Wait, are the Boston Bruins actually looking to add another defenseman to their already deep defensive unit? Well, apparently, they are, and they have their sights set on a particular blue-liner out west.
Early last week, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reported that the B’s, among other teams, have an interest in acquiring San Jose Sharks defenseman Brenden Dillon. And according to LeBrun, Dillion could possibly be had for mere draft picks and maybe a prospect.
So why shouldn’t Don Sweeney inquire about Dillon’s services?
The B’s have been stymied by injuries throughout the course of the season, and adding Dillon could be exactly what they need to bring a Stanley Cup back to Boston.
The 29-year-old currently is playing on the Sharks top defensive pairing with Brent Burns and is holding his own in a surprisingly off-year in San Jose. The Sharks sit sixth in the Pacific Division and 11 points behind Arizona for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference, but Dillon’s contributions haven’t gone unnoticed.
He’s tallied one goal and 12 assists through 53 games played this season — which is equivalent to Zdeno Chara’s total and is more than the alternative in John Moore (three points), Steven Kampfer (two points) and Connor Clifton (two points). Those are pretty good offensive stats considering Dillon’s defensive first skillset.
Amidst all the Sharks’ struggles, they’ve played some of their best hockey when Dillion touches the ice this season. San Jose has a plus-38 advantage in shot attempts, a plus-15 in shots on goal, and a plus-16 in scoring chances during 5-on-5 play with Dillion on the ice. That alone should make Bruins’ fans want this guy on Boston’s blue line.
If that isn’t enough to convince you, though, let’s talk about something else for a moment. Many are relying on Kevan Miller to return from injury and be the same player he was after missing about a year of game action. He’s not going to be the same player, nor will he be up to speed in time for the Stanley Cup playoffs come April. Of course, Miller could slot back into the lineup if all else fails — if he’s healthy — but Moore, Clifton, Kampfer and even Jeremy Lauzon may get the nod before he does.
Yes, the Bruins missed Miller during their grueling series with the Blues in the Stanley Cup Final last season. His toughness and defensive awareness in even strength and the penalty kill would’ve helped the Bruins against a physical St. Louis squad. But at this point, he won’t be remotely the same player if or when he finally returns from injury.
Dillon could bring exactly what Miller once brought to this team, and if he only costs Boston a draft pick(s), then Sweeney would be crazy not to inquire about him. It’s not like the Bruins would be making a long-term commitment to Dillon, either, as he’s in the final year of his contract.
Why not take the gamble on Dillon? He could be the difference between a first-round exit and bringing the Stanley Cup coming back to Boston.
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