The Boston Bruins certainly have a difficult decision to make in regards to injured defenseman Adam McQuaid, and this decision needs to come sooner rather than later.
McQuaid, 27, has not played poorly in the brief showing for the Black and Gold this season. He has one goal and five assists to accompany his plus-12 rating in 30 games for the Bruins in 2013-14.
He has not played since January 19 due to a strained quad. When it looked like that optimism struck, he suffered two setbacks. At that point, it was out of his hands. The team had no choice to shut him down for two-to-three weeks to try and heal his ailment. We will be approaching the three-week mark this coming Thursday.
Although it would be a huge boost to the defensive core, given his size and strength along the boards and in open ice, the B’s will not miss McQuaid.
Do you know what the most revealing part of that statement is? Fans and management will agree when they take some time to think about the situation.
Ever since McQuaid played his last game on the 19 of January, the Bruins have gone 19-2-2, including their current 12-game winning streak that they initiated this past month.
That is not to say that the team can play well without him. In fact, many folks were questioning the depth and the ability on the blue line after the loss of Dennis Seidenberg. As it turns out, the likes of Kevan Miller and Matt Bartkowski have stepped in and played sensational.
Yes, the young defensemen have played well in his absence. However, the two have indeed become mutually exclusive; McQuaid is expendable.
Miller has only three points in the last two months of play, while Bartkowski has posted seven. Let’s be honest, McQuaid never posted Hart Trophy-esque numbers to begin with. It has just come to a point where the Bruins have to look at McQuaid and wonder if he is worth putting up with all of these recent injuries.
He has one more year left on his current deal. He is set to make $1.8 million at the end of next year. The offseason would be a great time to try and trade him. The Bruins now have proved that they have young depth within the organization to fill his role. With Andrej Meszaros filling in for the short term and Seidenberg set to return next season (with the slimmest chance of him coming back for a deep postseason run this year, according to sources), there really is no place for him.
The best of both worlds could happen here. He could be declared fully healthy within the coming days and play in the playoffs. That would be the perfect time to showcase him to some teams who would be willing to take a chance on him in future seasons.
McQuaid has been a great Bruin thus far, but all great things must come to an end. This would be the perfect to time to cut ties. As difficult as that is to say, it has become a reality.
Let’s wish him a speedy recovery and hope that he returns to the ice for Boston soon, but management should monitor this situation closely.