As expected, content Bruins avoid free-agent frenzy

Chris Kelly’s deal was one third of Boston’s July 1 frenzy/Photo by S. Bradley

Luckily, TSN and the rest of the national media wasn’t relying on the Bruins to create the frenzy they sold their programming on today.

With the exception of filing the three contracts they already announced they had signed, the Bruins did nothing, and general manager Peter Chiarelli didn’t anticipate that changing, today on the first day of free agency in the NHL.

The new deals for veterans Chris Kelly and Tuukka Rask, and the entry-level deal for Alexander Khokhlachev are all now official. Other than that, Chiarelli said he “delved” into a couple potential forward signings but those talks went nowhere. A depth signing or two, or maybe a trade, could be in the Bruins’ future the next couple of weeks. Or we could see the team that lost in the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs back next season with a few veterans dropped and a couple prospects in their place.

“I’m not actively looking for anything,” Chiarelli said today. “If something can improve our team, we’ll consider adding. But the secondary market, again, I would take the same approach – not actively looking, but … whether it’s the secondary market of free agency or the next market with respect to trades, we’ll continue to look at that stuff. But not actively looking.”

Overall, most second-tier players and depth guys around the league got their deals done. The big names — Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, Alexander Semin — seemed content to drag out the courting process past July 1, much to the chagrin of TSN and its competitors.

On the ex-Bruins front, Joe Corvo returned to Carolina for a third stint. The veteran defenseman, who the Bruins had no intention of signing, earned a one-year, $2 million deal. Greg Zanon signed a two-year, $4.5 million deal with Colorado. Benoit Pouliot, whose rights were traded to Tampa Bay at the draft, signed a one-year, $1.8 million deal with the Lightning.

It was officially announced that the Bruins presented qualifying offers to restricted free agents Matt Bartkowski and Lane MacDermid. Those let go without a qualifying offer were Andrew Bodnarchuk, Jamie Arniel, Adam Courchaine and Stefan Chaput. Those four players are now unrestricted free agents.

As for the Bruins’ competition, Montreal definitely added truculence with the signings of Brandon Prust, Francis Bouillon and Colby Armstrong to go with their stable of solid skilled players. Ottawa traded forward Nick Foligno to Columbus and signed Guillaume Latendresse. In exchange for Foligno, they got defenseman Marc Methot. Ottawa also lost blueliners Filip Kuba (Florida) and Matt Carkner (NY Islanders).

Buffalo let Brad Boyes leave for the New York Islanders.

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