PITTSBURGH With little intention of sending a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Benoit Pouliot prior to the June 25 deadline, the Bruins got some value for the inconsistent forward and traded him to the Tampa Bay Lightning during the second day of the NHL Draft.
Pouliot had finished with 16 goals and a career-high 32 points for the Bruins last season, and was a fixture on the third line for most of the season. But the highly skilled, wiry forward also struggled to maintain consistency, so he was dealt to the Bolts for pending unrestricted free agent Michael Ouellet and a fifth round pick.
Ouellet has had three solid seasons with the NHL with the final one ending with the Lightning during the 2006-07 season, but has bounced between the AHL and Europe over the last five years. The 30-year-old Ouellet put up 16 goals and 31 points for the Norfolk Admirals last season without a recall to the NHL club.
Boston had sent out qualifying offers to Tuukka Rask, Matt Bartkowski and Lane MacDermid last week, but it didnt appear that Pouliot was going to be in their plans. He was likely to get a hefty raise from his 1.1 million contract last season should he have gone to arbitration, so the Bruins avoid the entire process by moving him on to Tampa Bay.So getting some value for a departing player was a positive move for Peter Chiarelli and the Bruins draft team on Saturday morning.