The Boston Bruins are still without top two right-handed defensemen Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo as both restricted free agents remain unsigned. However, there is no reason for the Bruins to panic about that.
The Bruins already have some experience with such case. Just remember the David Pastrnak contract, which the Bruins signed only a few days before the regular season in 2017 began. Interestingly, David Pastrnak opened the scoring that night in October 2017. Then it was Charlie McAvoy scoring his first NHL goal in his top-tier debut.
Two years later, it can be McAvoy in a very similar, almost identical, situation as his fellow Czech teammate. The same applies to Carlo, of course.
Lately, there has been a rumor generated by the bostonhockeynow.com website, that the Bruins consider bringing an unrestricted free agent defenseman on the PTO for the Training Camp. The player in question is Alex Petrovic. The 27-year-old blueliner has had a strong career with the Florida Panthers. Notwithstanding, during the last season he appeared in only 26 games with the Panthers before shipping off to Edmonton. There he played another nine games. He managed to only collect two assists last season.
Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo might start the season in front of their TV screens. They are expected to be the top two right-handed defensemen for years to come in Boston. Additionally, Kevan Miller and John Moore are also expected to begin the regular season on the shelf with injuries. Miller might be closer to a comeback than Moore, but probably not in time for the opening night game in Dallas, which is on Oct. 3.
Without McAvoy, Carlo, and Miller, the Bruins have only two right-handed defensemen—Steven Kampfer and Connor Clifton. There might be a chance opening for Jeremy Lauzon from the AHL. However, that’s not good enough. Actually, bringing a defenseman like Petrovic, who is a righty, on a PTO, makes a lot of sense, in case of emergency, of course.
Even if the Bruins sign him on an NHL minimum salary, when not needed anymore, they can bury his contract in Providence in the AHL and pretend as nothing happened. Whether that’s a one-way deal for under $1 million or it’s even a two-way deal, the final salary cap wouldn’t be affected.
The priority is now clear, sign both McAvoy and Carlo. Preferably with the deadline for it being two weeks before the regular season starts. But if not, there might be a cheap and short-term solution the Boston Bruins may be exploring at this moment.