( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins )

By: Mark Allred | Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277

The National Hockey Leagues Pittsburgh Penguins announced this morning that they’ve come to a contract agreement with free-agent goaltender Max Lagace. The 27-year-old netminder signed a one-year, two-way contract worth a reportedly $700K at the NHL level.

Lagace, who signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Boston Bruins during the summer of 2019, played for the B’s top minor-pro affiliate in the American Hockey League with the Providence Bruins last season. In 33 games for Providence, the 6′-2″ 195-pound goaltender posted a record of 22-7-3, a goals-against-average of 2.37, and a save percentage of .919. Max was a solid addition to the Bruins depth and more or less an insurance policy if NHL Bruins goaltender Jaroslav Halak wasn’t retained.

The goaltending tandem of Lagace and Bruins prospect Dan Vladar was one of the best in the AHL, and thought Max played very well in his short time with the Rhode Island club. In the 2019-20 campaign, he ranked eighth in goals-against, ninth in save percentage, second in wins, and second in shutouts. Lagace also was a solid veteran presence in the crease with up and comer Vladar, and it should be interesting how things look in the crease for the Providence club for the upcoming 20/21 regular season.

If the Boston Bruins bring in another free agent veteran netminder to play in Providence, this would seemingly mean that recently signed NCAA goaltender Jeremy Swayman and Kyle Keyser would report to the ECHL for further development. Who knows what’s going to happen with the “AA” minor-pro affiliation with the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators as the NHL Bruins organization ended its one-year agreement with the club at the close of the 2019-20 regular season. Yesterday the Atlanta organization made public that the team would opt out of the 20/21 season due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and Georgia state regulations of 25% capacity would not be good for business.

The NHL Bruins could have players who will spend time in the ECHL spread out throughout the league on loans to keep sharp with regular game action. It should be interesting to see how everything pans out with everything that’s been going on and in the near future concerning these minor-pro organizations that thrive on fans in the stands for business sustainability. Regardless I’m on the future news when it all becomes official and have an article in the works about the Atlanta ECHL franchise opting out this upcoming regular season.