The Bruins have signed defenseman Matt Irwin to a one-year deal worth $800,000, the team announced Friday.

The 27-year-old Irwin has spent the last three seasons with the San Jose Sharks and registered eight goals and 11 assists in 53 games last year while playing 17:01 per game. Irwin, who is listed at 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, played two years of college hockey at UMass from 2008-2010.

The strength of Irwin’s game is his offense, as he likes to jump into the rush and has a good shot. He has generally been pretty sheltered in terms of usage and has seen his CorsiRel go from a stellar plus-3.9 in 2012-13 to a not-so-stellar minus-4.0 in 2013-14 before settling in the middle at an even 0.0 in 2014-15, according to war-on-ice.com.

Irwin adds to a logjam of Bruins defensemen who would ideally be suited for a third-pairing role, but he probably won’t be the top-four solution they need unless the defensive side of his game really improves.

Still, he should be able to push for playing time, especially if the Bruins want someone who can bring more puck-moving and offensive skill than Adam McQuaid or Kevan Miller.

Blog Author: 
Scott McLaughlin

New Bruins winger Jimmy Hayes joined Middays with MFB on Thursday afternoon to talk about coming home to Boston and how he’ll fit in with the B’s.

Jimmy Hayes was traded to the Bruins last week. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Jimmy Hayes was traded to the Bruins last week. (Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

New Bruins winger Jimmy Hayes joined Middays with MFB on Thursday afternoon to talk about coming home to Boston and how he’ll fit in with the B’s. To hear the interview, go to the Middays with MFB audio on demand page.

Hayes was traded from the Panthers to the Bruins on July 1 as return for Reilly Smith and Marc Savard‘s contract. As a native of Dorchester, the trade and subsequent signing served as a kind of homecoming for the 25-year-old.

“I was down on Cape Cod with six of my best buddies,” he said. “It was pretty cool, I got a phone call and turned around and told them I got traded to Boston, everyone’s high-fiving. It was just a really cool feeling to be around friends and family, to get traded back to your hometown.”

One of those with him during the call was his brother, Kevin, who played alongside Jimmy at Boston College and now suits up for the Rangers. This past season marked the first time that the brothers ever played on opposing sides of the ice as they grew up playing with one another.

“He was laughing,” Jimmy said. “He didn’t see it coming … he’s in a great situation right now with New York, but it was just funny because we both dreamed of playing for the Bruins as kids, and now for me to finally be able to do it on a nightly basis is going to be incredible.”

Initially drafted by the Maple Leafs in Round 2 of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft prior to his first season at BC, Hayes was then traded to the Blackhawks in June of 2010 in exchange for a second-round pick in that year’s draft. In 2013, the 6-foot-6 forward was part of a deal sending him and defenseman Dylan Olsen to Florida for Kris Versteeg and Philippe Lefebvre. Now he’s back in Boston.

“It was crazy,” Hayes said. “It’s the third time I’ve been traded so you kind have a funny feeling, but when [Panthers general manager] Dale Tallon told me I was going to Boston, it was a dream come true. I had a smile on my face. To come home to my parents and the rest of my family and the fans of Boston is just a dream come true. I’ve always dreamed of wearing the Bruins jersey.”

It’s no secret that Hayes is a big guy, and though he didn’t immediately know how to use his size to his advantage, it’s definitely something he continues to work on.

“I’m going into my fifth year pro and I’ve been trying to learn the best ways for me to be effective, and it is using my size,” he said. “It took me a while to figure it out and play a certain way, and now I continue to develop the way I want to play, the north-south, power forward type game.”

That north-south characteristic is part of what makes the Bruins’ game so appealing to Hayes as he considered in which ways he’d be able to best contribute.

“They play a game that I like to play,” he said. “They like to play a north-south game, and they like to play with a lot of speed, and they like to play a heavy game. Being a big guy, I have to continue to develop playing that heavy game.”

With former Duck Matt Beleskey recently signed on for next season too, Hayes, who will wear No. 11 this year in honor of his good friend Corey Griffin’s passing last summer, said he likes the look of the Bruins so far.

“I think Matt and I are going to be ourselves,” he said. “We play a certain style of game, and we play a game the Bruins want to play. The Bruins have some terrific players up front with [Patrice] Bergeron and [David] Krejci, I mean those are All-Star type players, so I think we’re going to have all the leadership as well with Zdeno Chara, and I think it’s going to be an incredible team, to be honest.”

