Begin

Begin

Familiarity has been a key component in how the Boston Bruins have built their roster. Whether it’s players who skated for the Ottawa Senators when Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was there, players from the Ottawa area or ones that have skated for head coach Claude Julien at any of his previous stops, first-hand knowledge of track records weighs heavily in the Bruins’ decision to add a player.

The latest product of that philosophy is forward Steve Begin, who signed with the Bruins as an unrestricted free agent in early July and skated with some of his new teammates this morning at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, Mass. Begin said he’s eager to get to know his new colleagues and his new city, while shaking the off the dust that was the Montreal portion of his career.

“They used to like me in Montreal, so that might change a bit,” he said with a laugh.

Offseason tidbit: Begin spent a lot of time at home with his wife and two kids, including some camping.

Position battle: Begin can play center or left wing, so he’ll be battling the likes of Vladimir Sobotka, Byron Bitz, Shawn Thornton and maybe even Mark Recchi for a spot on one of the bottom two offensive lines. The Bruins will need him to pick up the penalty-killing slack after the departure of Stephane Yelle and P.J. Axelsson.

Projection: Begin will be a perfect fourth-line fit for the Bruins, who will keep him around for his versatility and his responsible play when the club is shorthanded. You can probably pencil him in for five to eight goals.