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.

The Bruins signed defenseman Chris Breen to a one-year, two-way contract worth a potential $600,000 at the NHL level on Thursday.

Breen, a 26-year-old left shot blueliner, spent all of last season with the Providence Bruins. It was his first season in the Bruins organization after playing the first four years of his professional career with the Flames organization.

The 6-foot-7, 224-pound defenseman will have his work cut out for him if he seeks a spot in Boston, as the B’€™s have a number of blueliners contending for a spot in an offseason that has seen the departure of Dougie Hamilton and the addition of Colin Miller.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry joined Middays with MFB on Thursday to discuss the Bruins’ recent moves. To hear the interview, go to the Middays with MFB audio on demand page.

Don Cherry

Don Cherry

Hockey Night in Canada’s Don Cherry joined Middays with MFB on Thursday to discuss the Bruins’ recent moves. To hear the interview, go to the Middays with MFB audio on demand page.

Prior to the NHL draft Milan Lucic and 22-year-old defenseman Dougie Hamilton were traded to the Kings and Flames, respectively. The trades caught many by surprise, though the return for both of them gave the Bruins pieces to work with, namely those acquired in the Lucic trade.

The winger was traded to Los Angeles for goaltender Martin Jones, defenseman Colin Miller and the No. 15 overall pick in last Friday’s draft. The B’s were able to flip Jones to the Sharks afterwards for a first-round pick in 2016 and the rights to Miami Redhawks rising senior Sean Kuraly.

“I think what happened is [Lucic] sort of fell out of favor with that [18] goals [last season],” Cherry said. “You expected more goals from him. I have to admit, he wasn’t Lucic of old last year, but somehow or other, I always think of the Bruins, I think of them as tough and everybody thinks of them as tough.”

“Lucic, I know he had an off-year last year, but he’s [going to] come back with a force,” he added. “When you think of the Bruins, when everybody thinks of the Bruins, they think of Lucic, and then a 22-year-old guy. … You don’t get a 22-year-old stud like that guy and Calgary now has the best defense in the league, there’s no doubt about it.”

Following Hamilton being traded there were reports saying Hamilton was a “loner” and an “uppity kid.” Cherry said that wouldn’t matter to him if he were coaching the Bruins.

“If I had Hamilton, somehow I’d work him in, and that’s the job of the organization,” he said. “When I hear he doesn’t work and he’s a loner, who cares? Look at the way he plays, it’s on the ice. I don’t care if he’s a loner or not. I don’t believe in that stuff.”

The B’s still made moves to adjust for the changes, signing free agent Matt Beleskey on Wednesday for $19 million over five years and trading Reilly Smith and Marc Savard‘s contract for former Boston College standout and Dorchester native Jimmy Hayes of the Panthers.

Cherry said bringing in a guy like Beleskey helps soften the blow of losing Hamilton and Lucic.

“I really like Beleskey,” he said. “He is one of my favorite guys, that was a terrific pickup. He’s in the top five of my heart and soul guys. He’s a Bruin, he was born a Bruin, so that’s good.”

Cherry noted with a bunch of young guys decorating the Bruins’ roster, head coach Claude Julien could be under the microscope depending on how upper management looks at where the team is headed this season.

“If they go along and they have a meeting and say, ‘Look, we know what we’ve done, we’ve got a young core, I know we’re going to struggle for a while. You’re our coach and you’re going to be there until the end,’ that would give him a little, but if they just let him go out there, and I hate to say it, but he’s the guy I think is going to take it in the ear for this,” Cherry said. “And that’s going to be a shame because … when you only miss the playoffs by two points, and you had all those injuries, and he wins Coach of the Year, he doesn’t deserve what he’s going to get, and that’s too bad because I don’t really know him that well, but I know he’s a good coach.”

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen

If you’ve forgotten what exactly the Bruins’ roster looks like after all these moves, it’s understandable.

In a nutshell, the Bruins have moved things around offensively while taking a step back defensively this offseason. The team has multiple candidates to take jobs on both offense and defense, though the team’s top-nine looks more or less set at this point. Here’s our attempt at a forward/defense depth chart after Don Sweeney’s flurry of moves.

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Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

Matt Beleskey took a reasonable contract with the Bruins. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)Don Sweeney may have looked like a rookie at his first draft, but he looked like a seasoned vet in his first free agency period. 

In announcing their flurry of acquisitions Wednesday, the Bruins slipped in an interesting name that had yet to come up during free agency: Jeremy Smith.

The B’s announced that they had signed the goaltender, who split time with Malcolm Subban in Providence last season, to a one-year, two-way deal worth $600,000 at the NHL level. That would make it likely that Smith will at the very least contend to be the backup in Boston behind Tuukka Rask next season.

Smith has never played in the NHL. The Bruins have had mixed results with giving unproven veteran AHLers their backup gig in recent seasons. Chad Johnson proved to be a steal for $600,000 in the 2013-14 season, while the team lost faith in Nicklas Svedberg last season on the same contract. Svedberg bolted Boston early in the offseason to play in the KHL. Both Johnson and Svedberg had one-way deals, however, so Smith could easily be stashed in Providence for less money should he not make the big club.

Blog Author: 
DJ Bean

The Bruins have traded Reilly Smith and Marc Savard‘s contract to the Panthers for the rights to restricted free agent Jimmy Hayes. The trade was first reported by ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

The Bruins have signed left wing Matt Beleskey to a five-year, $19 million  contract, according to a source. The deal carries an annual cap hit of $3.8 million.

TSN’s Darren Dreger was the first to report the terms of the deal.