The Bruins haven’t identified a particular center for Hayes yet, who has played both left and right wing in his professional career, but he is appreciative to have a chance on a line with any of them.

“They’re deep down the middle,” he said. “Those are some talented players. I just think to have an opportunity to play with any of those guys, they’re great setup guys and I’ve just got to continue to work on my scoring touch and be able to finish off great plays that they’re going to be making.”

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen

The Bruins announced the roster for next week’€™s development camp on Wednesday. The group of prospects is headlined by the team’€™s trio of first-round picks from last month’€™s draft, as well as development camp mainstay Zane McIntyre.

The roster is as follows:

Forwards: Noel Acciari, Jack Becker, Anders Bjork, Anton Blidh, Colby Cave, Peter Cehlarik, Jake DeBrusk, Frank Dichiara, Ryan Donato, Ryan Fitzgerald, Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson, Jesse Gabrielle, Colton Hargrove, Danton Heinen, Justin Hickman, Cameron Hughes, Alex Iafallo, Joonas Kemppainen, Sean Kuraly, Andrew Poturalski, Zachary Senyshyn, Brandon Tanev, Frank Vatrano, Mike Vecchione

Defensemen: Matt Benning, Brandon Carlo, Brien Diffley, Zach Frye, Mark Hamilton, Max Iafrate, Emil Johansson, Jeremy Lauzon, Rob O’€™Gara, Jakub Zboril

Goaltenders: Michael Garteig, Zane McIntyre, Daniel Vladar

Dichiara, Iafallo, Poturalski, Tanev, Vecchione, Diffley, Frye, Hamilton and Garteig will attend the camp on an invite basis.

The annual prospect camp, now in its ninth year, will begin Tuesday at Ristuccia Arena.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Matt Beleskey is coming off a career year. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)"I don’t think I’m here to fill anyone’s spot.



New Bruins Matt Beleskey and Jimmy Hayes met with the press at TD Garden Tuesday. Both players come to Boston with the pressure of improving an offense that struggled last season, but the duo embrace the idea of playing in Boston.

For Hayes, it’€™s a return home. The Dorchester native is on his fourth organization at just 25 years of age, but it’€™s the organization he’€™s long wanted to call his employer.

“This has been a dream come true for me,” Hayes said. “To be able to come home to my hometown and my family and be able to have this opportunity to win another championship for this city is a dream come true.”

The 6-foot-6 right wing is coming off a 2014-15 season in which he scored a career-high 19 goals for the Panthers. Upon being traded to the B’€™s last week for Reilly Smith, Hayes inked a three-year contract extension with a $2.3 million average annual value.

Even richer is Beleskey, who took a five-year contract worth $19 million (an AAV of $3.8 million) on the first day of free agency. The trade of Smith and Marc Savard‘€™s contract for Hayes’€™ rights gave the B’€™s financial flexibility to sign the player with some breathing room against the salary cap’€™s $71.4 million upper limit.

Beleskey is the most notable player the B’€™s have added in an offseason that has seen Dougie Hamilton (Flames) and Milan Lucic (Kings) depart. Beleskey figures to replace Lucic on David Krejci‘€™s left wing, but he says he’€™ll play wherever coach Claude Julien feels is appropriate.

“I’€™m going to play my same game: be a power forward, get in on the forecheck and go to the net hard,” Beleskey said. “That’€™s what I’€™m going to do, and if he sees me play wherever, it doesn’€™t really matter. I’€™m going to do what he needs me to do, and he’€™ll put me where he thinks I belong.”

The 27-year-old Beleskey hopes to build on the first 20-goal season of his career. Asked whether the vacancy in Boston’€™s top six (and thus opportunity to skate with Krejci or Patrice Bergeron) made the B’€™s an attractive destination, he said Boston would be an ideal landing spot regardless of the roster.

“It’€™s the Boston Bruins. It’€™s an extremely attractive place to be,” he said. “I looked at their team, and I talked with my agent, my family, and it’€™s always been a place I’€™ve liked.”

One pressure that Beleskey won’€™t face is that of playing in his hometown. The Windsor, Ontario native is far from home, whereas Hayes now has the opportunity ‘€” and potential burden ‘€” of playing in front of friends and family.

Hayes says he hasn’€™t gotten ticket requests just yet, but given that his father is a ticket broker, that might work out well for his family.

“I’€™ll leave that one for my dad,” Hayes said with a grin. “Keep his ticket business going in a little bit.”

