The Bruins are looking to potentially upgrade their situation on the back end as they jump into their offseason improvement plan, but they’re also clearly interested in fortifying the organizational depth they already have.
With that in mind, the Bruins announced on Wednesday that they’ve re-signed longtime depth defenseman Tommy Cross to a one-year, two-way deal worth $650,000 at the NHL level.
Cross, 27, will be entering his sixth season as a member of the Bruins organization after a standout career at Boston College, and appeared in one playoff game for the NHL team, along with 90 combined regular-season and playoff games in the AHL with Providence this past season.
In all, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Cross has appeared in four NHL games the past couple of seasons and provides the perfect tough and smart depth D-man for the Bruins if injuries hit. He's also the kind of role model and leader in the AHL with so many impressionable B’s prospects playing in Providence.
Bruce Cassidy perhaps said it best about Cross this past season when describing what the rugged D-man could bring when Cross was called up in the first round of the playoffs.
“You know what you’re getting with Tommy. He’s a hard-nosed guy. He moves the puck and he’s had career numbers down in Providence this [past] season,” said Cassidy. “If he’s called upon, we expect him [to do the job]. He’s a good pro. He’s been the captain down there [in Providence], and he’ll give us everything he’s got.”
Cross seemed to add an offensive component to his game last season with 12 goals and 35 points in 74 games in the AHL regular season and two goals and nine points in 16 AHL playoff games. Cross isn’t expected to crack the NHL lineup out of training camp barring something unforeseen happening, but he gives the B’s somebody solid in the minors once the injury bug hits, as it inevitably will to a team’s defensemen depth at some point.