BOSTON – The Boston Bruins re-signed forward Daniel Paille on Thursday and expect to be bystanders now that the free-agency period is underway.
Paille, primarily a checker and penalty killer, received a two-year contract extension, the Bruins’ fifth move in 10 days involving forwards.
“I don’t really have any pressing needs from purely acquiring someone on the free-agent market, so I don’t think you’ll see much from us in the next couple of days,” general manager Peter Chiarelli said in a conference call.
On June 22, the NHL’s second lowest scoring team last season obtained forwards Nathan Horton, Florida’s leading scorer since he was drafted in 2003, and Greg Campbell for defenceman Dennis Wideman and two draft picks.
Four days later, the Bruins drafted 18-year-old centre Tyler Seguin with the second overall pick with expectations that he would contribute as a rookie. And two days after that, they re-signed 42-year-old Mark Recchi for one season.
Now Chiarelli plans to monitor the market before deciding whether to make any trades.
“If there’s not something in the trade market, I would say, yes, I’m probably done shopping,” he said.
Paille, 26, had 10 goals and nine assists for the Bruins, last season, his fifth in the NHL. He spent the previous four seasons with Buffalo and had 19 goals and 16 assists in 2007-08. He played two games for the Sabres last season before appearing in 74 for Boston.
Paille was part of the NHL’s third best penalty-killing team and played on other lines.
“He suffered through a lack of confidence in Buffalo, for whatever reason,” Chiarelli said. “With his speed, his size, his ability to forecheck, I think once he gets his confidence back, you’ll see him in a variety of spots.”
Paille appeared in all 13 playoff games last season. Boston eliminated Buffalo in six games then won the first three against Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference semifinals before dropping the next four.
Chiarelli is confident he has enough space under the salary cap to sign restricted free agents Campbell and Blake Wheeler, both forwards, and defenceman Mark Stuart.
“I think we can get them back in the mix. It might be a little tight,” he said.
Meanwhile, he’s waiting to decide on his own unrestricted free agent forwards Miroslav Satan, who had five goals and five assists in the playoffs, and Steve Begin. He said he told their agents he may renew talks at some point.
Chiarelli spoke to several general managers and said trades remain a possibility.
“We’ll let the market shake out a bit (and) pick up those conversations again,” he said.
Barring a deal, the Bruins seem set with their goaltending. Tuukka Rask played all 13 post-season games after taking over during the season for Tim Thomas, who is signed for three more years.
“There will be intense competition. That’s the way we had planned it,” Chiarelli said. “I’m comfortable with it (but) I’m not saying it’s going to end up that way.”
The Bruins also signed forward Jeremy Reich to a one-year contract. The 31-year-old Reich last played in the NHL in 2007-08 when he had two goals and two assists in 58 games for the Bruins. The previous season, he had just one assist in 32 games with them.
He signed as a free agent with the New York Islanders on June 2, 2009 but never played for them. Instead, he appeared in 33 games with their Bridgeport team in the AHL where he had 12 goals and eight assists.