The Boston Bruins
wasted little time keeping early-season acquisition Daniel Paille
, signing the speedy left wing to a two-year contract on Thursday.
The five-year NHL veteran was acquired last Oct. 20 from the Buffalo Sabres
in exchange for a third-round draft pick and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2010 Entry Draft.
In 74 games for the Bruins, Paille had 10 goals and 9 assists for 19 points and was minus-4 with 12 penalty minutes. He had one shorthanded goal. Paille had 1 assist in two games for the Sabres before the trade. Paille dished out 79 hits last season, blocked 23 shots and had 25 takeaways. In 13 Stanley Cup Playoff games, Paille had 25 hits, blocked 8 shots and had 6 takeaways.
"I thought when we acquired Dan, he really helped shore up our penalty-killing," Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli said. "He brought speed to the lineup, to the forward group. He was also able to play up and down the lineup. It was helpful when he had injuries. So we signed him for two years."
Paille's re-signing was the only activity on the opening day of free agency by the Bruins, who made big splashes last week by trading for forward Nathan Horton
from Florida and picking center Tyler Seguin
with the No. 2 pick in the Entry Draft.
"We were relatively quiet," Chiarelli said. "We talked to a couple of agents and I talked to a couple of GMs. We went into this period expecting to be quiet as we felt we added to our forward group with Nathan Horton
, and Tyler Seguin
will someday be in our forward group."
Paille, 26, of Welland, Ont., was a first-round pick (No. 20) by the Buffalo Sabres
in 2002. The 6-foot, 200-pounder played four seasons with the Sabres, scoring 35 goals and adding 42 assists for 77 points. He is plus-16 for his career with only 66 penalty minutes.
Bruins coach Claude Julien
used Paille, who has good speed and excellent defensive skills, in a variety of roles last season, playing him on every line. He skated on the Bruins' top line with center Patrice Bergeron
and right wing Mark Recchi
during the Stanley Cup Playoffs but he had trouble finding his scoring touch. Paille had 2 assists in 13 playoff games as the Bruins were eliminated in the Eastern Conference semifinals by the Philadelphia Flyers
Chiarelli was asked if he expects to see Paille playing a defensive role on a fourth line with newly acquired defensive center Gregory Campbell
"Dan has the ability up and down the lineup," Chiarelli said. "With him, it's about confidence. He suffered from a lack of confidence in Buffalo for whatever reason. I thought you saw some really good spurts with us. I think with Dan, because we were thin, we were expecting too much from him. With his speed, his size and his ability to forecheck, when he gets his confidence back, you'll see him in a variety of spots. At the very least, you'll see him (playing fourth-line left wing) but I expect more things too from Dan."
Chiarelli said he still has to sign restricted free agents Mark Stuart
, Blake Wheeler
and Campbell, and that he's told the agents for Steve Begin
and Miroslav Satan
that, at this time, he's making roster room for a group of prospects that includes Joe Colborne
, Zach Hamill
and Jordan Caron
. He said he didn't expect to sign a veteran forward before training camp.
Chiarelli also said Swedish center Carl Soderberg
, whose rights the Bruins acquired in the 2008 trade for goalie Hannu Toivonen
, won't be coming to training camp because he has signed to play another year in Sweden. Chiarelli said the Bruins retain Soderberg's rights for another two years and they'll continue to monitor his progress.