July 1 is a busy day for all 31 NHL clubs, and the Boston Bruins certainly were no exception.
The Bruins inked six free agents to deals Sunday afternoon, as well as signing second-round draft pick Axel Andersson to a three-year entry-level contract.
Let’s take a look at the Bruins’ new players.
— Jaroslav Halak, goaltender, two-year NHL deal worth $2.75 million annually
With Anton Khudobin now reportedly headed to the Lone Star State to join the Dallas Stars, the Bruins needed a backup for Tuukka Rask, and they made out quite well. The 33-year-old netminder most recently played for the New York Islanders, posting a 20-26-6 record with a 3.19 goals against average and .908 save percentage. That’s pretty respectable considering the team that was in front of him last season.
The Bruins will be Halak’s fifth team over his 12-year career. He won the Jennings Trophy after the 2011-12 season while with the St. Louis Blues, finishing sixth in Vezina Trophy voting that season.
— John Moore, defenseman, five-year NHL deal worth $2.75 million annually
In signing Moore, the Bruins mixed up the general makeup of their defense. Given the skill that the likes of Torey Krug and Matt Grzelcyk possess, adding Moore provides a needed bigger body on Boston’s defense. He slashed 7-11-18 in 81 games with the New Jersey Devils last season, posting Jersey’s fourth-highest time on ice.
In 447 regular season games over seven seasons with four teams, the 27-year-old has established himself as a solid skater who is a good puck mover that can run a power play. He’s never been afraid to use his body, but really ramped up his physicality with the Devils last season, registering 135 hits and 105 shot blocks.
— Joakim Nordstrom, forward, two-year NHL deal worth $1 million annually
With the Bruins losing Tim Schaller and Riley Nash to free agency, the bottom six forward group needed some reinforcement. They got that in Nordstrom, a Swedish forward who logged 75 games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season.
Nordstrom is more of a defensive threat than offensive, posting a 2-5-7 offensive line last season. He has shown flashes of scoring ability, however, slashing 10-14-24 in his first of three years with Carolina. The 26-year-old will enter his sixth NHL season in 2018, having played two years with the Chicago Blackhawks before his three seasons with the Canes.
— Chris Wagner, forward, two-year NHL deal worth $1.25 million annually
Another bottom six forward, Wagner played in 79 games last season between the Islanders and Anaheim Ducks. Though he slashed 7-9-16 between the two sides, he made his mark on the NHL with his body. The Walpole, Mass. native was third in the NHL in hits last season with 253 hits.
The Bruins will be Wagner’s fourth NHL team.
— Cody Goloubef, defenseman, one-year, two-way deal worth $650 thousand at NHL level
Goloubef spent the entirety of the 2017-18 season in the AHL, but that partly was by personal choice so he could skate for Team Canada in the 2018 Winter Olympics. A second-round pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2008, the 28-year-old has skated in 129 NHL games, most of which with the Blue Jackets.
The most time Goloubef spent in the top flight was 43 in the 2015-16 season, in which he recorded a 1-7-8 line.
— Mark McNeill, forward, one-year, two-way deal worth $650 thousand at NHL level
The winger has spent the majority of his career in the minors, skating in just two NHL games since being selected in the first round of the 2011 draft by the Blackhawks.
Between the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals and Texas Stars last season, he tallied a 13-11-25 line in 49 games. He was an AHL All-Star during the 2014-15 campaign, finishing that year with 23 goals, 21 assists and 44 points over 63 games.
Who knows if the Bruins have any more moves planned before we reach the start of training camp, but either way there was far from a lack of activity upon the opening of free agency.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
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