Ryan Suter isn't the best defenseman available in NHL free agency -- that's Dougie Hamilton -- but he's still one of the top options for Stanley Cup contenders looking to add a two-way player to their blue line.
The 36-year-old Suter was bought out by the Minnesota Wild earlier this month and can sign with any team when the free agent market officially opens Wednesday, July 28.
So, what's the latest on the veteran defenseman's situation?
Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet wrote Thursday night that "Ryan Suter is a popular man. Possible he makes his decision by Monday. Among interested parties: Boston, Colorado, Dallas, Florida and the Islanders."
Those are five playoff-caliber teams that could really use a top-four defenseman of Suter's caliber.
From the Bruins' perspective, he would satisfy their need for a left-shooting defenseman on the second pairing next to Brandon Carlo. Suter is capable of playing more than 20 minutes per game against the opponents' top-six forwards and contributing to special teams. He also has loads of experience and would bring much-needed size and strength to Boston's blue line.
If the Bruins are unable to sign Suter, the trade market might be their best option for finding another top-four defenseman. Someone like Mattias Ekholm of the Nashville Predators would be a good player to target.
The Bruins have around $26 million in salary cap space right now, per CapFriendly, but $6 million of that could go to Taylor Hall's next contract. Boston also is extending qualifying offers to restricted free agents Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase. Second-line center David Krejci needs to be re-signed, and maybe defenseman Mike Reilly as well. A veteran goaltender is another roster need for the B's.
The B's have the cap room to make a run at Suter, but they can't go too crazy on price because there are several other positions to address before the 2021-22 season begins.