Don Sweeney raised some eyebrows when he mentioned that he’d be in the goalie market on July 1, but it was always about a depth organizational signing for the Black and Gold.
The Bruins have signed goalie Max Lagacé away from the Vegas Golden Knights for a one-year, $700,000 two-way deal, per TVA’s Ren Lavoie. The 26-year-old Lagacé has played 17 games for the Golden Knights over the last two seasons with a 6-8-1 record and an .868 save percentage, and will be the No. 1 goaltender for the Providence Bruins while splitting time with young prospects Daniel Vladar and Kyle Keyser.
More importantly, Lagacé will be the third goaltender on the B’s organizational depth chart behind Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak, and will be insurance in case anything happens injury-wise with either of those two players. Lagacé had a strong season with the AHL’s Chicago Wolves last season with a 16-16-2 record along with a .914 save percentage in 33 games, and should be the exact kind of veteran mentor that the P-Bruins need at the AHL level.
Perhaps Lagacé will also play into getting Rask plenty of rest in training camp as the Bruins plan to do after his 24-game workload during the run to the Stanley Cup Final this spring.
“We’ll probably be more cognizant of [getting veteran players some rest] come September and be in a better place and be in a real good place come October because you can’t play uphill. You start on the road, and as I said, you move forward. You have to focus on what’s absolutely necessary,” said Bruins GM Don Sweeney at the end of last week’s Bruins Development Camp. “I think we referenced that [Jaroslav] Halak will be part of that. If you’re really good then you’ll be in a real good spot coming out and maybe he takes the ball earlier in the year. But again, that depends on where Tuukka’s [Rask] at.”
Lagacé will essentially replace 26-year-old former B’s draft pick Zane McIntyre, who is a Group 6 unrestricted free agent, and wasn’t very good (.898 save percentage in 46 games for the P-Bruins last season) for the Black and Gold over the last couple of years.
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