Boston Bruins

Bruins sign depth players Kenny Agostino, Paul Postma to one-year, one-way deals

Bruins sign depth players Kenny Agostino, Paul Postma to one-year, one-way deals

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins made offers and held discussions for bigger, better players leading up to the July 1 opening of free agency in the NHL, but at the end of Saturday came away with a pair of depth signings that offer zero risk and little cost. The Bruins signed AHL MVP Kenny Agostino ($875,000) and Winnipeg Jets defenseman Paul Postma ($725,000) to one-year, one-way deals with each of the two contracts coming in at well under $1 million in salary.

“Have we made offers? Have we explored? Yeah, we have – on both fronts, through trade or putting out offers. But, as I teed up [on Friday], I didn’t think it was necessarily going to happen and it didn’t,” said Bruins GM Don Sweeney. “We made offers to players that signed elsewhere, again, for different reasons. That’s entirely up to the player themselves, whether the term wasn’t right or the dollars weren’t right or the location wasn’t right.”

The Bruins also signed Providence Bruins forward Jordan Szwarz to a one-year, two-way deal worth $650,000 at the NHL after he enjoyed an excellent season with the P-Bruins.

The Bruins didn’t come away with anything that’s going to demonstrably move the needle at the NHL level, but they made signings that provide good insurance for the B’s if injuries crop up, or if Boston’s prospects show they aren’t quite ready for prime time.

The 25-year-old Agostino, a Yale teammate of B’s defenseman Robbie O’Gara, was named the American Hockey League MVP in 2016-17 after posting 24 goals while leading the AHL with 59 assists and 83 points in 65 games with the Chicago Wolves. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder also appeared in seven NHL games with the St. Louis Blues in 2016-17 and posted a goal and three points, and has played in 17 NHL games during his three-year pro career.

“He’s been prolific in the AHL over the last couple of years. Our guys have followed players of that nature and felt that he really deserves an opportunity to play at the NHL level and put forth his skillset that he’s displayed there,” said Sweeney. “Even in a small sample size at the NHL, he’s done well. So, we’re going to give him an opportunity. I think the internal competition piece I spoke of [at forward positions] will be interesting come training camp.”

The 28-year-old Postma played a career-high 65 games last season for the Winnipeg Jets and finished with a goal and 14 points, and has appeared in 191 games over the last seven seasons for the Atlanta Thrashers and Winnipeg Jets. He’s got good size at 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, has a big shot from the point and can play both sides in the kind of versatile package that will make a pretty solid seventh defenseman-type for the Black and Gold.

“Paul still has got upside. If you look at his power play stuff that he’s done in the minors and what he’s been able to accomplish – he’s got a big, heavy shot. [Winnipeg was] heavy on the right side, we’re heavy on the right side. I talked to him yesterday,” said Sweeney. “He played a lot of hockey with [Michael] Stone in junior on the left side. He feels there is versatility in his game. He was excited about our organization and having a bit of a fresh start.”

Sweeney indicated that there could be more signings or trades in the second or third waves of free agency now that the July 1 frenzy is over and done with, but it’s Agostino and Postma that the Bruins had to show for when the dust settled on Day One of free agency.  

Three first period goals power Bruins to 4-2 win over Blackhawks

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Three first period goals power Bruins to 4-2 win over Blackhawks

BOSTON – In their final home dress rehearsal of the preseason prior to the start of the regular season schedule at TD Garden, the Boston Bruins gave their fans plenty to cheer about.

Powered by three goals scored in the first period, the B’s took a 4-2 win over a preseason roster of Chicago Blackhawks players at the Garden to push their preseason record to 4-1-0 with a couple of exhibition games still left to be played. It was as much the players that scored as the scoring itself was the cause of excitement with Boston’s star players stepping up, and the young prospects once again demanding notice during auditions for NHL jobs.

David Pastrnak scored on a sniper shot over Corey Crawford’s glove hand just 52 seconds into the game, and Jeremy Lauzon followed 36 seconds later with a long distance blast from the left point.

Anders Bjork made it a breakout night when he stepped into a one-timer blast midway through the first while teaming up with prospective linemates Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Brandon Saad and John Hayden pushed it back to a one-goal game midway through the second period, but a power-play strike from Bergeron in the third period gave the Bruins all the cushion they would need for victory.

Malcolm Subban got the start for the B’s between the pipes, and he was strong while stopping 24-of-26 shots that he faced, including a flurry of athletic saves in the third period that got the home crowd on its feet. Subban finished up with a strong 14 saves in the third period while helping the B’s slam the door on the Blackhawks. 

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Morning Skate: Blackhawks looking for right mix on fourth line

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Morning Skate: Blackhawks looking for right mix on fourth line

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading. while readying for the last home game of the preseason tonight. Boy that went by quickly.

*Chicago Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville is looking for the right mix on the fourth line for the Hawks.

*The NHL is coming late to the China party and it makes one wonder what will happen for the Winter Olympic Games set to be played there in 2022.

*PHT writer Adam Gretz has the Arizona Coyotes wanting to retire the freshly-retired Shane Doan’s number in the future.

*Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan says that the decision to accept the White House’s invitation was independent of politics. Certainly, it was, but the timing of it and the feeble statement to go along with it left a lot to be desired.

*Pierre Lebrun goes 1-on-1 with Montreal Canadiens coach Claude Julien to talk about his past, his present and his future behind the bench with the Habs. I had always intended to subscribe to the Athletic, and this is the article that finally got me to do it as I get to read a few moments with one of the classiest individuals in the NHL in Julien. It certainly had a few rocky moments toward the end here in Boston for Julien, but I will always respect that guy as a coach and, more importantly, as a person.  

*For something completely different: an interesting look at Alejandro Villanueva, the only Pittsburgh Steelers player, and a proud veteran, to stand outside the tunnel and on the field for the national anthem prior to the Steelers game on Sunday.