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As is the case every year, the headliners may be off the board for the most part, but for Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli, it’s become about adding depth in the organization in the event of injuries that could strike at any time. On Tuesday, Boston’s producer continued to address this issue by adding two players with NHL experience to the depth chart with the signings of defensemen Drew Fata and goaltender Dany Sabourin.
For many Bruins fans, Dany Sabourin sounds familiar and for good reason. Before a trade sent him to Edmonton where he played a grand total of zero games, Sabourin was backing up Marc-Andre Fleury with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Sabourin’s biggest game for Pittsburgh undoubtedly came against Boston in which he held the Bruins to just one goal and stopped 35 pucks as the Pens spoiled the Bruins home-opener with a shoot-out win. He went on to finish with a 6-8-2 record with a 2.85 GAA and .898 SV%. Although Sabourin’s win-loss record may not be what the Bruins look forward to he’s been the victim of just plain rotten luck when you see that in 8 of his total 10 losses when you include overtime the Pens scored just two goals or less.
When having the views of a cynic, the signing of Sabourin could mean two things: one, that Sabourin will mine the pipes in Providence in the AHL, or, two, that Boston is prepared to move Tuukka Rask and rely on Sabourin as a back-up to the five-million dollar man, Tim Thomas.
However, I’m quite sure that this move is create depth at the goaltending position in the event of an injury to the Vezina-winning Thomas or Finnish rookie Rask. I’m a huge fan of this move considering it adds depth to Boston’s chart when you consider guys such as Matt Dalton and Kevin Regan aren’t nearly ready for a call-up to the NHL in the event of an injury, and have zero NHL experience, something Dany Sabourin has, with over 50 games played.
Along with Sabourin, the Bruins also added defensemen Drew Fata. The 25-year-old defensemen is coming off another year in the AHL where he spent the majority of the season with the Binghampton Senators after a trade sent the lefty out of San Antonio. In 71 games with the AHL Sens, Fata tallied 7 goals and 16 points, finishing with a -4 and over 130 minutes in penalties. Fata is expected to be a physical presence on the Providence blue-line and potentially in Boston if injuries strike the Boston blue-line like it has in year’s past.
Fata’s signing could also be an insurance policy in the event that Matt Hunwick does not return to Boston, which at this point, doesn’t seem to be the reason behind his signing.
Although the financial terms of the contracts were not released per Boston Bruins club policy, it’s believed that both players will be making NHL minimum and both contracts are one-year deals. With over four million dollars left in cap space, the next guy in line for a contract appears to be Matt Hunwick, who went to salary arbitration on Sunday with Boston.
To close out, here’s an entertaining highlight of Fata drilling Keith Aucoin in head, found by Stanley Cup of Chowder: