The defending Western Conference champion Detroit Red Wings today signed free agent forward Patrick Eaves to a one-year contract. Eaves, a former Boston College standout, was a Boston Bruins player on paper for a little more than 24 hours last month when he was acquired from the Carolina Hurricanes for defenseman Aaron Ward. The Bruins then waived Eaves, who cleared waivers and was bought out.
Many have asked me why the Bruins were so quick to dispose of Eaves, who by all accounts is the type of player the Bruins enjoy having — hard-nosed with a little bit of offensive touch. But with the way things are shaping up salary cap-wise for this year and next, the Bruins really had no choice but to let Eaves go and take the cap credit they’re going to receive for 2010-11.
The plan is to have one of a group of Bruins prospects, which includes Vladimir Sobotka, Mikko Lehtonen and Zach Hamill, to step up and fill a void or two at the NHL level. So Eaves just would’ve been in the way of those prospects, who in addition to having upside also work a little cheaper.