Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said prior to the opening of NHL free agency that he’d be addressing the organizational depth on the right side of his defense. Sweeney followed through on Saturday by signing veteran D-man Paul Postma, 28, to a one-year $725,000 contract, according to TSN Insider Bob McKenzie.
Defenceman Paul Postma going to BOS. One year, $725K.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 1, 2017
“You have to look at – again, injuries happen and depth and where you are in the organization,” Sweeney said when asked at his Friday availability if he’d be looking to sign a right-shot D-man. “We do not, outside of the four players that exist on our current roster, we do not have another right shot defenseman under contract.
“So yeah, we do. We have to, we have to look for – do we feel that we have players on the left side that can go over and play on the right? Yeah, we do. Several of them will, and prefer it as a matter of fact. But, overall, you’d like to continue to maintain balance there.”
As Sweeney referenced, he’s got a bit of a surplus with Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, Brandon Carlo and Charlie McAvoy all ready to go as right-shot defensemen. But the overwhelming abundance of AHL prospects, including Robbie O’Gara, Matt Grzelcyk, Jeremy Lauzon and Jakob Zboril, are all left-handed defensemen. That means the Bruins needed to shore up that situation before training camp arrives.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Postma played a career-high 65 games for the Winnipeg Jets last season with one goal and 14 points. He's played a total of 100 NHL games for the Jets the past six seasons. Clearly, Postma has shown some ability to play in the NHL but the expectation is that he’ll be playing a seventh defensemen role in Boston given the six established players already on the back end.
This might also mean that the Bruins won't be getting a left-shot D-man during in the free agency period and will instead go into the season with the seven established players they currently have signed on the back end. That would mean either Torey Krug or Miller (swinging to the left side from his natural right side) could be playing top-four minutes again for the B's to start next season.