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B’s sign Alberts, five others

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins have agreed to terms on contracts with goaltender Brian Finley, defenseman Bobby Allen, and left wings Nate DiCasmirro, Jeremy Reich and Dennis Packard, it was announced today by Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli. All players were unrestricted free agents and, in keeping with club policy, terms of the contracts were not released.

Chiarelli also announced that the team has re-signed defenseman Andrew Alberts to a one-year contract. Alberts returned his qualifying offer.

Finley, 25, enters his fifth professional season. He enjoyed an outstanding junior career with Barrie and Brampton of the Ontario Hockey League with a 95-47-12 record and 2.89 goals against average in 167 career junior games. He was named to the OHL’s All-Rookie Team in 1997-98, was the OHL Goaltender of the Year and an OHL First Team All-Star in 1998-99 and led Barrie to the 1999-2000 OHL championship as he was named the playoff Most Valuable Player that post-season. Drafted by Nashville as their first pick, sixth overall, in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft in Boston, the 6’3”, 205 lb. native of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario missed the 2001-02 season rehabilitating a groin injury and turned professional for the 2002-03 season. He has played the last four seasons in the Predators organization, spending most of that time with their AHL affiliate in Milwaukee. He set a Milwaukee single-season record for wins and shutouts in 2004-05 with a 36-22-4 record and seven shutouts in 64 games. Finley played the 2005-06 season in Milwaukee with an 18-7-2 record and 2.70 goals against average with four shutouts in 32 games. He was recalled once to Nashville from Dec. 9-17, making his first NHL start in a 7-3 loss at Florida on Dec. 13.

Allen, 27, enters his sixth professional season. He played four years of college hockey at Boston College where he had 25-85=110 totals with 151 PIM in 167 games while earning Hockey East All-Rookie Team honors in 1997-98, Hockey East Second All-Star Team honors in 1999-2000 and Hockey East First All-Star and NCAA East First All-American Team berths in 2000-01 and also won an NCAA championship with the Eagles in 2001. The 6’0”, 200 lb. native of Hull, Massachusetts was drafted by the Bruins as their second pick, 52nd overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft and played his first pro season in the Boston organization with their AHL affiliate in Providence before going to Edmonton in a trade for Sean Brown on March 19, 2002. He played two seasons in the Oilers organization with their AHL affiliates in Hamilton and Toronto before signing with New Jersey as a free agent in July, 2004. He has played the last two seasons in Albany/AHL with 4-14=18 totals and 28 PIM in 68 games in 2005-06. He has played one career NHL game, with Edmonton at Dallas on December 31, 2002.

DiCasmirro, 27, enters his fifth professional season. He played four seasons of college hockey at St. Cloud State with 51 goals and 85 assists for 136 points with 156 PIM in 147 career college games and earned WCHA Second Team All-Star honors in 2001-02. The 5’11”, 205 lb. native of Burnsville, Minnesota signed with Edmonton as a free agent in May, 2002 and played his first four seasons in the Oilers organization at the AHL level in Hamilton, Toronto, Edmonton and Grand Rapids. He played last season with Grand Rapids with career-high 16-36=52 totals and 97 PIM in 72 games and added 3-3=6 totals with 20 PIM in 16 AHL playoff games.

Reich (pronounced REETCH), 27, enters his seventh professional season. He played five seasons of junior hockey with Seattle and Swift Current of the Western Hockey League with 116-159=275 totals and 777 PIM in 331 career junior games. Drafted by Chicago as their third pick, 39th overall, in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, the 6’1”, 205 lb. native of Craik, Saskatchewan never signed with the Blackhawks, signing with Columbus as a free agent in May, 2000 at the completion of his junior career. He played his first five seasons in the Blue Jackets’ organization with their AHL affiliates in Syracuse and Houston and signed with the Bruins as a free agent in August, 2005. He played last season in Providence/AHL with 8-15=23 totals and a team-high 235 penalty minutes in 77 games. He has played nine career NHL games with Columbus with one career NHL point, an assist in his first NHL game on January 21, 2004 vs. St. Louis.

Packard, 24, enters his third professional season. He played four seasons of college hockey at Harvard University with 32-33=65 totals and 110 PIM in 131 career college games. The 6’4”, 235 lb. native of Kingston, Pennsylvania was drafted by Tampa Bay as their eighth pick, 219th overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft and has played the last two seasons with the Lightning’s minor league affiliates in Springfield/AHL and Johnstown/ECHL. He had 3-6=9 totals with 34 PIM in 46 Springfield games last season and added 2-9=11 totals with 12 PIM in 16 Johnstown contests.

Alberts, 25, enters his second full professional season. He played four seasons of college hockey at Boston College with 16-50=66 totals and 243 PIM in 149 career college games, earning NCAA East First Team All-American honors in both 2003-04 and 2004-05 and Hockey East First Team All-Conference honors in 2004-05 as well. Drafted by Boston as their fifth pick (sixth round), 179th overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, the 6’4”, 218 lb. native of Eden Prairie, Minnesota joined Boston’s AHL affiliate in Providence at the conclusion of his college career in April, 2005, playing eight regular season and 16 playoff games with the AHL Bruins. He spent most of his first full pro season in Boston in 2005-06 with 1-6=7 totals and 68 PIM in 73 games, while also tallying one assist in six Providence contests.
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