With the game seemingly in hand, the Boston Bruins’ Dennis Seidenberg tangled up with the Ottawa Senators’ Cory Conacher. As a result, Seidenberg tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee, effectively ending the defenesman’s season and leaving a gaping hole in the Bruins defensive corps. Seidenberg underwent surgery last week and is expected to be ready for the start of next season, but in the meantime, how do the Bruins replace Seidenberg?
Dennis Seidenberg has a veteran presence that you can’t just go out on the market and find everyday and his two-way play will be sorely missed, especially come playoff time. Bruins head coach Claude Julien said about replacing Seidenberg,
“You don’t replace guys like [Seidenberg]. You just make sure you buckle down, play your game as best you can and, as a group, you hope if everybody does that it covers for that loss.”
For now the Bruins have been getting by with young skaters like Kevan Miller, David Warsofsky, and even Zach Trotman for one game. Miller and Warsofsky have done an admirable job, but it’s clear that the Bruins need some sort of veteran blue liner if they want to repeat as Eastern Conference champions.
A name out there on the trade market is the New York Rangers’ Dan Girardi. Girardi, an alternate captain for the Rangers, has been a very solid player for the Rangers and he is in the final year of his contract. You’d think that he’d be a great fit with the Bruins, but you’d be wrong.
First and foremost, the ransom would be quite costly for the Bruins. The New York Post’s Larry Brooks said that the Rangers should ask for “No less than whomever the Rangers’ staff has identified as the Bruins’ top prospect up front and one of their two top prospects on defense, plus a draft choice.” You’d have to think the Rangers would want Matt Bartkowski, possibly someone like Ryan Spooner, and a draft pick. Girardi is in the last year of his contract, so, it’s no guarantee that he would play for the Bruins beyond this season. You can’t mortgage the future on someone like Dan Girardi, its not a great idea.
Perhaps the price would be a little more lenient for another team other than the Bruins, but the price would be simply too much for Boston. The Rangers are only in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, they can still get in, especially with Henrik Lundqvist in net, and you don’t want the Bruins to be helping them by giving them some young talented players.
If the Bruins were to acquire Girardi, it wouldn’t really change much for the Bruins anyway. With Seidenberg out, the Bruins now just have one capable left shot defenseman, Zdeno Chara, and a young lefty in Torey Krug. If anything, the Bruins need more help on the right side than on the left. Seidenberg was a guy who was able to play on any side of the ice, but right now, the Bruins are in an unfamiliar position.
Adding Girardi would not solve anything to the Bruins problem on the left side. The Bruins can’t just plug in Dougie Hamilton onto the left side, he’s played on the right in juniors and in the NHL. Hamilton is still a young player and as the Bruins make a run, they would be taking a huge risk by throwing Hamilton into uncharted waters. Johnny Boychuk wouldn’t be much better either on the left side. He played on the left with Adam McQuaid last week and his error led to a goal by the Los Angeles Kings.
There are other options at defenseman on the market than Dan Girardi. The Bruins could go out and acquire some cheaper options like former Bruin and current Winnipeg Jet Mark Stuart. With the Winnipeg Jets falling further and further out of the picture and with a new head coach, the team could very well part with some players and why not Mark Stuart? Another option could be the Carolina Hurricanes’ Ron Hainsey who has spent time playing under Claude Julien when Julien was the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens. Hanisey would fit in perfectly with Julien’s defensive style of playcalling.
The Bruins should do something to shore up their defense, but Dan Girardi is not the Bruins answer to their problems.
Do you think the Bruins should make a run for Dan Girardi? Comment below or send me a Tweet, @MarkWGraham.
Mark Wallace Graham has been a writer for TheHockeyWriters.com since March 2013. Growing up in New England, Boston Bruins hockey was in my blood. Follow me on Twitter, @MarkWGraham