For those waiting for the other shoe to drop now that the Bruins dealt Dennis Wideman, a member of their top four on defense, to Florida for winger Nathan Horton, know that Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli isn’t in a panic trying to move a forward for blue-line help.
Post-Horton-trade rumors have connected the Bruins to Toronot’s Tomas Kaberle and other top-four defensemen. But Chiarelli, at least publicly, today said he’s looking to improve but isn’t desperate.
“I may not be done in fixing the defense, first and foremost,” he said during a conference call. “Secondly, the last two years we’ve had a tremendous goals-against (total) due to our goalies and due to our defensive play, which you’d obviously have to include the defensemen. I think we have a real good system installed and sometimes there’s this search of a puck-mover, sometimes there’s just not one out there, and one that’s a perfect fit. … If we add something, it may not be purely what you’re characterizing as a puck-mover, but it would add to that element.
“We’ve got a guy like Matt Hunwick, who turned the corner a bit at the end after some struggles. Andrew Ference played hurt; he moves the puck well. Dennis Seidenberg moves the puck well. And then our guys are well-coached. So they’re harder to find, but if I can’t find the perfect one, I think that we’ll be fine.”
Should the Bruins re-sign unrestricted free agent Johnny Boychuk and restricted free agent Mark Stuart, they’d be returning six of their seven main defensemen from a year ago. So improving might just mean adding a veteran seventh D in the Shane Hnidy mold in order to guard against an injury rash and provide competition for the likes of prospects Jeff Penner and Yuri Alexandrov.