Peter Chiarelli: Benoit Pouliot ‘has to be pushed’
|07.01.11 at 5:53 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli spoke to the media Friday to discuss the movement of a couple of former Montreal wingers. The B’s saw Michael Ryder sign with the Stars on the opening day of free agency, and after the former Bruins winger took a two-year, $7 million deal in Dallas, the B’s inked former Habs winger Benoit Pouliot to a one-year, $1.1 million deal. The team also announced the signings of third goaltender Anton Khudobin and center Trent Whitfield, both of whom recieved two-year deals and will almost certainly start the season in Providence.
Pouliot was the fourth overall pick in the 2005 draft by Minnesota, but has scored only 35 goals in 183 career games.
“Maybe someone who has underachieved, but has a real good skill package and size package,” Chiarelli said of Pouliot. “He has to be pushed. I think we have a strong group that can push him, and I told Benoit that. He’s only 25, and he’s still relatively young. We hope that he can buy into what we’re selling. I like his size, I like his skating, I like his shot.”
The GM said Pouliot can play different forward positions, but that “he’s got to earn his spot” on the Bruins. Pouliot was a healthy scratch in the last four games of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals and the Habs decided against tendering him after the season, allowing him to hit the open market.
“There was due diligence [before signing him],” Chiarelli said. “A lot of due diligence. … I don’t know the circumstances behind [Montreal] not tendering him. He was available. He’s a guy that had showed some promise and that our scouts and myself, I like him as a player. … We were happy with the due diligence we did.”