As expected it’s been a boring offseason with the Bruins as they find themselves tight to the National Hockey League Salary Cap ceiling. Yesterday the Bruins made their first official unrestricted free agent signing as they agreed to a one-year two-way deal with defensemen Garnet Exelby.
Exelby spent the entire 2011-12 season in the AHL with the Grand Rapids Griffins—Detroit Red Wings minor league affiliate—where he lit the lamp seven times and chipped in with 14 assists. The 30-year old Exelby has played in 408 career National Hockey League games between the Atlanta Thrashers and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
To go along with the signing of Exelby the Bruins continued the trend of bringing back their own as they signed forward Lane MacDermid and defensemen Matt Bartowski to one-year two-way deals.
Bartowski who will make $660,000 at the National Hockey League (NHL) level and $62,500 at the American Hockey League (AHL) level has appeared in nine games for the Bruins between two seasons including three games against his hometown Pittsburgh Penguins.
MacDermid suited up for the Bruins five times during the 2011-12 season including his first game on March 4 against the Rangers were he recorded his first career NHL fight. In 69 games for the Providence Bruins MacDermid had four goals and added 12 assists.
The only one who has a solid chance to make the team out of camp is Exelby as the Bruins seventh defensemen and some insurance in case Dougie Hamilton struggles with the transition to the NHL.