Matt Beleskey: The Failed Experiment

Another week down, another frustrating week it was for the Boston Bruins.

After back-to-back losses to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday and Saturday night, the team traveled to the west coast without Brad Marchand and Anders Bjork – both who will not play against the Ducks and Kings, according to head coach Bruce Cassidy.

However, David Krejci, who has been out with injury, did travel with the team and has full intention to play at some point this week.

As it stands, the Bruins are in sixth place in the Atlantic Division and have yet to win against an Eastern Conference team. They’re 0-3-3 when playing teams in their conference and just don’t seem to be clicking on the ice.

I’ve said it before: this team looks lazy and as if they have zero urgency. They had a 5-on-3 against the Leafs for over a minute and had one, ONE shot on goal. One single shot. That is absolutely terrible for a team to have a two-man advantage and not be able to get more than one shot on net.

I know this team needs to rebuild with the young talent they have. David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy will be absolute studs that this team should absolutely build around. But to add to this frustration is the failed experiment of Matt Beleskey.

Beleskey signed a five-year deal in 2015 worth $19 million. He scored 22 goals for the Anaheim Ducks the season before he signed with Boston. Those 22 goals came in 65 games and on 145 shots – which earned him quite the payday from the black and gold.

His first season wasn’t all that bad – 19 goals, 22 assists with 260 hits and a plus-six rating through 80 games. However, Beleskey served as a third-line winger when he was initially brought in to replace Milan Lucic.

Then there was last season. Beleskey had a season filled with injuries, including a knee injury he suffered in December that left him sidelined for six weeks. He played just 49 games, with an abysmal three goals, five assists and a minus-10 rating.

Despite optimism surrounding him, Beleskey has not looked good this season either. In nine games, he has zero goals and assists, 13 shots on goal and a minus-13 rating. He’s also been a healthy scratch four separate times this season.

On top of having less-than-spectacular numbers so far this season, he is also the biggest cap hit on the Bruins while being the ninth-highest paid player on the team. His $3.8 million hit represents five percent of the salary cap for Boston – and he has spent four games watching his team from above the ice.

Boston has a few different options when it comes to Beleskey. They can obviously keep him on their roster while he continues to perform poorly or they can place him on waivers. If he’s claimed, his contract and poor play is no longer an issue for the B’s.

However, if he goes unclaimed, Beleskey could be sent to Providence where he can work on his game – which may not be a bad thing for him. Maybe playing more minutes and getting his confidence is up what he needs.

Or maybe he just needs a change of scenery completely. Or maybe he is indeed just a bust and quite possibly the worst free agent signing in recent history.

One thing that’s for certain as of now: the Matt Beleskey experiment is as disappointing as this team has been this season.  

Written by: Lauren Campbell (@lalalalaurrrren)

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