The Boston Bruins want to get back to playing Bruins hockey.
They also want to score more goals.
For those two reasons, the signing of Matt Beleskey makes sense. The 27-year-old winger was among Anaheim’s leaders in hits last season, plus he chipped in 22 goals, then eight more in the playoffs.
But here’s why the Bruins are taking a risk in reportedly giving the unrestricted free agent a five-year commitment, with a cap hit of $3.8 million:
Beleskey scored on 15.2 percent of his shots in 2014-15. Which was a good thing. But his career rate is 9.9, suggesting he may have picked a really profitable season to have some shooting luck.
It’s also possible that skating mostly with Ryan Kesler, plus a fair bit with Ryan Getzlaf, helped Beleskey’s numbers. In 329 career NHL games, Beleskey only has 57 goals.
Look, let’s just say people were saying similar things about UFA David Clarkson, right before Clarkson signed that disastrous contract with the Leafs.
Maybe the Beleskey signing works out a lot better for the Bruins. At the very least, the cap hit and term are considerably less onerous than Clarkson’s. Plus, the Bruins aren’t the Leafs. And if Beleskey gets time with Patrice Bergeron or David Krejci, he’ll be in a position to succeed.
As always on July 1, only time will tell.