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Bruins re-sign Tommy Cross to one year, two-way contract

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The Boston Bruins have signed defenseman Tommy Cross to a one-year, two-way contract worth $650,000 at the NHL level.

Cross, 27, spent most of last season in the AHL; however, he did get into one of Boston’s playoff games against Ottawa when Adam McQuaidTorey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Colin Miller were all injured.

It was just the fourth NHL game of Cross’ career, the other three coming in the 2015-16 regular season.

In 74 games for Providence this past season, Cross had 12 goals and 23 assists.

Bruins promote Dean, Cassidy’s former assistant

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A familiar face will join Bruce Cassidy behind the bench in Boston next season.

Kevin Dean, Cassidy’s longtime assistant coach in Providence, has been promoted to work alongside Cassidy with the Bruins, the club announced on Tuesday.

“He’s an extremely knowledgeable hockey mind who is deeply committed to the Bruins organization and development of our players,” Cassidy said of Dean, in a release. “We’ve established a strong rapport having coached together for five years in Providence and I look forward to working closely with him again on a daily basis.”

Last year, Dean served as the head coach in Providence, having inherited the job after Cassidy left to join Claude Julien’s staff. When Julien was fired, Cassidy was named interim head coach of the Bruins and, after taking the team to the playoffs, had the interim tag lifted in late April.

In his first season at the helm of the P-Bruins, Dean led the team to a 43-23-6 (96 points) record, yielding a berth in the 2017 Calder Cup playoffs.

Prior to his coaching career, Dean appeared in over 300 NHL contests with New Jersey, Atlanta, Dallas and Chicago. He will now be one of Cassidy’s three assistants, along with Joe Sacco and Jay Pandolfo.

Report: Bruins and Wild involved in ‘ongoing trade discussions’

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A few days ago, Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney sounded prepared to move the 18th overall pick in this month’s NHL Draft.

Now, there are rumblings out of Boston that the Bruins and Minnesota Wild may be discussing a trade.

One of the areas of his team Sweeney would like to improve is — surprise, surprise — on the blue line. A few weeks ago, he openly shared that he’d like to bring in a top-four puck-moving defenseman.

One name being floated out there as a possible fit is Minnesota’s Jonas Brodin, a left-shooting defender who turns 24 years old in July and has four more years remaining on his six-year, $25 million contract.

From CSNNE.com:

One hockey source indicated to CSNNE there should be attention paid to the ongoing trade discussions between the Bruins and Wild for a couple of reasons. Those talks first started leading up to this past season’s trade deadline. The 23-year-old Brodin Is a left-shot D-man with cost certainty signed for four more years at $4.166 million and has been a top-four defenseman for the Wild since breaking into the league as a teenager. The 6-foot-1, 194-pound Brodin is coming off a career-high 25 points, while also averaging a career-low 19:34 of ice time, and has settled in as a solid, two-way D-man who’s never going to dazzle anybody with his workmanlike skill set.

What adds further intrigue is that, while Sweeney sounded open to the idea of trading a first-round pick, the Wild currently don’t have a selection in each of the first two rounds this year. Minnesota dealt its 2017 first-round pick to the Coyotes as part of the Martin Hanzal deal — a move Wild owner Craig Leopold eventually came to regret.

The salary cap is also a factor, especially if it remains at $73 million.

The Wild also have about $61.5 million committed to 15 players for next season, and that’s without pending restricted free agents Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter — in line for raises after respective career seasons — under contract for next year. The idea of a Wild trade — perhaps involving a defenseman — has certainly been out there for a while.

Bruins prospect Arnesson returns to Sweden

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney says prospect defenseman Linus Arnesson is returning to play in his native Sweden to rediscover his game after an injury-plagued season in the minors.

Sweeney says the Bruins will extend Arnesson a qualifying offer to retain the rights to the 2013 second-round draft pick who completed the final year of his entry level contract. Though disappointed in the decision, Sweeney referred to Arnesson as still having “a lot of upside” while acknowledging injuries took a toll on the player’s confidence.

Sweeney spoke in Buffalo on Thursday while attending the NHL rookie combine.

Swedish Hockey League team Orebro HK announced on its website a day earlier that it had signed Arnesson to a multiyear deal. The 22-year-old was quoted as saying he was seeking “a fresh start.”

Arnesson was limited to playing just 20 regular-season games with AHL Providence this season because of injuries to his shoulder and Achilles tendon. He also had an assist in 13 playoff games for the Bruins’ top minor-league affiliate.

Bruins’ contract talks with Pastrnak ‘moving in right direction’

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At the top of general manager Don Sweeney’s to-do list this offseason is working out a new contract extension for restricted free agent forward David Pastrnak.

He seems to be making progress with that task.

On Friday, Sweeney said that contract talks with the 21-year-old forward are “moving in the right direction” and that he expects to complete a deal that will make him a “longtime member of the Bruins.”

Pastrnak is coming off of his entry level deal and had a massive season for the Bruins in 2016-17, finishing second on the team in goals (34) and total points (70) behind only Brad Marchand. His goal total was good enough to put him in the top-10 in the entire league.

He followed that up by adding four points (two goals, two assists) in six playoff games.

He has 59 goals and 64 assists in 172 games over three seasons with the Bruins.

Having just turned 21 and already blossoming into one of the NHL’s best young offensive players, Pastrnak figures to be a long-term building block for the Bruins for the foreseeable future. The fact that Sweeney mentioned his next contract making Pastrnak a “longtime member” of the team would seem to indicate they are looking at more of a long-term contract extension as opposed to a shorter-term bridge deal.