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Bruins ink Peter Mueller to training camp PTO

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Peter Mueller is getting another kick at the can.

On Wednesday, ESPN reported that Mueller — who spent last season with Malmo of the Swedish League — has signed a professional tryout to join Boston at training camp.

It’s an interesting deal for an interesting player.

Mueller, 28, was the eighth overall pick in 2006 and showed promise — including a 22-goal, 54-point rookie campaign with the Coyotes — before getting sidetracked by concussions, and missing all of the 2010-11 season.

He left the NHL in 2013, opting to sign with Kloten of the Swiss League. There, he established himself as one of the league’s best scorers, and landed a deal with St. Louis the following summer.

Mueller failed to stick with the Blues, however, and opted to re-join Kloten rather than accept an AHL assignment. He spent one more year in Switzerland before jumping to Malmo last season, where he had 13 goals and 25 points in 43 games.

Traditionally a center, Mueller will (presumably) be in tough to make the Bruins out of camp. The team has relatively decent depth down the middle in Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, David Backes, Ryan Spooner and the recently signed Dominic Moore.

That said, he does have NHL talent.

Despite parting ways with the Blues two summers ago, GM Doug Armstrong did say “we viewed [Mueller] as a top nine player,” one that would have been back up with the club eventually, had he decided to accept a stint in the American League.

Bruins prospect Senyshyn to miss rookie camp after undergoing an appendectomy

SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 26:  Zach Senyshyn poses after being selected 15th overall by the Boston Bruins in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center on June 26, 2015 in Sunrise, Florida.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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When the Boston Bruins begin rookie camp later this month, they will be without 19-year-old forward Zach Senyshyn.

The Bruins on Monday confirmed that Senyshyn, selected 15th overall in the 2015 NHL Draft, will miss rookie camp, but will report to the NHL club’s training camp after undergoing a successful appendectomy on Sunday.

The Bruins added, however, that Senyshyn’s participation in training camp has yet to be determined.

The story first broke at SooToday.com, which covers the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in the Ontario Hockey League.

At last year’s draft, the Bruins became the first team in 47 years to make three consecutive first-round picks, although the selection of Senyshyn so early in the draft seemed to come as a surprise.

Senyshyn, who scored 45 goals and 65 points last season with the Greyhounds, also seemed determined to prove critics of his selection wrong. He could get another opportunity to do so at training camp, provided the Bruins feel he’s healthy enough following this operation.

Bruins sign Dominic Moore to one-year, $900K deal

Dominic Moore
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Dominic Moore preached patience when it came to navigating potential opportunities and destinations as a veteran NHL free agent.

After being on the market for almost two full months, Moore is now under contract.

On Tuesday, the Boston Bruins announced that they had signed the 36-year-old center to a one-year, one-way deal worth $900,000.

Moore has never been known for his offensive abilities. His career-high in points was 41, back in 2008-09 with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

But he can add veteran depth up the middle for the Bruins.

He spent the last three seasons with the New York Rangers, scoring six goals and 15 points in 80 games last season. He also won more than 55 per cent of his faceoffs, and averaged 2:09 of ice time on the penalty kill.

The Bruins defense still needs some work

BOSTON, MA - MARCH 01:  Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins looks on during the second period at TD Garden on March 1, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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This is part of Boston Bruins day at PHT…

The Boston Bruins were able to add a quality veteran this off-season, as they signed David Backes to a long-term contract.

The addition of Backes gives the Bruins another quality forward on their depth chart, but it didn’t solve their biggest need.

Since the end of the 2015-16 season, Boston’s front office has been openly talking about the need to add a transitional defenseman. Unfortunately, the off-season plans fell through.

“We know that it’s an area that we need to improve upon,” team president Cam Neely said in April. “That’s probably at the top of the list.”

St. Louis’ Kevin Shattenkirk was reportedly available via trade, but the Blues haven’t parted ways with him. Keith Yandle and Alex Goligoski, who were both scheduled to become free agents, never hit the market and signed elsewhere.

So, where do the Bruins go from here?

Unless they can swing a deal soon, they’ll have to ride with the players they have.

Zdeno Chara isn’t the player he once was.

The 39-year-old is still effective and can contribute, but the heavy workload he’s accustomed to might be too much for him to handle.

Torey Krug, who signed a four-year, $21 million extension with Boston earlier this off-season, will be the team’s go-to puck mover. The 25-year-old scored four goals and 44 points last season and the B’s will either need him to replicate those numbers or improve them.

Boston also has a pair of defensive defensemen in Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller. Both are physical blue liners that don’t bring much when it comes to moving the puck.

The Bruins have missed the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. On both occasions, they were knocked out in the final weekend of the regular season. If they want to take the next step and make the playoffs (and maybe go a round or two), they’ll need to address their defense.

Most of the teams in the Atlantic Division have a puck-moving defenseman that can provide offense from the back end. The Bruins have Krug and Chara, but where do those players stack up against some of the defenseman in the division?

The Lightning have Victor Hedman, the Panthers have Aaron Ekblad, the Canadiens have Shea Weber, the Ottawa Senators have Erik Karlsson, the Red Wings have Mike Green, the Sabres have Rasmus Ristolainen and the Maple Leafs have Morgan Rielly.

Yea, the Bruins need some work.

Poll: Will the Bruins end their two-year playoff drought?

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 07:  Torey Krug #47 of the Boston Bruins celebrates with Matt Beleskey #39 and teammates after scoring against the Detroit Red Wings during the second period at TD Garden on April 7, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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This is part of Boston Bruins day at PHT…

The Boston Bruins haven’t made the playoffs in the last two seasons and they’re hoping that they’ve done enough this off-season to change that.

The biggest acquisition of the summer was David Backes. The 32-year-old signed with Boston on July 1st, after spending the first 10 years of his NHL career with the St. Louis Blues.

In terms of offensive production, Backes’ best days are likely behind him, but that doesn’t mean he won’t contribute at all. The veteran center scored 21 goals and 45 points in 2015-16.

Backes gives the Bruins a solid one, two, three punch down the middle with Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci also on the depth chart.

The three centers will have help from Brad Marchand, Matt Beleskey, David Pastrnak and a few other solid wingers.

Having Tuukka Rask between the pipes should also help.

So that’s the good news. Now, the bad…

The Bruins wanted to add a puck-moving defenseman. They tried to acquire Backes’ former teammate, Kevin Shattenkirk, from St. Louis, but no deal was struck.

Unfortunately for Boston, they didn’t only miss on Shattenkirk, they also whiffed on every one of their targets (on defense). They might be able to acquire someone between now and the start of the season, but as of right now, they’ve come up empty.

It looks like the Bruins will have to rely on an aging Zdeno Chara to play big minutes again. Torey Krug will also serve as a key puck-mover for Boston. The Bruins have John-Michael Liles and defensive defensemen Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller. Rounding out the defense will be Colin Miller and Joe Morrow.

They’re also a little lighter on the wings, as Loui Eriksson left for Vancouver in free agency.

There’s certainly a lot of questions surrounding the Bruins in 2016-17.

Has Boston done enough this off-season? Will the Bruins be able to overcome their deficiencies on defense? Can they break this two-year playoff drought with the current roster?