Boston Bruins Team Report
By Neil Becker
Boston Bruins fans had reason to rejoice when in late July management re-signed former MVP Taylor Hall to a lucrative four-year deal worth $24 million.
This 29 year old left-winger, who was drafted 1st. overall by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, was on the eve of last season’s trading deadline, dealt from the Buffalo Sabres to the Bruins. Showcasing his offensive flair, Hull finished the year by scoring eight goals along with 14 points in 16 regular-season games played with the Boston Bruins. In his career, Hull has played 680 games and scored 228 goals along with 596 career points.
Looking to add some more grit and character, the Bruins on July 28th, inked veteran free agent left-winger Nick Foligno to a two-year contract worth $7.6 million. Foligno, who is 33 years old, is a former 2006 28th overall NHL draft pick of the Ottawa Senators. Last season, playing in what was the final year of his contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Foligno scored seven goals and 16 points in 42 games before getting traded on April 11, 2021, to the Toronto Maple Leafs. With the Leafs, Foligno tallied four assists in only 7 regular-season games. In his career, Foligno has played 957 career games and has scored 203 goals and 486 points.
Showing more aggressiveness, Boston also went out and signed 30 year old free agent left winger Erik Haula to a two-year $4.75 million dollar contract. Haula is coming off a season that saw him play 51 games with the Nashville Predators where he went on to score 9 goals and 21 points. His best season came during 2017-2018 when playing for the Vegas Golden Knights, he produced 29 goals and 55 points.
Another forward committing this off-season to the Boston Bruins is 29 year old left-winger Tomas Nosek. In late July, this veteran who for the past four seasons had been a fixture with the Golden Knights, has agreed to a two-year contract worth $3.5 million. Last year, Nosek produced 8 goals and 18 points in 38 games for Vegas.
Meanwhile, in late July the Bruins also signed young up-and-coming prospect Samuel Asselin to a two-year entry-level contract. This 23 year old centerman who stands at 5’9” and 180 pounds, produced eight goals along with 16 points in only 16 games with the Providence Bruins.
Boston also went out and inked another centerman in 28 year old Steven Fogarty who played 16 games for the AHL’s Rochester Americans along with nine for the Buffalo Sabres. Fogarty signed what was a one-year two-way contract.
Among the departing forwards included popular centerman David Krejci who was originally drafted 63rd overall in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. Krejci, who made his NHL debut on January 30, 2007, went on to play 962 career games while producing 215 goals along with 730 points. Following 15 seasons, the 35 year old has signed a one-year contract to play in the Czech Republic league.
Also leaving the Boston Bruins is gritty veteran forward Nick Ritchie who signed a two-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ritchie, who is 25 years old, scored 15 goals and 26 points over 56 games played.
In early July, Boston also gave forwards Cameron Hughes and Joona Koppanen both a one-year two-way contract extension.
Veteran backup goalie Jaroslav Halak, who played the past three seasons in Beantown was this off-season an unrestricted free agent who inked a one-year deal with the Vancouver Canucks for $1,500,000. The 36 year old is coming off a season that saw him go 9-6-4 with a 2.53 GAA.
Taking Halak’s place will be former Buffalo Sabres goalie Linus Ullmark who in July signed a four-year deal worth $20 million. Last year, he finished with a 9-6-3 record and a 2.63 GAA.
A third goalie to sign was Troy Grosenick who inked a one-year two-way contract.
On defence, the reliable Kevan Miller decided to retire following a seven-year career.
Other in-house moves included management going ahead and giving star defenceman Brandon Carlo to a six-year contract extension for $24.6 million dollars. Carlo, who is only 24 years old, played only 27 games last year and scored three goals and four points.
The Boston Bruins also re-signed defenceman Nick Wolff to a one-year two-way contract. Also joining the Bruins blueline is Unrestricted Free Agents Derek Forbort and Mike Reiilly who both agreed to three-year contracts.
Boston, whose starting goalie, Tukka Rask is on the shelf until around Christmas due to hip surgery, should once again this spring be a playoff threat. Core players are getting older, but are still a Stanley Cup contender.
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