Paul Postma

Postma "ready and excited" to make his Bruins debut

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Postma "ready and excited" to make his Bruins debut

BRIGHTON, Mass – It took seven games into the regular season, but it looks like Paul Postma will be making his Bruins debut on Saturday night after signing on in Boston as a free agent last summer. The 28-year-old Postma is getting into the Bruins lineup after a couple of blocked shots knocked Adam McQuaid out of the Bruins lineup with a broken leg, but it’s a moment he’s been prepared for since the end of NHL training camp.

“Those things happen. I obviously wish him the best and we’re going to miss him a lot, but it’s up to the other guys to step up and I’m going to get a chance to play now. [I’m going to] make the most of it,” said Postma, who finished with a goal and 14 points along with a plus-3 rating in 64 games for the Winnipeg Jets last season in his eighth and final year with the organization that dated back to their days as the Atlanta Thrashers. “It was a long summer and I obviously play this game because I want to get into the lineup. I’m ready and excited, and I’m excited to just play my first game as a Boston Bruin.”

Postma has pretty good size at 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, but he’s more of a puck-mover and offensive catalyst with a strong, accurate shot from the point than he would be considered a defensive stopper-type. Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy has to keep that in mind while building the defensemen pairs, and adjusting to also potentially being without fellow stay-at-home defenseman Kevan Miller on Saturday night as well.

The book on Postma, according to sources within the Winnipeg Jets organization, was that he could impress with the talent and skills within his game, but that he could never consistently put it together on a consistent basis. With injuries piling up for the Bruins, Postma will now get a new, fresh chance with the Bruins after serving as the seventh defenseman for the first few weeks of the season. 

“He’s working diligently to close a little quicker and understand what his assignment is. We’re more zone oriented in terms of layers [than Winnipeg] and we’re not going to chase people away from our net, so he’s had to get used to that,” said Postma, of his adjustment from the Jets system to the one that the Bruins play. “The puck-moving department will always be there. That’s one of his strengths and we’re going to expect that from him. He’s got a big shot, so he’ll definitely add some offensive blue line presence.”  

The nice part for Postma is that all of the talk and theory about how he’ll look in a Bruins uniform will be over at puck drop on Saturday night, and it will be about impressing a team full of new people where he’s looking for a permanent role.  

Ex-Winnipeg defenseman Postma happy for fresh start with Bruins

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Ex-Winnipeg defenseman Postma happy for fresh start with Bruins

BRIGHTON, Mass – It turns out that the move to the Bruins organization is quite a monumental one for Paul Postma.

Postma, 28, has spent the past eight years as a member of the Atlanta Thrashers/Winnipeg Jets organization before signing a one-year deal with the Bruins on the July 1 opening of NHL free agency. He's established himself as a steady, reliable D-man who ended up playing 65 games for the Jets last season and had his best performance to date with a goal and 14 assists along with a plus-3 rating.

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Still, Postma was blocked as a big-bodied right shot defenseman with Dustin Byfuglien and Jacob Trouba ahead of him on the depth chart and buried in an organization. They also had Tyler Myers, Toby Enstrom and Mark Stuart ahead of him in the pecking order. So, Postma is looking at signing with the Bruins as a “fresh start” of sorts where he can get a chance to really see what he can do at the NHL level.

“I was a little too comfortable with Winnipeg. I had been with that organization for 10 years, so coming into camp I knew where I fell in the depth chart,” said Postma, who has 10 goals and 34 points in 191 career NHL games. “I was stuck in a rut [in Winnipeg] where I wasn’t really developing at all, so it was time for a change for me.
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“This has been great for me so far. I’ve never really been traded like this or signed with a new team, so everything is new to me. But it’s been a great transition and I think I’m doing well with the systems and stuff, and even the business of city life. I’m starting to settle down and really enjoying it.”

The fractured jaw injury to Torey Krug may open exactly that kind of door for Postma in the first few games to start the regular season. Postma can play on both the left and right side and has already shown his big shot in scoring a preseason goal against the Red Wings, so now it’s about competing with younger, homegrown players Matt Grzelcyk and Rob O’Gara to see who will be in Boston’s top-six on opening night. 

