|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.”
|Bruins sign Benoit Pouliot||at 4:24 pm ET|
According to RDS, the Bruins have signed free agent left wing Benoit Pouliot to a one-year, $1.1 million deal. The news came shortly afetr the Stars announced they had signed former B’s winger Michael Ryder.
Pouliot is one of the more notable recent high first-round picks to not find stardom in the NHL. Chosen fourth overall by the Wild in 2005, he never had a 10-goal-season with the team before being traded to Montreal in 2009. He spent the last two seasons with the Canadiens, but fell out of favor towards the end of his tenure. He was a healthy scratch in the last four games of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals vs. the Bruins.
In 183 NHL games, Pouliot has scored 35 goals and added 37 assists for 72 career points.
|Andrew Ference was cautious in dropping the gloves with Benoit Pouliot||04.19.11 at 4:34 pm ET|
Sporting stitches on his right cheek on Tuesday, Ference recalled the series of events, noting he was extra careful to avoid negating his team’s forthcoming power play.
“I waited for him to drop the gloves and throw a punch before I did anything,” Ference said. “I didn’t want to take an extra penalty. From what I saw, it looked like a really dangerous hit. A hit like that, especially on your partner or something like that, you want to at least have some answer for it. I didn’t want to drop the gloves without being 100 percent that he was going to as well, so you have to be aware of that in the playoffs for sure.”
Listening to Montreal sports radio this morning, it’s safe to say some of the fans dislike Pouliout just as much as Jack Edwards, as callers hoped the team would scratch the former fourth overall pick in Thursday’s Game 4.
The Pouliot hit on Boychuk, followed by the fight with Ference, is first up on this Edwards mega-mix put together by Yahoo! Sports hockey blogger Greg Wyshynski.