With the emergence of defensive depth this season, the Bruins blue-line may be above it's carrying capacity. With Dennis Seidenberg, who missed the remainder of this season, returning for next season, the Bruins will have eight defensemen who are battling for a starting spot come October.
Obviously, Chara will take one spot, presumably with Dougie Hamilton. Seidenberg is likely to play alongside Johnny Boychuk as the second pair, and the third pair will seat Torey Krug and a partner. The question is... who will that partner be?
Kevan Miller, Torey Krug, and Dougie Hamilton have certainly earned their sweaters bearing a spoked "B". The Bruins management obviously knows of the surplus of young defensive talent, and are very proud of it.
“They’re all good and young in their own way. ” said Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli. “So I think we’re in a good position and we obviously missed a couple of veteran D [this past season],You heard me during the year, we miss those D but it allows the young D to grow and to prosper, so I can’t suck and blow here. I don’t want to gloat. But they’re all good young D in their own way.”
This past season, Kevan Miller proved to fit the Bruins playing style perfectly, as he came in mid-way through the year to fill in for the Bruins injury-plagued defense. The question is, has his outstanding play driven Adam McQuaid out of Boston? It's certainly a possibility.
Miller played some well-poised, consistent defense for the Bruins, especially later in the season, and into the playoffs, where he became a reliable piece for the Claude Julien. Unfortunately, as was the case with Kevin Youklis and Will Middlebrooks some time ago, this might mean the end of Darth Quaider's Bruins career. CSNNE's Joe Haggerty summed it up well when he spoke earlier this year:
“You do the math, you look at what Kevan Miller can do – he’s a right shot and his skill set is very similar to Adam McQuaid. You kind of wonder if it comes to a point that they’ll look to deal Adam McQuaid somewhere else. McQuaid’s salary cap hit is twice as much as what Miller’s will be.”
“I expect Miller will be a top six defenseman and they’re going to make room for him, which means somebody is going to be leaving."
I know, it's hard... I like him too. McQuaid hasn't played poorly, which is why it's so tough that he may have to go, but with the Bruins young talent rising up, it may be the only option. The injury that forced him to miss much of the season opened the doors for the young defensemen to prove themselves, and they did just that. The Bruins were able to prosper, winning the President's Trophy without Adam McQuaid, making it clear that the young defensemen can be trusted.
Kevan Miller signed a two year deal with the Bruins this January, meaning the Bruins have interest in keeping him up in Boston. Come the end of the season, he would've been a free agent, however, the contract locks him up in black and gold. McQuaid, on the other hand, will reach the end of his current contract at the end of next season.
So obviously the Bruins have interest in Kevan Miller, and it's likely that he'll lock up the sixth spot alongside Torey Krug, meaning that Adam McQuaid's career as a Bruins may be over.