By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Boston Bruins may not be done adding to their defense corps, as the team continues to be linked to Florida Panthers defenseman and current restricted free agent MacKenzie Weegar.
Word of the B's interest in Weegar was first reported by Boston Hockey Now's Jimmy Murphy, and backed up by additional reports from Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman and The Fourth Period's David Pagnotta.
In need of a new contract after playing 2019-20 with a $1.6 million cap hit, and contributing seven goals and 18 points in 45 games for the Panthers, Weegar's talks with the Panthers are indeed ongoing, according to Pagnotta. But if a deal cannot be reached, it's believed that the Bruins are among the teams lurking in the shadows to pull the trigger on a potential deal.
A 6-foot, 200-pound defender, Weegar was second among Panther defensemen in points per 60 minutes of even-strength play last season, at 1.34. Weegar also brought the jam, too, with a defense-leading 5.42 hits and 4.45 blocks per 60 minutes of even-strength play. In fact, among all 148 NHL defensemen with at least 800 even-strength minutes last season, Weegar's 5.42 hits ranked as the 38th-most, while those 4.45 blocks were the 39th-most.
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A little bit of offense and a little bit of nasty? The right-shot Weegar seems to check the boxes in terms of what the Bruins are looking for, especially given the uncertainty that will undoubtedly circle the re-signed Kevan Miller until he's actually on the ice.
But working a trade with an in-division foe is never easy (the Panthers are now run by Bill Zito, too, the former Columbus assistant general manager and ex-agent of Tuukka Rask and Tim Thomas) and the Bruins certainly have the numbers on defense. The Bruins have also been largely unable to close the deal on recent trade talks and free agent endeavors, too.
Nevertheless, it's just another name to watch as the Bruins continue to build their 2020-21 look.