With the acquisition of Nick Holden from the New York Rangers earlier this week and the trade of Frank Vatrano today, the Bruins are soon going to find themselves in a bit of an odd position: they’re going to have nine defensemen on the NHL roster.
Vatrano’s trade and Anders Bjork going on injured reserve means the Bruins have just 12 forwards on the roster right now: Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, David Krejci, David Backes, Ryan Spooner, Danton Heinen, Jake DeBrusk, Riley Nash, Tim Schaller, Sean Kuraly and Noel Acciari.
Kevan Miller is expected to be ready to go by Saturday. If he’s activated off injured reserve, that would give the Bruins 9 healthy defensemen and a full 23-man roster (12F, 9D, 2G).
Yes, NINE defensemen.
Things are going to get a little confusing. The Bruins CAN just leave things as they are right now and head into Saturday night’s game with 12 forwards on the roster. No forwards have been reported as banged up, so they should be good to go in that regard.
However, the Bruins would be sitting at 23 skaters on the active roster, meaning they wouldn’t be able to make a trade prior to Monday without 1) trading someone from the active roster or 2) waiving someone.
According to our friends at PPP, the roster limits go out the window on Monday:
16.4 Active Roster Size; Playing Roster.
(a) There shall be a maximum of twenty-three (23) Players on each Club’s Active Roster at any one time, provided, however, that, on the date of each season’s Trade Deadline, a Club’s Active Roster may be increased to any number of Players the Club, in its discretion, so determines, subject to Article 50.
If that’s the case, the Bruins can just leave things as they are, make all their deals on Monday and carry a 902 man roster from that date forward (exaggeration, obviously, but you get the point).
The problem, of course, is that doing such would hamstring them in the meantime. They wouldn’t have an open roster spot to acquire a guy for a pick or a non-roster prospect, for example.
Instead, they should consider doing something with one of these extra defensemen. But what?
Waive Paul Postma
It’s hard to not feel a little bit bad for Postma, as he hasn’t played a game since December. All that time in the press box can’t be easy.
However, Postma’s main role appears to be depth guy, which also seems to be why the Bruins acquired Holden. You don’t really need TWO depth guys when you’d still have two extra D on the roster. There’s a slight risk the Bruins could lose Postma to a claim from a team looking for a no-cost depth add, but (no offense to Postma) that really wouldn’t hurt the Bruins much.
If he clears, they can recall him after the deadline if needed.
Demote Matt Grzelcyk
Alright, hear me out. It wouldn’t be the best idea from a team perspective, as the kid’s been playing well.
But Grzelcyk has one thing going for him: he doesn’t need to clear waivers. The Bruins could send Grzelcyk to the minors tomorrow morning and play Kevan Miller against the Leafs, giving them an open roster spot in the meantime.
And like Postma above, they could recall him on Monday.
This is probably the least likely move. Loved or shunned by Bruins fans, depending on which segment you’re talking to, McQuaid could be a guy the Bruins trade to a team out west looking for depth on defense.
Or they could waive him and lose him for nothing, which is extremely unlikely.
So what’s going to happen? Here are my guesses, in order of likelihood:
- Postma gets waived.
- Grzelcyk gets sent to Providence.
- Nothing happens, and the Bruins trade a roster player to open up a spot.
- McQuaid gets moved in some way.
Whatever the case may be, it should be an interesting few days.