Bruins sign former BC captain Tommy Cross

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Bruins sign former BC captain Tommy Cross

Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today that the team signed Boston College defenseman Tommy Cross to an entry-level contract. Cross is expected to make his Providence Bruins debut on Friday.

Cross, 22, captained Boston College to the 2012 NCAA National Championship this season and set career highs in games played (44), assists (19) points (24) and penalty minutes (66) during the regular season. Cross was also part of the BC team that won the 2010 title.

The 6-foot-3, 215 pound native of Simsbury, CT was originally drafted by the Bruins in the second round (35th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. He participated in all five of the Bruins Summer Development Camps dating back to 2007.

Chris Kreider, another member of this year's National Championship team, signed with the New York Rangers on Tuesday and will report immediately to the team.

Ehrhoff signs a PTO with the B's after World Cup

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Ehrhoff signs a PTO with the B's after World Cup

The Bruins will add another veteran defenseman to their training camp group fresh off the World Cup of Hockey as German D-man Christian Ehrhoff is headed to Boston on a PTO (professional tryout agreement). CSN has confirmed that Ehrhoff has indeed agreed to a PTO with the Bruins, and he'll report to the team sometime this weekend.

The 34-year-old Ehrhoff had three assists in six World Cup games for Team Europe, and had two goals and 10 points in 48 games for the Los Angeles Kings and Chicago Blackhawks last season while clearly starting to slow down a bit. He’s clearly no longer the player that averaged 14 goals and 47 points for the Vancouver Canucks from 2009-2011, and is another left-shot defenseman to add to a team that already has Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug.

But it behooved the Bruins to bring in at least one “name” veteran D-man on a tryout basis during this training camp with so many needs for upgrades on the back end, and with a host of young players that might not be ready for prime time. This might also be a warning sign for young veteran Joe Morrow, a left shot D-man that has struggled a bit in training camp after coming off an erratic first full season at the NHL level.

Clearly the Bruins need more than Ehrhoff, however, even if he’s somehow re-energized with the Bruins after playing pretty well in the World Cup. The Kings were down enough on his game to put him through waivers last season, but he was a top-4 defenseman for the previous eight seasons for San Jose, Vancouver, Buffalo and Pittsburgh prior to getting bounced around between the Kings and Blackhawks last season.

The added bonus with taking a look at Ehrhoff is that there’s no risk associated with a PTO, and the Bruins can simply walk away with no cost if the B’s coaching staff decides he’s not a good fit for the group in Boston. On the other hand, bringing in a Kris Russell-type would cost a great deal in terms of money and term in a free agent contract, and it might not benefit the Black and Gold club in the end result.