VANCOUVER Shane Hnidy obviously impressed the Bruins in his Vancouver tryout, and the Bs announced on Saturday afternoon that theyd signed 35-year-old to a one-year deal for the rest of the season.The Sheriff hasnt been cleared by the Bs medical staff to play in games yet, but he creates a situation with eight defensemen on the Bs roster moving forward and potentially creates a move to either deal one defensemen or send Steve Kampfer back to Providence.Hnidy has not played an NHL game this season and was in training camp with the Phoenix Coyotes this preseason, and is recovering from a rotator cuff surgery in September suffered during camp. The 35-year-old has appeared in 547 NHL games, with 71 career points (16 goals, 55 assists) and 631 PIM. He most recently played in the NHL in the 2009-10 season with the Minnesota Wild, where he had a career year with 14 points and 66 PIM in 70 games.For two seasons (2007-08 and 2008-09), Hnidy skated in 108 regular season games for Boston, with 17 points (4 goals, 13 assists) and 86 PIM. He also appeared in 14 playoff contests with the Bruins over his two seasons, and has played in 37 playoff games in his long NHL career.The Bruins originally acquired Hnidy on January 2, 2008 from the Anaheim Ducks with a 6th-round draft pick (Nicholas Tremblay) for Brandon Bochenski.
The Bs also announced that theyve signed Providence Bruins forward Kirk McDonald to an NHL contract.
Joe Haggerty can be reached at email@example.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while touching back down from the Windy City of Chicago.
*The Calgary Flames step away as one of the big winners in the NHL Draft weekend after securing defenseman Travis Hamonic on Day 2 of the festivities.
*Here’s a good piece on a Toronto Maple Leafs draft pick, and the lengths that hockey families will go to better their career chances.
*Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion sure sounds like a guy that’s working to try and deal Dion Phaneuf away from the Sens, doesn’t he?
*Cool story about the second round pick of the Los Angeles Kings, and a family background that is just going to become more and more commonplace as time goes by. Congrats to the family on what must have been a great weekend in Chicago.
*The Flyers are loading up on draft picks and trading some veterans, but don’t dare call it a rebuild in Philadelphia.
*Speaking of picks from Saturday’s second day of the draft, the Blue Jackets actually drafted a kid from the same hometown in the French Alps, Grenoble, as Andre the Giant. That is pretty damn noteworthy.
*For something completely different: I’d always wondered about the backstory with the father in the Toy Story movies, and this is certainly a major bummer of a background story.
CHICAGO – The Bruins finished up their 2017 NHL Draft class with a bit of a project, but a 6-foot-5 defenseman with some great skating wheels is a pretty good way to go with a seventh round pick. The B’s nabbed Brandon Wheat Kings defenseman Daniel Bukac with the 204th pick in the draft, and admitted afterward that he’s an ultra-big bodied player that could take some time in the development process.
Bruins assistant GM Scott Bradley said Boston is more than happy to be patient with Bukac given the tools that he’s working with as an 18-year-old prospect. Bukac had two goals and 17 points to go along with 38 penalty minutes in his first season in North America after coming over from the Czech Republic, and Bradley said that B’s scouts noted that he continued to improve and get comfortable as the season wore on.
"He's raw. He's a project. [He’s a] kid from the Czech Republic that played in the Western Hockey League,” said Bradley. “At the start of the year - he's come leaps and bounds with his development. Talking to the people - the coaches, the management, and the GM in Brandon, they're very excited about him coming back to Brandon. They're expecting big things from him. We look forward to seeing him in camp."
Bukac is starting to garner some good international experience after playing for the Czechs in the Under-18’s and the Ivan Hinkla Tournament, but this weekend it was all about his addition to the talented group of Bruins prospects in the hockey world.
"I'm so excited to be drafted by the Boston Bruins," said Bukac, who described himself as a solid two-way defenseman with a good first pass. "It's an awesome feeling. I'm so glad that I was drafted by Boston."