Hand up if you had Nick Foligno as a potential Boston Bruins target ahead of free agency? No one?
In an interesting move, the Bruins managed to sign the longtime Columbus Blue Jackets captain, who is most recently was with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The deal is not official yet, but Foligno appeared on TSN and confirmed he was heading to Boston.
Foligno is a left winger, an area the Bruins now have a huge surplus of. The Bruins reportedly also added Erik Haula and Tomas Nosek, meaning those three, Jake DeBrusk, Taylor Hall, Brad Marchand, Trent Frederic and Anton Blidh are among the left shots the Bruins now have on the wing. Marchand and Hall are locked into their roles, leaving at least six guys competing for two spots.
Hey, it’s always great to have depth, but such a surplus seems to indicate the Bruins might not be done swinging moves.
Foligno himself figures to be a seamless fit into a Bruins team well-regarded for its leadership core. His best days of hockey are behind him, but he’s still a 30-plus-point player in an average season, which is something the Bruins undoubtedly would benefit from.
It’s unlikely he’d find himself in a top-six role, so the most likely fit is Foligno becoming a third-line left winger for the Bruins. That does raise the question of where the other pieces would fit, as someone is all but certainly playing on their off side unless the Bruins went with a Foligno-Haula-Charlie Coyle third line.
When Haula, Nosek and Derek Forbort were signed, it was easy to peg how the Bruins envisioned using them, much like last season when they added Craig Smith. It’s a little bit more difficult to put the pieces together now that Foligno is in the fold.
However, the Bruins’ bottom six too often has stagnated in the postseason the last two years. It sure seems like Don Sweeney is doing his part to make sure that doesn’t happen again.