I’ve got to think now, I wouldn’t be surprised if that comes up. Just another chance in another organization.”
After 53 points in 61 NCAA games in two seasons at Harvard, Rathbone turned pro in 2020, signing a two-year, one-way $1.7 million contract just a year ago that guaranteed him an NHL salary of $850,00, even while playing in the AHL. In his first pro season with Abbotsford, Rathbone had 40 points in 39 games and appeared to be on a fast track to a spot on the Canucks NHL roster, but that has never really materialized. The 24-year-old, 5-foot-11, 190-pound rearguard had a goal and an assist in 11 games with Vancouver and then regressed in the AHL as he had just five goals and nine assists in 37 games.
The Boston Bruins are expected to have up to four left-shot defensemen on their NHL roster in Hampus Lindholm, Matt Grzelcyk, Derek Forbort, and Jakub Zboril, with potentially rookie Mason Lohrei entering the fray as well this season. So, does bringing in another fringe defenseman on the left side make sense right now for the Bruins?
It could if Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney is able to clear cap space by trading Matt Grzelcyk or Forbort, as discussed here last week. If that happens, then maybe the Bruins do become a team interested in acquiring Rathbone.