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Meet new Bruins forward Rich Peverley

02.18.11 at 6:13 pm ET
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In addition to landing the big fish in Tomas Kaberle Friday, the Bruins made a move that both cleared salary and improved their 2010-11 roster by sending Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart to the Thrashers in exchange for forward Rich Peverley and defenseman Boris Valabik. While Valabik doesn’t figure to have an immediate impact on the NHL club, Peverley could play a significant role for the Bruins down the stretch.

Rich Peverley saves the Bruins money and makes them better. (AP)

THE SKINNY

Age: 28

Draft: Undrafted

Contractual status: Has one more year remaining on his deal after this season at a very reasonable $1.325 million cap hit.

2010-11 stats: 59 games played, 14 goals, 20 assists, 34 points, minus-16.

WHAT HE BRINGS

Peter Chiarelli noted Friday that Peverley’s 161 shots this season would be second on the Bruins. What he didn’t note is that Peverley has as many goals this season (14) as Nathan Horton. Experienced at both center and wing, he figures to fit into the mix as a third-line winger, though that complicates the rest of the bottom six.

It will be interesting to see what this means for Tyler Seguin and the entire dynamic of the bottom six forwards. Chiarelli said Friday that he sees the team keeping the fourth line intact, but it’s hard to imagine Seguin sitting much if he continues to play the way he did Thursday.

The B’s might be better off sitting Daniel Paille – who has played very well this month but missed four games with a suspension – and playing a guy like Chris Kelly on the fourth line. Chiarelli reiterated Friday that the team traded for Kelly to replace Marc Savard, but right now there are simply too many bodies to make sense of it all.

WHY THEY MADE THE DEAL

At face value, this appears to be a smart move for the Bruins for both this season and next season. Wheeler, who carries a $2.2 million cap hit, will be a restricted free agent at season’s end. Given that Peverley, who has out-produced Wheeler this season, will definitely be around for another season at nearly $900,000 saves the team money as they look into potentially re-upping Kaberle. The money saved between Wheeler and Peverley obviously won’t be the ultimate difference in whether they have the space to retain their new blueliner, but it helps.

HE SAID

“I just, I like to use my speed. That’s probably my number one asset, my speed and my quickness. I do like to shoot the puck a lot and make plays offensively. I’ve really been working on my faceoffs these past two years, learned a lot in Nashville when I was there from a lot of guys. It’s a big thing, I take a lot of pride in it being a really faceoff guy. I know there are some guys there who are already really good at faceoffs so hopefully I can help out in that category also.”

CHIARELLI SAID

“Adding Chris Kelly was a lot in part to replace Marc Savard. Obviously he’s not the same player as Marc Savard, but he’s a two-way player that can help out down the middle. And Peverley was to maintain speed and skill and to get better shooting. We scored more goals this year but I still think we can improve our shooting. And he’s got a real good shot and he will help us improve that.”

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