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Patrick Eaves, the right-winger who was a Boston Bruin for less than one week in July, signed a one-year contract worth $500,000 with two-time defending Western Conference champions, the Detroit Red Wings. The Bruins acquired the 25-year-old forward and a fourth-round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for defenseman Aaron Ward on July 24. After the trade was finalized, Eaves was immediately placed upon waivers by the Bruins and his contract was bought out, making Eaves an unrestricted free agent.
The Bruins aren’t Eaves’s only Boston connection; the Calgary-born Minnesotan was also a stellar forward for the Boston College Eagles hockey team. While on Chestnut Hill, Eaves was an All-American and a Hobey Baker Award finalist. In 2003 – his freshman year – he was drafted by the Ottawa Senators in the first round (29th overall) and signed with them two years later, the same year he was named Hockey East Player of the Year.
Eaves began with his NHL career in 2005 with promise, scoring 20 goals – including four game winners – in 58 games for the Senators. The following season, the highly-touted skater tallied a career-high 32 points (14-18-32), but was unfortunately at the receiving end of a violent shoulder check from Colby Armstrong, which left him motionless on the ice until he was carried off on a stretcher.
Eaves has spent a great deal of time injured since the hit and his production has been in a near free-fall; he notched 10 points in 26 games for the Senators in an injury-plagued 2007-2008 campaign, before he was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes mid-season. He played in eleven more games that season, scoring one goal and tallying four assists.
Fortunately for Eaves, he found his niche in Carolina as a defensive-forward, using his strong forechecking skills to ink a three-year extension with the ‘Canes worth $4.2 million. Unfortunately for them, this past season marked Eaves’s worst in terms of points, garnering only 14 (6-8-14) in 74 games.
The Detroit Red Wings are hoping that Eaves will be able to realize the offensive potential that he seemed to flaunt his rookie year. As a result of the buyout, the former Eagle will cost the Bruins $258,333 each of the next three seasons, which will account for 1/200 of the team’s $56.7 million salary cap. Here at SoB, we wish Eaves the best of luck with his new team, as long as they don’t get in our way, of course.