After falling short in the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Boston Bruins are looking to improve their team this offseason. The team already had re-signed defenseman Brandon Carlo and forward Taylor Hall. But the team did not intend to stop there. When free agency started on July 28, Boston carved a big chunk out of the market.
Veteran Forward Additions
The Bruins added plenty of veteran experience on Wednesday. Easily the biggest name they signed was former Columbus Blue Jackets captain, Nick Foligno. Foligno had been traded to Toronto at the trade deadline but opted to sign in Boston this offseason. Foligno’s prime may be behind him, but a veteran presence like his in the locker room can boost a team.
Bruins also signed veteran forwards, Tomas Nosek and Erik Haula. Like Foligno, these two forwards were not brought in for superstar scoring, but for depth. Forward depth has been a long stadning Achille’s heal for the Bruins, and these signings hope to remedy that further. The Bruins did also sign Samuel Asselin and Steven Fogarty to small two year contracts (In Asselin’s case, it is an entry-level contract).
New Back Up For Boston’s Blue Line
The Bruins resigned one of their other 2021 trade deadline acquisitions on Wednesday. Defenseman Mike Reilly had played solidly in Boston, and the Bruins wanted him back for the tune of $3 million a year for 3 years. The Bruins also made sure to sign defenseman Tyler Lewington to a small two-way contract to give their defense some extra depth.
Their biggest defensive acquisition though was Derek Forbort. Forbort had played in all 56 games for the Winnipeg Jets and while not a flashy player he still did his job well on defense. The Bruins hope Forbort will provide some veteran incite similar to what they hope to get out of Foligno. Boston may have also opted to go for Forbort rather than Ryan Suter due to his younger age and slightly lower asking price. Either way, Forbort is a suitable substitute for Suter.
Moves In Net
The Bruins signed former Buffalo Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark to a $5 million for four years contract. Ullmark proved solid in net even while on the struggling Sabres. Ullmark is expected to take the role of starting goaltender in Boston for the time being. The Bruins most likely still want to give the young Jeremy Swayman some more time to develop his skills before he becomes their full time #1 goalie.
The Bruins also traded Dan Vladar to Calgary for a 3rd round pick in 2022. While Vladar had not really had much chance to prove himself in Boston, there really was no room for him. The young goalie could have spent more time in Providence, but the only way for him to have gotten sent down with his current contract was for Boston to put him on waivers. The Bruins most likely assumed that Vladar would have gotten claimed off waivers. So rather than doing that, Boston traded him to get something in return.
What About Some Familiar Faces?
Some notable absences from Boston’s list of moves were new contracts for both David Krejci and Tuukka Rask. As of now, signs are still pointing to returns for both of those players. However, nothing is set in stone yet. Tuukka is still recovering from surgery and Krejci is still considering his future. While it may be likely for both to return, it is also likely they’ve played their last hockey in Boston.
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