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Murphy: Barring A Trade, Lohrei Likely Headed To AHL

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Boston Bruins

Has 22-year-old rookie defenseman Mason Lohrei forced the Bruins to explore their NHL trade options for veteran defensemen Matt Gryzelcyk and Derek Forbort?

Boston Bruins training camp has delivered some pleasant surprises and created optimism for the present and the future. It would be absolutely shocking if 19-year-old rookie center Matt Poitras isn’t on the Bruins’ opening night roster next Wednesday, and the read here is that 22-year-old John Beecher could join Poitras and break camp with the Bruins. But what about Lohrei, who has also, in the eyes of this scribe and apparently some decision-makers in the Bruins organization, done enough to earn an NHL roster spot, too?

“The kid Lohrei has made them think about having him start the season on the NHL roster,” one NHL pro scout told Boston Hockey Now on Friday morning. “The problem is, where do you put him on that blue line? You’re not keeping him on the big club to sit up top with us. Someone needs to be traded.”

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery hinted as much on Thursday:

“He’s gonna be a big part of our future. The question is if that’s Oct. 11 or sometime later this year,” Montgomery said.

The NHL trade rumor buzz this summer had the Bruins gauging the NHL trade market for what they might be able to get for Grzelcyk and Forbort. Both were not dealt, and as of now, Matt Grzelcyk is expected to be on the top pairing with Charlie McAvoy, and Forbort will slot in on the third pairing with new Bruins defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. Could Lohrei’s arrival have that plan up in the air, though?

“This is just speculation on my part, but they gotta be looking at moving one of those guys, if not before the season starts, early on then,” the aforementioned scout opined.

Coincidentally, last week, another NHL pro scout said there was NHL trade interest in Grzelcyk, who is entering the final season of a four-year, $14.7 million contract that carries a $3.6 million salary cap hit.

“I don’t really know about Forbort, but I can tell you that teams are interested in Grzelcyk,” the scout told BHN back on Sept 27. “Maybe Donny [Sweeney] should ring up Kyle [Davidson] again in Chicago? Grzelcyk is better than any left-shot D they have now, and they have cap space. He could be great on their powerplay.”

It is not known how high that interest is now, but if the Bruins haven’t already explored it, they could be now, given how good Lohrei’s been. If Bruins general manager Don Sweeney does that for Grzelcyk or Forbort and can’t find a taker for one of them on the NHL trade market, then the read here is that Lohrei will be headed back to Providence by Monday, if not earlier.

 

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