The Boston Bruins will have a hard choice when it comes to protecting some of their players for the upcoming expansion draft. Hopefully, the B’s will have the good sense to keep defenceman Colin Miller.
By Andrew Thompson Twitter: @godwentwhoops
The NHL playoffs are currently going through their second round. (Sadly, the Boston Bruins are out due to falling the Ottawa Senators in six games.) At the end of the playoffs, the Bruins will have to deal with the Las Vegas Golden Knights taking one of their players. Nothing like an expansion draft to throw a wrench in the Black and Gold works.
The Golden Knights are likely going to steal a defenseman from Boston. There is a decent amount of talent in the B’s blueline, and several players are in the cross-hairs of the Knights.
Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug won’t be leaving the fold anytime soon. John-Michael Liles is likely done in Boston. If (and that’s a moderately sized ‘if’) the Bruins keep Joe Morrow around, he won’t gather much attention from Vegas. This leaves Colin Miller, Kevan Miller, and Adam McQuaid.
Adam McQuaid will likely not be the first choice of the Knights. While the 30-year old has proven that he’s willing do anything for the team, he has reached the practical edge of his skill set.
There are other reasons why McQuaid is out. McQuaid is a bottom-four blueliner that has an extensive history of injuries. He’s also the B’s stay-at-home defenceman. The league is getting faster every year. As the average game’s speed increases, the need for a limited-zone d-man is going the way of the dinosaur and the enforcer.
This leaves one of the Millers.
A lot of people have argued that the Bruins should protect Kevan Miller. I don’t want to take anything away from the older Miller’s most recent work. The 29-year old Miller had a very solid playoff round against the Sens. He would be a better choice than McQuaid, but he’s also approaching the edge of his skill set.
The Bruins need to look to the future. That’s why they have to keep Colin Miller. The 24-year old still has an incredible amount of potential. Miller will spend next season with Zdeno Chara. He’ll continue to learn and grow under the captain’s instruction. He’s also the only of the three who is already a legitimate top-four blueliner.
The Boston Bruins are in the middle of an emerging youth movement. They are looking to younger players to stand up and make the kind of difference they made in the postseason. If this is the B’s focus moving forward, they’ll need to keep their young gun.
The Bruins will have plenty of talent coming down the road. Charlie McAvoy certainly looks ready. While the B’s are looking ahead to the future, they need to continue to improve their blue line today.
Look at where the B’s are now. McQuaid and Kevan Miller are more of the same. It’s not enough to be consistent in this league. The B’s will need to evolve and improve if they want to remain a credible playoff threat in the future. Colin Miller is a step up for the team
When the Bruins release their list of protected players, I hope Colin Miller is on the list. He’ll be an important piece of the team moving forward.