The Boston Bruins signed Matt Fraser today to a one year two way contract, amount undisclosed. In my opinion filling one of the vacant forward positions up for grabs this year. The Bruins also signed defenseman Steve Eminger to an AHL contract for one year to bring veteran depth to Providence and in case of a rash of injuries as insurance. The Bruins also invited forward Ville Leino formerly of the Sabres to a professional try out during camp, possibly to create competion for the fourth line wing spot.
It seems competition for spots will be ramped up during pre-season camp and possibly as many as six spots in the forward ranks could be available. Fraser at 24 years old is 6'0", 185 lbs and has scored 90 goals over the last three seasons in the AHL for three different teams. I think this could be his year and he will be remembered for scoring the overtime goal against Montreal in game four. It was reported after the Bruins were eliminated that he had a small fracture in his left foot and he has been cleared to play and skate. He also scored 4 goals and had three assists for the P-Bruins in 9 playoff games. Leino is a 30 years old and 6'0", 190 lbs forward and is best know for his over valued contract with the Sabres and being bought out this summer. He has played in Detroit, Buffalo and Philadelphia over his career and was signed by Buffalo with the idea he would be a top six forward. The fit was never good and he has never caught fire offensively, much like Daniel Paille, but as a bottom six forward with penalty kill skills he could find a role on the fourth line and would be in line for a league minimum $850 thousand contract if he signs with the Bruins. Eminger is a 30 year old, 6'1" 205 lb defenseman that has been a journeyman around the league and played last season in the AHL and KHL after kicking around for 9 seasons mostly in Washington and NY with the Rangers.
That still leaves Torey Krug and Reilly Smith unsigned and should they not be signed by the start of camp on September 18th, they would be the first two players to hold out in the Peter Chiarelli era as GM of the Bruins. With the current roster, the Bruins have something under $3 million dollars available and may have to move someone to fit one or both of these players into the lineup.
In other news, the Captains practices continued and today saw the arrival of Fraser, Eminger and Carl Soderberg to the Rusticcia Arena today. The ice in Wilmington is filling up and I'm starting to feel the MADNESS!!!
Until Next Time!