It is no secret that the departure of Dougie Hamilton has left the Boston Bruins defense thinner than usual. However, I would argue that it was the trade early last season, that sent Johnny Boychuk to the New York Islanders, that has hurt, and continues to hurt, this Bruins’ defense even more. Considering what the Bruins need right now to strengthen their defense, I would, in a hertbeat, take back Johnny Boychuk before Dougie Hamilton.

With Johnny Boychuk, the Bruins had a right-handed shot defenseman who was very happy to be a Boston Bruin and very disappointed when former GM Peter Chiarelli let him go. He was only making $3, 366, 666 dollars in his final year and, although he would have gotten a raise from the Bruins, would not have gotten a contract as large as the one he received from the New York Islanders at $6 million dollars.
When he was traded to the New York Islanders, Johnny Boychuk’s role was astronomically larger than his role in Boston. His leadership and undeniable talent played a huge part in the New York Islanders making the playoffs last year. Imagine what he could have done in Boston. His Big Bad Bruin mentality was sorely missed last season along with his passion, work ethic, physicality, positive attitude and defensive awareness. This was a player who had it all and was such a nice fit in the Claude Julien system.

Hamilton, of course, had more potential and offensive upside than Boychuk, and still does now. However, when you think about how many other players in the Bruins organization have similar qualities (Torey Krug, Colin Miller, Joe Morrow), letting go of Hamilton, although difficult, left a void that the Bruins will be able to fill.
The void that Johnny Boychuk left wasn’t filled last year, which is a big reason why the Bruins missed the playoffs. That void, in my opinion, has still not been filled to this day. The Bruins defense is in desperate need of every characteristic that personifies Johnny Boychuk. It is a real shame that Boston was not able to keep this player during last year’s season because I believe that he would have been a very special part of this team for a very …Read More