Another player to look for to sign soon is Mark Popovic. Mark is a puck moving guy and has had interest from several teams I am told. I like the way he plays, and puck moving d are few and far between...Montreal, Boston and Tampa are among some possible teams...
I would take a chance on him- on a short term, short money deal. Nice skill-set. Nice minor league numbers the last two years. He's only 25 and has just 44 games of NHL experience so it would be like adding another prospect.
Best case scenario: He could be a Knuble-type late bloomer and fulfill his potential as a top4 puck mover. Plus, if the B's signed him to a 1yr deal, they'd own his rights when the deal was up (because of his age).
Worst case scenario: The Prov B's get an experienced stud AHL dman.
Depends on the price but my initial reaction is to pass. I think we have better and younger in our system and he could get in the way of their development. I liked him when he was drafted (he was on my list) but at 25 and still not made it I have to consider him a "ready to bust".
I remember interviewing him in 2001 for the pre-draft coverage on NEHJ and know he was a die-hard Bruins fan growing up in Toronto in the late 80's and 90's. His mother lamented to me all the money she spent on Bruins stuff for him when he was a kid.
My guess is that if the Bruins make him an offer, he'll sign here.
I think it's a good idea to try to build organizational depth in an area of weakness, even if it begins with low-risk AHL players. Without doubt the B's number one need right now is skill and speed on the back end.
I mentioned Popovic a while back (http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=531305) as a possible target. Ek also had the B's tied to a rumor involving another guy on that list (Berard). The other two (Hutchinson, Bell) have already signed.
Wouldn't be a bad guy to battle for a spot, maybe it amounts to nothing, and we keep the same D corps, but maybe he allows a move to be made. Who's spot could he take? Ference? Hnidy? Or maybe a good guy to have down in Providence for a call up?
I'm all for younger guys with upside to prove themselves, especially when the position has question marks, such as the bottom couple spots on the roster. It can't hurt, especially if he's willing to spend time in Providence.
If I were Chiarelli, I'd say to his agent "We'll bring him in to training camp on a tryout basis, if he earns a spot then we'll make a move to keep him up here. If he doesn't, we'll give him a two-way deal and keep the door open."