With some uncertainty surrounding the state of the left side of their defense corps, the Bruins have shown some interest in defenseman Karl Alzner, reports Joe Haggerty of Boston Hockey Now. The 32-year-old was bought out of the final two years of his contract by Montreal earlier this month.
Alzner joined the Canadiens on an ill-fated five-year, $23.125MM contract back in 2017 after spending nine seasons with Washington. While he held down a regular spot on their back end in his first season, he cleared waivers multiple times since then and has spent the majority of the last two years in the minors with AHL Laval with only 13 NHL appearances in that span.
On the surface, it may seem odd that Boston may be interested in him but there could be a need for a veteran depth option. Zdeno Chara’s future with the Bruins is uncertain with his agent stating recently that all options (including ones outside of Boston) are being considered. Between that and the departure of Torey Krug off the left side, there are some holes to fill.
While Alzner certainly wouldn’t be able to step into one of those vacated spots, he’d at least serve as some veteran insurance in case prospects like Urho Vaakanainen and Jakub Zboril need more time at the minor league level. Plus, given the last couple of years he had, it shouldn’t cost more than the minimum salary of $700K (or a training camp PTO) to bring him in which wouldn’t impact their efforts to re-sign restricted free agents Jake DeBrusk and Matt Grzelcyk. It also wouldn’t affect any attempts to try to re-sign or replace Chara as with or without Alzner, GM Don Sweeney will still likely be looking to add a top-four option on that side in the coming weeks.