“He’s interesting because he might be a little bit of a tweener where he’s a young veteran guy,” said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. “He’s a bit of a new guy to us, so he’s got to balance showing us his best side with also simply getting ready for the season. As a veteran, they’ve got their own checklist to get ready for the season. My guess is that he wants to show his teammates and the staff that he’s a good hockey player and that he deserves to be in there every night, and do that while also getting himself ready.

“There is definitely some competition there. That’s one of the things we talked about with him, specifically. We’ve got some young kids that are going to push him. Some of them are still here and some them are not. Grzelcyk and O’Gara are still here and had a little bit of action last year while [Jakub] Zboril and [Jeremy] Lauzon have gone to Providence. So, it’s whittling down, but there is still competition.”

It remains to be seen if it will Postma, playing the left side for the first time in a couple of seasons, or Grzelcyk, a very similar player to Krug in stature and skill level, who will step into the lineup in Krug’s place for the first few games of the regular season. It may even be O’Gara if he can do something in the final two few preseason games (tonight in Philly, Saturday in Chicago) to make the B’s evaluators stand up and take notice. Either way, it seems inevitable that Postma will get his chance to show what he can do in Boston this season and perhaps take advantage of the fresh start he’s getting with the Bruins. 

Bruins sign depth players Kenny Agostino, Paul Postma to one-year, one-way deals

Bruins sign depth players Kenny Agostino, Paul Postma to one-year, one-way deals

BRIGHTON, Mass – The Bruins made offers and held discussions for bigger, better players leading up to the July 1 opening of free agency in the NHL, but at the end of Saturday came away with a pair of depth signings that offer zero risk and little cost. The Bruins signed AHL MVP Kenny Agostino ($875,000) and Winnipeg Jets defenseman Paul Postma ($725,000) to one-year, one-way deals with each of the two contracts coming in at well under $1 million in salary.

“Have we made offers? Have we explored? Yeah, we have – on both fronts, through trade or putting out offers. But, as I teed up [on Friday], I didn’t think it was necessarily going to happen and it didn’t,” said Bruins GM Don Sweeney. “We made offers to players that signed elsewhere, again, for different reasons. That’s entirely up to the player themselves, whether the term wasn’t right or the dollars weren’t right or the location wasn’t right.”

The Bruins also signed Providence Bruins forward Jordan Szwarz to a one-year, two-way deal worth $650,000 at the NHL after he enjoyed an excellent season with the P-Bruins.

The Bruins didn’t come away with anything that’s going to demonstrably move the needle at the NHL level, but they made signings that provide good insurance for the B’s if injuries crop up, or if Boston’s prospects show they aren’t quite ready for prime time.

The 25-year-old Agostino, a Yale teammate of B’s defenseman Robbie O’Gara, was named the American Hockey League MVP in 2016-17 after posting 24 goals while leading the AHL with 59 assists and 83 points in 65 games with the Chicago Wolves. The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder also appeared in seven NHL games with the St. Louis Blues in 2016-17 and posted a goal and three points, and has played in 17 NHL games during his three-year pro career.

“He’s been prolific in the AHL over the last couple of years. Our guys have followed players of that nature and felt that he really deserves an opportunity to play at the NHL level and put forth his skillset that he’s displayed there,” said Sweeney. “Even in a small sample size at the NHL, he’s done well. So, we’re going to give him an opportunity. I think the internal competition piece I spoke of [at forward positions] will be interesting come training camp.”

The 28-year-old Postma played a career-high 65 games last season for the Winnipeg Jets and finished with a goal and 14 points, and has appeared in 191 games over the last seven seasons for the Atlanta Thrashers and Winnipeg Jets. He’s got good size at 6-foot-3, 190-pounds, has a big shot from the point and can play both sides in the kind of versatile package that will make a pretty solid seventh defenseman-type for the Black and Gold.

“Paul still has got upside. If you look at his power play stuff that he’s done in the minors and what he’s been able to accomplish – he’s got a big, heavy shot. [Winnipeg was] heavy on the right side, we’re heavy on the right side. I talked to him yesterday,” said Sweeney. “He played a lot of hockey with [Michael] Stone in junior on the left side. He feels there is versatility in his game. He was excited about our organization and having a bit of a fresh start.”

Sweeney indicated that there could be more signings or trades in the second or third waves of free agency now that the July 1 frenzy is over and done with, but it’s Agostino and Postma that the Bruins had to show for when the dust settled on Day One of free agency.