A mere six games into the season Adam McQuaid blocked a shot that ended up breaking his leg. The timeline for his return was 6-8 weeks, and sure enough here we sit with McQuaid just about ready to get back on the ice. But even though McQuaid is ready to return to the lineup Cassidy has chosen to leave him out of the lineup. So with the decision coming to a head what should the Bruins do with Adam McQuaid?
The foundation of the Bruins this season is the promise of the young prospects up and down the roster. This season has been a huge step forward towards the future so far. However bringing Adam McQuaid back and playing him over a younger, more mistake prone, but also more talented defenseman, contradicts the entire theme of the season. Especially considering McQuaid would either take the place of Brandon Carlo or Matt Grzelyck, both of whom look like they are the future. Grzelyck has been a genuine difference maker on this team during his time with the big club. Since Cassidy inserted Grzelyck into the lineup the Bruins have been otherworldly, going 13-3-2.
While Cassidy has made the transition into the NHL easier for Grzelyck by not playing him in high pressure minutes. He has still shown exceptional skill and awareness in the minutes he has gotten. Grzelyck’s performance alone should be enough to keep McQuaid on the shelf for the rest of the season. Mainly because the next time the Bruins win a Stanley Cup Adam McQuaid will not be a factor in it.
The biggest asset of McQuaid’s game is his toughness and grit. But even that has lost its value to the Bruins with Kevin Miller on the roster. Miller has been playing exceptional hockey since be moved to the right side paired with Matt Grzelyck. Being his natural side, Miller is able to do much more offensively from the right side of the ice. Miller is able to use his pure strength to fight defenders off the puck and barrel through the neutral zone to add another element to the Bruins’ offense. On top of that Miller has shown time and time again he can drop the gloves with anyone in hockey.
At this point Miller is practically a more offensive and reliable Adam McQuaid. That leaves the veteran enforcer on the outside looking in for a top six defenseman spot on this team. The move is to obviously send Paul Postma to the AHL and keep McQuaid as a solid seventh defenseman heading into the new year. The only question is if McQuaid will be willing to sit on the bench in a backup role.