Bruins

Report: Bruins free agent Sean Kuraly to join Blue Jackets

Bruins

Sean Kuraly is going back home.

The Ohio native is leaving the Boston Bruins after signing a four-year contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets in NHL free agency, per Aaron Portzline of The Athletic.

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reports Kuraly's deal with the Blue Jackets is worth $10 million with a $2.5 million salary cap hit.

Kuraly was acquired by the Bruins in a trade with the San Jose Sharks in 2016. He made his Bruins debut during the 2016-17 season. In that year's Stanley Cup Playoff run, Kuraly scored two goals in Game 5 of the first round against the Ottawa Senators, including the winning tally in double overtime.

Kuraly was a useful bottom-six forward for the Bruins over the last four years, primarily as the fourth-line center. He also was effective on the penalty kill.

But Kuraly failed to make much of an offensive impact during the 2020-21 regular season or Boston's latest playoff run. It made sense for the Bruins to let Kuraly walk in free agency and replace his spot in the lineup with a younger and cheaper player.

This move opens up ice time for a player like Trent Frederic to take on a larger role.