Bruins recall veteran defenseman from conditioning loan

The Bruins have recalled veteran defenseman Derek Forbort from his LTI conditioning loan to AHL Providence, per the minor league’s transactions log. Boston hasn’t yet taken Forbort off long-term injured reserve, but after he played in two games with the P-Bruins without incident, they likely will ahead of Monday’s Game 2 against the Maple Leafs.

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That’s not necessarily an indication that he’ll return to the lineup, though – Boston has gotten good advanced results from their current bottom-pairing rotation of Andrew PeekeKevin Shattenkirk and Parker Wotherspoon since the trade deadline. Forbort’s season has been marred by a lingering lower-body injury which has kept him out of the NHL lineup since March 2. He was limited to four assists in 35 games throughout the campaign, his lowest total since the 2019-20 season.

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Forbort largely provided decent value for the Bruins across the first two seasons of his three-year, $9M contract, though. A competent penalty killer, Forbort totaled 26 points and a +14 rating in 130 games for Boston between 2021-22 and 2022-23 while averaging nearly 18 minutes per game. His possession metrics were okay, given his shutdown role at even strength, especially in his inaugural season.

That continued in 2023-24. He didn’t control raw shot attempts at 5-on-5, logging a 45.0 CF%, but managed to limit the quality of chances against quite well with a 52.7 xGF%, per Natural Stat Trick. If his services are needed during the postseason, there are certainly worse options to toss into a playoff lineup.

With the emergence of the younger Wotherspoon and the acquisition of Peeke, though, Forbort will likely head to the open market in a few months. The 32-year-old pending UFA has nine years and 496 games of NHL experience with the Bruins, Flames, Jets and Kings.

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