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Joakim Nordstrom's Replacement

With Joakim Nordstrom most likely heading elsewhere in the off-season, the question of who man's the fourth line vacancy arises.

While we have our usual suspects Chris Wagner and Sean Kuraly both available next year, there are some options (both obvious and ambiguous) within the Bruins organization that can fill the void that Nordstrom leaves behind.

Par Lindholm

The best choice would be the guy who is currently on the fourth line now. With Sean Kuraly getting third line opportunities, Lindholm has been playing alongside his Swedish penalty killer. Who better to take over full time next season?

Nick Ritchie

As mentioned, Sean Kuraly is currently on the third line and this mostly has to do with Nick Ritchie losing that spot. If Ritchie doesn't make a impression in his next training camp, from an offensive perspective, Cassidy might try him on the left wing with Wagner and Kuraly.

Anton Blidh

Blidh is destined to be a fourth line player, but will it be in Boston? With Blidh available, and the cap being tight, I don't think Sweeney needs to go out and shop for fourth line depth. Blidh might not be the number one choice for next year's fourth line, but he will certainly be the guy that gets the call if the fourth line experiences any injuries. Both Sean Kuraly and Par Lindholm are UFAs after next year, so keeping Anton Blidh in the mix for the future would be in Boston's best interest.

Trent Frederic

When dealing with the three mentioned players, we're dealing with players who will either play or be a healthy scratch. In Frederic's case, he will either be on this team full time as the 4C, or he will play big minutes in Providence and wait for his chance. The only way I see him making the fourth line out of camp would be if Kuraly remains a third liner and Lindholm/Ritchie battle for the LW spot left by Nordstrom. This seems unlikely since Lindholm is a more capable 4C at the NHL level, but it's not impossible.

Prediction

I see Par Lindholm taking Joakim Nordstrom's spot at 4LW, Kuraly returning to 4C during the regular season and Nick Ritchie playing 3LW or being a healthy scratch. I see Trent Frederic and Anton Blidh playing in Providence until a vacancy at 4C or 4LW, respectively, becomes available.

The point that should taken from this article is that, although Joakim Nordstrom is most likely departing from Boston, the Bruins needn't look anywhere but in their own system for his replacement.



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