July 11, 2012

Bruins sign former Thrashers d-man Exelby

By Jesse Connolly

In search of a veteran to serve as their sixth/seventh defenseman, the Bruins have signed free agent Garnet Exelby to a one-year, two-way contract. He'll earn $600,000 with Boston, $130,000 if he plays in Providence.

Exelby has played in 408 NHL games throughout his career, most of which came for the Atlanta Thrashers, who selected him 217th overall in the 1999 NHL Draft. A hard-nosed blueliner, Exelby led Atlanta in hits every season from 2005-06 to 2008-09. In the summer of 2009, he was traded along with Colin Stuart (brother of former Bruin Mark Stuart) to Toronto in exchange for Pavel Kubina and Tim Stapleton.

During his lone season with the Leafs, the 6-foot-1 rearguard had four points in 53 games. He spent 2010-11 with the AHL's Rockford Ice Hogs before joining the the Red Wings' organization.

Exelby did not play for Detroit in 2011-12, as he was again relegated to AHL duties. He led the Grand Rapids Griffins with 177 penalty minutes, registering 21 points (including seven goals) in 75 contests.

For his career, the 30-year-old Saskatchewan native has 7-43-50 totals and 584 penalty minutes in 408 games. His lone NHL playoff appearance came in 2007 with Atlanta. They were swept in the first round by the Rangers.

MacDermid re-upped

Boston also agreed to terms with RFA Lane MacDermid (Hartford, Conn.), inking their budding enforcer to a one-year, two-way contract. MacDermid will earned $600,000 at the NHL level and $70,000 in the AHL.

MacDermid, 22, has been a penalty-minutes machine for the P-Bruins since being drafted 112th overall by Boston in 2009. 

In three seasons with Providence, the 6-foot-3 winger has spent 434 minutes in the sin bin, dropping the gloves with high regularity. Fittingly, Macdermid got in a bout on his first NHL shift during his debut on March 4 in Madison Square Garden, throwing down with grizzled vet Mike Rupp.

MacDermid appeared in five games with Boston before being sent down. He did not register a point and had a minus-3 rating.

His best showing -- outside of dropping the mitts with Rupp -- came in his second NHL contest. MacDermid had a game-high six hits in a 5-4 win over the Leafs in Toronto.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.