Neither player the Bruins signed today to one-year deals might make any impact on their NHL product between now and the end of the season.
But at the very least, Boston’s signings of defenseman Shane Hnidy, who was with the club since Wednesday on a tryout, and Kirk MacDonald, who has been with the Providence (AHL) farm club on a minor-league deal for a couple seasons, adds a couple of top-notch character guys to the mix.
Hnidy, we all know, spent parts of two season with the Bruins before leaving as a free agent for Minnesota in the summer of ’09. He was always a strong, veteran voice in the dressing room. He never complained about a lack of playing time and showed a knack for being able to produce even after lengthy stretches on the sidelines.
MacDonald, meanwhile, has emerged as one of the veteran leaders for a young P-Bruins club that has had more downs than ups this season. But he’s a guy the coaching staff leans on to keep some of the organization’s top prospects on the right track, and rewarding him with an NHL deal means he could be a member of the Black Aces come spring.
Neither one of these signings makes the Bruins more or less of a Stanley Cup contender. These contracts just show a commitment to a pair of solid citizens the Bruins want to have around.