By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj
A couple of hours after signing defenceman Derek Forbort, Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney has signed forward Erik Haula to a two-year contract with an annual salary of $2.4 million.
Haula, 30, played 51 games in the 2020-21 season with the Nashville Predators, scoring nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points. In Nashville’s first-round series against the Carolina Hurricanes, Haula scored four points in six games. Haula began his career with the Minnesota Wild back in the 2013-14 season and played there for four seasons before he was claimed by the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft.
In his first year in Vegas, Haula exploded for what would become a career year, scoring 29 goals and 55 points in 76 games and then another nine points in 20 playoff games on the Golden Knights’ Stanley Cup Finals run. Haula spent two seasons in Vegas before he was shipped to Carolina and then again to the Florida Panthers the following Trade Deadline. Throughout his time with numerous teams, he put up decent bottom-six numbers offensively.
It was evident the Boston Bruins needed to add some new bodies to a bottom-six that lacked any offense. Haula can bring some decent offensive chances and will most likely play the wing alongside Charlie Coyle, his former teammate back in their Minnesota Wild days. He is, in fact, a left-hand shot, so the conversation about Jake DeBrusk comes up again. If not moved, Haula could play on the right side or even move DeBrusk to that side and keep Haula aligned with his proper handiness. Regardless, Boston brings in a depth player on an acceptable contract who has put up solid numbers in the past.
Bruins also signed forward Tomas Nosek, but for more on him make sure to check back on the blackngoldhockey.com website. With both those signings plus the extension of Mike Reilly yesterday and the Derek Forbort signing, the Boston Bruins have a projected $10.5 million in cap space with the need of a veteran goaltender, potentially Tuukka Rask and David Krejci.