Bruins broadcaster Jack Edwards is like a lot of Bruins fans.
No, not because he really wants the Bruins to win. Well, not only that. But also because he’s worried what will happen when the Zdeno Chara era comes to a close in Boston.
“Chara is still an immense presence, especially in his own zone, but he’s going to be 39 [in March],” Edwards told Sportsnet in a lengthy interview. “He’s still an alpha dog, and he can carry this team for stretches, and maybe significant stretches – though we haven’t seen it since his PCL injury. Maybe he can for two or three years, but there’s no heir apparent.
“The D core is in a crisis right now as far as a mid- to long-term outlook. There’s no alpha dog on the way. Colin Miller is not going to be an alpha dog. He’ll be a top-four defenseman, no doubt, but right now he doesn’t look like a guy who’s going to turn into Duncan Keith.”
And, of course, the Bruins don’t have Dougie Hamilton anymore. He was supposed to be the “heir apparent,” but it didn’t work out that way.
Anyway, it’s a good interview. Give it a read if you’ve got the time.
The Bruins did draft a defenseman with one of their three first-round picks in June. Jakub Zboril went 13th overall. This season, he has a modest nine points in 20 games for the Saint John Sea Dogs. Boston also selected defensemen Brandon Carlo and Jeremy Lauzon 37th and 52nd overall, respectively.
But for now, those three are just prospects. They may pan out, they may not.
Remember, it’s a high bar for defensemen in Boston. The B’s have boasted the Norris Trophy winner 14 times since Bobby Orr won his first in 1967-68.
Edwards knows that. That’s why he’s calling it a “crisis” right now.
And he’s absolutely right.