Well, this should make things a little awkward when the NESN announcing crew shows up to do interviews at Bruins training camp this fall.
Heck, it might be awkward just when the players show up for camp.
After losing Michael Ryder to Dallas as a free agent this afternoon, the Bruins have reportedly signed former Montreal winger Benoit Pouliot to a one-year deal worth $1.1 million, according to TSN.
In addition to being a healthy scratch for the Canadiens in the playoffs last spring vs. Boston (like Ryder before he signed with the Bruins), he was also the source of one of the greatest rants of NESN play-by-play man Jack Edwards. The excitable Bruins backer declared Pouliot as one of the “biggest disappointments in NHL history” after his questionable hit on Johnny Boychuk.
Pouliot’s act was so egregious, he even got typically diplomatic color commentator Andy Brickley to call him “gutless.”
Pouliot’s hit on Boychuk wasn’t the only controversial play he was involved in against the Bruins last season. In one game, he fought Bruins center David Krejci and put a beating on the pivot. You’ll remember that late in the Zdeno Chara/Max Pacioretty game in Montreal, Milan Lucic tried to seek out Pouliot for a fight but was rebuffed by the Habs forward.
Pouliot was picked fourth overall by Minnesota in 2005. He has scored just 37 goals in 183 NHL games over parts of five seasons. While Edwards might’ve exaggerated Pouliot’s failures a bit, he has been a bust. At 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, he’s not overly physical. And his stats tell the tale about his hands.
Head coach Claude Julien will have his hands full trying to get this guy to play to his potential, whatever that potential is these days.
We’ll here how general manager Peter Chiarelli spins this signing during a 5 p.m. conference call.