Bruins Busy In Free Agency, But Miss Out On John Tavares
The Boston Bruins did not land superstar center John Tavares, but the B's made several signings in free agency, including the acquisitions of a pair of forwards and a new backup goalie.
The Bruins came up short in the John Tavares sweepstakes, as the top prize in the 2018 NHL free agent class agreed to a seven-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The deal's average annual value is $11 million.
Tavares improves a Toronto team that took the Bruins to a game 7 in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals last season.
The Bruins will also have to contend with the Tampa Bay Lightning next season, a team that re-signed Ryan McDonough to a long-term deal and should return with a mostly intact roster after eliminating the Bruins in five games during the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Boston will have to compete with those teams without center Riley Nash and forward Tim Schaller.
Nash signed a deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets, a three-year pact with an average annual value of $2.75 million, while Schaller agreed to a two-year, $3.8 million contract with the Canucks.
Helping replace the production of Nash and Schaller will be forwards Joakim Nordstrom and Chris Wagner.
The Bruins signed Nordstrom to a two-year deal with an average annual value of $1 million. In 75 games with the Hurricanes, Nordstrom scored two goals and posted seven points while averaging 10:34 of ice time. Nordstrom, 26, is a versatile skater who can play center and wing.
Wagner agreed to a two-year contract at $1.25 million per year. Wagner played a combined 79 games for the Ducks and Islanders last season, posting seven goals and 16 points. The 27-year-old Wagner is a versatile forward as well, as he could play either center or wing for the Bruins.
Boston will enter next season with a new backup goalie, Jarsolav Halak, who agreed to two-year, $2.75 million deal.
Halak will replace Anton Khudobin, who signed a two-year deal with the Dallas Stars.
The 33-year-old Halak appeared in 54 games and made 49 starts for the Islanders last season. He posted a record of 20-26-6 with a 3.19 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage.
The Bruins also signed defenseman John Moore, who inked a five-year deal with an average annual value of $2.75 million.
Moore appeared in 81 games with the New Jersey Devils last season, scoring seven goals and posting 18 points while averaging 20:01 of ice time.