By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Bruins bolstered their defensive depth on Thursday, signing defenseman Alex Petrovic to a one-year, two-way contract worth $700,000 at the NHL level, Bruins general manager Don Sweeney confirmed. The Bruins also confirmed that they waived Petrovic shortly after signing him in an attempt to send him to the AHL's Providence Bruins.
In Boston on a professional tryout agreement, the 27-year-old Petrovic appeared in three games with the B's this preseason, totaling three takeaways, six hits, and seven blocked shots while averaging 19:10 per night.
Though the B's are loaded on the left side of their blue line, Petrovic gives the Bruins some much-needed right-side defensive insurance, as Kevan Miller (knee) remains on the shelf to begin the year. With Miller out, Steven Kampfer sits as the team's fourth-best right-shot defender in the event of an injury rash similar to last year's absolute decimation of the Boston blue line.
Despite standing at an impossible 6-foot-4, last year was an undeniable step backwards, as Petrovic totaled two assists and was a minus-15 in 35 games between the Panthers and Oilers. But he's not that far removed from setting career-highs in goals (two), assists (15), points (17), plus/minus (plus-17), and hits (157) in a 66-game 2016-17 season with the Panthers, giving the Bruins some hope that he can be a reliable depth presence should their depth take a blow this season.
The deal for Petrovic also continues what's been a relatively noticeable trend with Sweeney at the helm, as he's routinely signed (or offered) contracts to NHL veterans in camp on tryouts. This started with goaltender Jonas Gustavsson in 2015, and continued with Peter Mueller, Lee Stempniak, and now Petrovic. The team also offered Christian Ehrhoff, who was with the team on a professional tryout at the conclusion of the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, a contract, but Ehrhoff chose not to sign.
A second-round pick in 2010, Petrovic has appeared in 263 games in his NHL career.