Brian McGrattan Assigned to Providence After Clearing Waivers

WILMINGTON, Mass. — While the Bruins practiced at Ristuccia Arena in preparation for Wednesday's matchup with the Penguins in Pittsburgh, one player learned that he will remain with the organization, though not with the team.

Forward Brian McGrattan cleared waivers on Tuesday, as he went unclaimed by any other team in the league after the Bruins made him available on Monday. He has been assigned to Boston's American Hockey League affiliate in Providence.

It's a bit ironic that McGrattan will be heading to Providence on the same day that the Bruins are leaving for Pittsburgh, where they will take on Matt Cooke and Co. for the first time this season. The last time the Bruins played in Pittsburgh, Cooke delivered a vicious blind-side head shot to Marc Savard late in the third period.

Savard remains sidelined with post-concussion syndrome symptoms, and the Bruins were roundly criticized for their lack of response to the hit, both immediately that night in Pittsburgh and in the disappointing "revenge game" at the Garden on March 18.

McGrattan, 29, one of the league's elite heavyweight enforcers, was invited to camp and eventually signed to a one-year contract in part to provide a deterrent against further cheap shots like that, or at least to give the Bruins a weapon at their disposal to unleash for retribution against any such transgressions.

But McGrattan did not dress in any of the Bruins' first 11 games this season, and management is comfortable in the toughness already in place, with the likes of Shawn Thornton, Milan Lucic, Mark Stuart, Adam McQuaid and Greg Campbell, who have each already dropped the gloves this season.

McGrattan is on a two-way contract, earning $515,000 at the NHL level and $105,000 in the AHL, which leaves him under the threshold to be subject to re-entry waivers. The Bruins can therefore recall him if the need arises without fear of another club claiming him and sticking the Bruins with half of his NHL cap hit for the remainder of the season.

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