The Boston Bruins were active this week in free agency making a few depth signings but no big splashes. They added RW Brett Richie, G Maxim Lagace, C Par Lindholm, and C Brendan Gaunce. For now the Bruins will stand pat with those signings and will look to get their RFA’s locked into deals.
Ritchie is the most experienced signing and the most expensive at a whopping 1 million 1 year deal. Maybe the Bruins felt he could fill in on the second line? I really doubt that he’ll fix their winger issues but he’s worth a shot and he’ll be able to slot into the third or fourth lines when he’s needed. Ritchie has only mustered 33 goals in his career of 241 games so he’s not gonna be lighting the lamp on a regular basis. But he is a big power forward and is only 26 years old so he could still come out of his shell and produce or at least just add depth.
Maxim Lagace was added as an option in Providence for the Bruins and likely won’t see much if any NHL action. Lagace will get the opportunity to showcase himself in Providence and win the job away from Dan Vladar. Lagace’s opportunity comes after Zane McIntyre signed with the Vancouver Canucks. Lagace has had a solid AHL career with a 60-37-14 record and a 2.91 GAA with a 905 SV%. The two-way contract for him was only worth 700K.
In addition, they added Par Lindholm a left shot center who spent his last season with the Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs. Lindholm showcased some skill for a depth guy and posted 13 points in his 65 games. He was the only player who received a two year deal only at a cap hit of 850K. Lindholm is another guy who will fill in on the third and fourth lines but won’t really pack much of a punch offensively.
Lastly the Bruins added Brendan Gaunce on a one year deal worth 750K. Gaunce was a first round pick back in 2012 by the Canucks but could never find his game at the NHL level, he posted only 15 points in his 117 games. He has showcased talent at the aHL level though and maybe he’ll have better luck at the next level in Boston. He posted 38 points last year in the AHL level and added 3 points in his three NHL games too.
It’s pretty evident that all these signings were depth moves or simply buy low options. A pretty understandable strategy by the Bruins as they can’t afford to shell out big money to anybody right now they need to take care of their RFA’s first. They will try to fill their top line needs from within and hopefully somebody works out on that second line so Krejci and DeBrusk can avoid the revolving door of wingers they had last season. The Bruins are done for now in free agency unless they are able to unload a contract or two.
-Tyler Smith (@TylerSmith4386)