The Bruins have signed a veteran forward to help their front line depth, but its not a name anybody might have been expecting.
The Bruins now have some good size and grittiness depth and will boast all the Slap Shot stories they can entertain during training camp as theyve signed former University of Notre Dame forward Christian Hanson. Hanson was inked to a one-year, two-way deal and is also famously known as the son of Dave Hanson, one of the famous bespectacled Hanson Brothers from the cult hockey film Slap Shot".
Hanson spent last season in the Washington Capitals organization with the Hershey Bears, but had his best season came two years ago with the Toronto Marlies and Maple Leafs as a big bottom-six forward. Hanson had 34 points and 51 penalty minutes for the Marlies while getting into six games for the Leafs.
Hes got ideal size for a third or fourth line role and will be a valued performer in the AHL, but doesnt have top end skating ability and isnt considered a pro hockey fighter despite his lineage with the bloodthirsty Hanson Brothers characters from the movies.
Hanson isnt expected to make the Bruins out of training camp unless injuries hit the hockey club, but the big club wouldnt be afraid to call on him in a pinch.
The 6-foot-4, 228-pound center put up 10 goals and 21 points along with 42 penalty minutes in 52 games for Hershey. In total, Hanson has played in 42 NHL games with three goals, nine points and 22 penalty minutes after a career at Notre Dame that saw him make the Second Team NCAA All-Star team in 2009. The big pivot was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Leafs following his collegiate career.
Hansons contract will be for 600,000 at the NHL level and 105,000 at the AHL level for the Providence Bruins.
The Bruins took care of their biggest priority today as they reached agreement with Brad Marchand on an eight-year contract extension, according to several reports.
PROFILE: Joe Haggerty's preseason look at Brad Marchand
Elliotte Friedman reports Marchand has agreed to an eight year, $49 million extension ($6.125 million per season) that will effectively allow him to finish his career in Boston.
It was felt the Bruins would have been playing with fire if they allowed Marchand -- a 37-goal scorer last year -- to start the season unsigned, especially after he ripped up the World Cup of Hockey competition on a line with Patrice Bergeron and Sidney Crosby. Bruins president Cam Neely told CSN a couple of weeks ago that Boston was aiming to get the deal done with Marchand prior to the start of the regular season. In fact, they managed to get it done before the start of even the preseason.
Marchand has consistently said that he wants to finish out his career with the Bruins, who drafted and developed him and with whom he turned into an elite player in the last couple of years. He’s clearly taking a hometown discount to stick with Boston.
This is what Marchand said to CSN on breakup day last April:
“I obviously love being a part of this organization, this city and this team, and I don’t think this team is done having some good runs. I would love to be a part of this organization for the rest of my career, but the reality is when you look around the league that it doesn’t happen for many guys. We’ll deal with it when the time comes.”
Well, the time came and Marchand put his money where his sometimes big mouth usually is. The Bruins agitator easily could have demanded a yearly salary of $7 million-plus in free agency.
Credit to Don Sweeney and Neely for closing the deal with Marchand, and ticking one very important thing off their checklist that will help make the Bruins great again.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while finding it hard to believe that it’s game day for the Boston Bruins. Summer is officially O-V-A.
-- The Montreal media is starting to get on board with this tougher, grittier version of the Habs, along with a healthy Carey Price.
-- Pierre McGuire sits in with Ottawa’s TSN sports radio station and talks Team Europe in the World Cup, as well as a number of other things.
-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) Mike Zeisberger is already openly wondering what would happen in Canada if they lose to Team Europe in the best-of-three final to the World Cup.
-- FOH (Friend of Haggs) Puck Daddy Greg Wyshynski asks Brad Marchand if a part of him has thought about playing with Sidney Crosby on the Penguins if he hits free agency. Bells, alarms and whistles should be going off on Causeway Street to give No. 63 whatever he wants at this point. In case you missed it, I talked about the danger of Crosby trying to woo his Nova Scotian buddy to Pittsburgh last week.
-- PHT writer James O’Brien says it sounds like the St. Louis Blues are going to play a more aggressive brand of hockey this season.
-- For something completely different: Forbes Magazine says Pete Carroll, not Bill Belichick, should be considered the NFL’s foremost cheater.