Lee Stempniak Making a Strong Case To Stick With Bruins

35 year-old Lee Stempniak is once again skating for the Bruins. Stempniak was a deadline acquisition for the Bruins in the 2015-16 season and produced well in a depth role with 10 points in his 19 games played. That Summer Stempniak wanted to stay with the Bruins but they were changing their system around after having failed to make the postseason two years straight. Stempniak signed a two year deal with the Hurricanes and fared well during his stay there.

The past two seasons in 129 games Stempniak racked up 49 points. For much of last season Stempniak was hurt so he only played 37 games at the NHL level. In the pre-season Stempniak is proving he is healthy and that he can mix with this young Bruins group as he’s played alongside Cehlarik and Frederic for most games. He’s been able to tally 5 points in his past two games so the chemistry is there. Stempniak can fill the void left by some of the departures of Bruins depth players such as Schaller, Nash and Wingels.

Financially this move is easy to make, most guys on PTO’s get one year deals and at veteran minimum ($650K). The Bruins have plenty of cap space and this move won’t impact any future deals they will need to make. It seems to be a low risk high reward option for the B’s. Stempniak’s presence will help show the younger B’s how to play 200 foot hockey and play with versatility. In addition he will push the younger guys to outwork him and break into the NHL lineup on a daily basis.

Nobody expects Stempniak to score 30 goals but his last full season in the NHL he was able to produce 40 points in a depth role, which is what he would have with the Bruins. The Bruins do seem content to let their young guys have chances to make the roster instead of awarding a veteran a contract but Stempniak’s experience is proving to be valuable and his play of late shows that he can still produce at the NHL level whether that’s with the Bruins’ or not is still up in the air. The Bruins open their season in just one week and the roster needs to be down to 23 players. They have to make at least 10 more cuts but might be able to give guys extended tryouts as they do have some injuries at the moment.


Written By Tyler Smith (@TylerSmith4386)

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