The Boston Bruins need help on the blue line, and without many quality options left in NHL free agency, the trade market is the best place to find a defenseman.
One potential target for the Bruins is Florida Panthers defenseman MacKenzie Weegar. He's currently a restricted free agent.
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, in his latest 31 Thoughts column, listed several teams that have "checked in" on Weegar, and the Bruins were included. He also listed the Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets.
Weegar tallied a career-high 18 points (seven goals, 11 assists) in 45 games for the Panthers last season. He also brings a physical edge to the ice and won't shy away from dropping the gloves for a fight if needed. Weegar was a seventh-round draft pick of the Panthers in 2013 and made his NHL debut in 2016.
The Bruins lost top-four defenseman Torey Krug in free agency when he signed a seven-year, $45.5 million contract with the St. Louis Blues. Weegar is not the same caliber defenseman as Krug, especially in regards to the power play, but acquiring him would add much-needed depth to Boston's blue line.
The B's have yet to add any defensemen from outside the organization since the start of free agency last Friday. The only blue line moves made so far have been re-signing Kevan Miller and Jakub Zboril to one-year contracts.
The B's have around $11 million in salary cap space and still must determine whether to re-sign a few of their own free agents, most notably left winger Jake DeBrusk and defensemen Zdeno Chara and Matt Grzelcyk. Grzelcyk has filed for salary arbitration, the NHLPA confirmed, although it's possible both sides could reach an agreement before the date of his hearing.