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean
Jimmy Hayes says being a Bruin is a "dream come true." (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Jimmy Hayes says being a Bruin is a “dream come true.”                  (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

New Bruins Matt Beleskey and Jimmy Hayes met with the press at TD Garden Tuesday. Both players come to Boston with the pressure of improving an offense that struggled last season, but the duo embrace the idea of playing in Boston.

For Hayes, it’€™s a return home. The Dorchester native is on his fourth organization at just 25 years of age, but it’€™s the organization he’€™s long wanted to call his employer.

“This has been a dream come true for me,” Hayes said. “To be able to come home to my hometown and my family and be able to have this opportunity to win another championship for this city is a dream come true.”

The 6-foot-6 right wing is coming off a 2014-15 season in which he scored a career-high 19 goals for the Panthers. Upon being traded to the B’€™s last week for Reilly Smith, Hayes inked a three-year contract extension with a $2.3 million average annual value.

Even richer is Beleskey, who took a five-year contract worth $19 million (an AAV of $3.8 million) on the first day of free agency. The trade of Smith and Marc Savard‘€™s contract for Hayes’€™ rights gave the B’€™s financial flexibility to sign the player with some breathing room against the salary cap’€™s $71.4 million upper limit.

Beleskey is the most notable player the B’€™s have added in an offseason that has seen Dougie Hamilton (Flames) and Milan Lucic (Kings) depart. Beleskey figures to replace Lucic on David Krejci‘€™s left wing, but he says he’€™ll play wherever coach Claude Julien feels is appropriate.

“I’€™m going to play my same game: be a power forward, get in on the forecheck and go to the net hard,” Beleskey said. “That’€™s what I’€™m going to do, and if he sees me play wherever, it doesn’€™t really matter. I’€™m going to do what he needs me to do, and he’€™ll put me where he thinks I belong.”

The 27-year-old Beleskey hopes to build on the first 20-goal season of his career. Asked whether the vacancy in Boston’€™s top six (and thus opportunity to skate with Krejci or Patrice Bergeron) made the B’€™s an attractive destination, he said Boston would be an ideal landing spot regardless of the roster.

“It’€™s the Boston Bruins. It’€™s an extremely attractive place to be,” he said. “I looked at their team, and I talked with my agent, my family, and it’€™s always been a place I’€™ve liked.”

One pressure that Beleskey won’€™t face is that of playing in his hometown. The Windsor, Ontario native is far from home, whereas Hayes now has the opportunity ‘€” and potential burden ‘€” of playing in front of friends and family.

Hayes says he hasn’€™t gotten ticket requests just yet, but given that his father is a ticket broker, that might work out well for his family.

“I’€™ll leave that one for my dad,” Hayes said with a grin. “Keep his ticket business going in a little bit.”

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The Bruins have signed right wings Jimmy Hayes and Brett Connolly to new contracts, the team announced Monday.

Hayes’€™ contract is a three-year deal with an average annual value of $2.3 million, while Connolly has agreed to a one-year contract with an AAV of $1.025 million.

The Bruins have signed right wings Jimmy Hayes and Brett Connolly to new contracts, the team announced Monday.

Hayes’€™ contract is a three-year deal with an average annual value of $2.3 million, while Connolly has agreed to a one-year contract with an AAV of $1.025 million.

With Hayes and Connolly signed, the Bruins have approximately ($66,410,667) committed to 20 players for next season.

While the Bruins owned both players’€™ rights as restricted free agents, both players will look to make a name for themselves in Boston next season after playing the bulk of their NHL careers elsewhere.

Connolly, acquired at the trade deadline from Tampa for a pair of second-round picks last season, played just five games for the Bruins after returning from a hand injury suffered in his first practice with the team. The 23-year-old had no goals, two assists and 10 penalty minutes in his late-season stint in Boston’€™s lineup.

The sixth overall pick in the 2010 draft, Connolly had 12 goals in 50 games for the Lightning last season before being moved to the B’€™s due to a surplus of right wings in Tampa.

Hayes, 25, was acquired last Wednesday in a deal that sent Reilly Smith and Marc Savard‘€™s contract to the Panthers. The Dorchester native was a second-round pick of the Maple Leafs in 2008 before being traded to Chicago in 2010. He played parts of three seasons for Chicago prior to a trade to the Panthers in November of 2013. The Boston College product enjoyed the best season of his career last season for Florida, scoring 19 goals and adding 16 assists for 35 points in 72 games.

The team also signed forward Brandon DeFazio to a two-way contract.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

There isn’t much not to like about how Don Sweeney has shaped the Bruins’ top nine.