When July rolls around in the NHL, it feels like Christmas for hockey fans. That is the start of the NHL Free Agency period. Every summer, we see some amazing deals signed as well as some horrific signings. Today was day one of the NHL Free Agency Frenzy. One team, in particular, that was bound to make some noise was the Boston Bruins. As it turns out, Don Sweeney and the management staff had a very busy and productive day to start off the new calendar year for hockey.
The biggest needs for the Bruins were within the bottom six forwards, top-four defensemen, and goalie situation. Don Sweeney seems to have heard that loud and clear and addressed all those needs today. The Boston Bruins seem to know the window is closing on their core guys and seem to have stacked their lineup for one last shot over the next few years. Here is a recap of their day one production on the free-agent market.
In one of the more shocking signings, the Bruins signed forward Nick Foligno to a two-year contract. The contract will see Folignp get paid $3.8 million on average per season. Foligno is a fantastic addition to the Bruins. He is reliable, vocal, and not afraid to get in the dirty areas in front of the net. Foligno has spent his career playing for Ottawa, Columbus, and Toronto over his 13 year NHL career.
Last season with Columbus and Toronto, Foligno racked up seven goals and nine assists in 49 games played. A down year for Foligno, but he still is a fantastic hockey player. There is a reason he was the captain in Columbus before being shipped at the deadline this year. He is a leader and can bring some great experience to the bottom six.
Boston announces Nick Foligno 2 x $3.8M
— NHL News (@PuckReportNHL) July 28, 2021
This deal made too much sense. The Bruins got exposed in the playoffs for their defense getting pushed around. They needed to beef up on defense and that is what they did with this signing. Derek Forbort is 6’4 and 219 lbs of straight force. This guy is a lockdown defender who can really make a difference while on the ice. With the departure of Jeremy Lauzon to Seattle and Kevan Miller to retirement, this signing is huge.
A former first-round pick of the Los Angeles Kings, Forbort is not known for his offense. He is being brought in here to play solid defense and bring intensity to every shift. According to some people, most Bruins fans did not know who Forbort was until the Bruins signed him. That seems like a total lie and if he didn’t know who he was, you most certainly will when he takes the ice in October.
AAV $3 https://t.co/vofOXEJzry
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 28, 2021
This one is the one that started it all for the bottom six signings. Erik Haula has had a bumpy ride over the last couple of seasons. He was selected by Vegas in the expansion draft from the Minnesota Wild. After a solid two seasons there, he moved on to sign with Carolina. He was then shipped to Florida that same season in the Vincent Trocheck trade. He ended up on the Nashville Predators last season and now has found a home with the Boston Bruins.
Haula is a solid addition to the bottom six. His role will most likely be on the wing of Charlie Coyle on the third line. Last season with Nashville, Haula put up nine goals and twelve assists in 51 games played. Haula can bring a ton of energy to each shift he is out there and at $2.375 million for two seasons, this seems like a solid deal.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 28, 2021
This is a move I really like for the Bruins. With Sean Kuraly heading to Columbus on a four-year contract, this team needed help on the fourth line. Chris Wagner seems to be on his last step with Boston. That leaves Curtis Lazar and Trent Frederic as the two reliable options for the fourth line. That is why Tomas Nosek is a great fit.
His main area of playtime came at center for Vegas, but he seems to be reliable at almost any position. He is a great depth piece if Bruce Cassidy wants to shake up the lines or Sweeney pullls a trigger on a trade. Last season, in just 38 games, Nosek posted eight goals and ten assists while playing fourth-line minutes. He also seems to show up during the playoffs too. That is a huge plus when you come to play for the Bruins.
Tomas Nosek agrees to 2 years $3.5 deal with the Bruins. AAV $1.75 mil
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 28, 2021
This was probably the biggest need to be addressed today. Tuukka Rask will be out for 5-6 months after his hip surgery. It doesn’t change the fact the Bruins needed a goalie for this season. They addressed that perfectly as they signed former Sabres’ goaltender Linus Ullmark to a four-year contract with an average of $5 million per season.
This move takes a lot of pressure off of Bruins young goalie Jeremy Swayman. While Swayman has a lot of promise, he was not ready to take over as the number one goalie this season. Last year in Buffalo, Ullmark managed to post a 2.63 GAA and a .917 Save Percentage. Ullmark is a solid addition and with a solid team in front of him, he will excel. If this is the end of Tuukka Rask in Boston, it was a hell of a ride.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 28, 2021
Dan Vladar Traded to Calgary
This isn’t a signing, but it still is a major move. The Bruins and Flames made a trade that saw goalie Dan Vladar being shipped up north. The return for Vladar happened to be a third-round pick in 2022. Vladar would have had to go through waivers to get back to Providence. This move makes it so the Bruins could get something in return for his services rather than nothing.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) July 28, 2021
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