When the Bruins kick off the 2022-2023 season, they will miss a few familiar faces in the lineup. Due to off-season surgeries and players still rehabbing, newly hired head coach Jim Montgomery will have to get creative as he has some interesting choices to make about the lineup. Brad Marchand, Charlie McAvoy, Matt Grzelcyk, and Mike Reilly will start the season sidelined.
Having three starting defensemen sidelined to start the season is no easy task for a team to overcome. McAvoy is out till at least December, and Grzelcyk at least November. The Bruins must find suitable depth on the backend to keep this defense intact. There are still two veteran UFA defensemen available on the market, and Boston insiders have reported that the club should look into bringing one of them in. As per Jimmy Murphy of Boston Hockey now:
”So it would behoove Sweeney use his newfound cap space to shore up the blue line with some proven NHLers, and both Keith Yandle and P.K. Subban could bring in experience and help a powerplay that will be missing two of its best weapons from the back end in McAvoy and Grzelcyk.”
The 33-year-old Subban is coming off a 2021-22 season where he recorded five goals and 17 assists in 77 games with the New Jersey Devils. Yandle, who will be 36 at the start of the season, is coming off the first non-full season since 2008, where he collected one goal and 18 assists with the Philadelphia Flyers.
” ‘I think both guys would be willing to sign PTOs at this point,’ an NHL source told Boston Hockey Now recently. «We’re getting really close to camp now, and I know both guys want to play this season. We’ve heard the Yandle to the Bruins rumors forever, and now it seems like maybe the time is just right to finally give it a try. I also know that Subban loves the tradition and atmosphere of Boston sports and the fans.”
While the thought of Subban in a Bruins jersey seems extremely unnatural, if he can bring cheap talent to the back end, it’s one possible option. Yandle would be the perfect fit for Boston and has been linked to the organization for years. This may be the final opportunity to get the gritty veteran in a black and gold jersey. The Bruins will start the season with Hampus Lindholm, Brandon Carlo, Jakub Zboril, Connor Clifton, Derek Forbort, and Jack Ahcan anchoring the defense. If either player is willing to sign a PTO, the Bruins need to do their due diligence and see where it goes from there.