The Don is at it again. Per the Boston Bruins official website GM Don Sweeney has signed free agent defenseman Matt Irwin to a 1-year, $800,000 contract. Irwin, who played his college hockey at Umass-Amherst, won’t be a top 2 defenseman but this is a depth signing for the Bruins.
Irwin chipped in a solid 8 goals and 11 assists in 53 games for the San Jose Sharks last year. They are pretty good numbers when you consider he slots in as a bottom pairing defenseman. His 8 goals are actually more than Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille, Greg Campbell, and Adam McQuaid each got all last year. But that’s not really Matt Irwin’s game. He’s a depth defenseman who can hopefully come in an fill out a core that is starting to move it’s younger players into the fold like Zach Trotman and Joe Morrow.
I was worried the Bruins were going to sign Cody Franson to a bad long-term free agent contract, or even reach out and get a Christian Ehrhoff who’s better days are behind him. This is a low-risk signing for Don Sweeney as Irwin is only 27. He could capitalize on the opportunity that the Bruins defensive situation provides him should he get the chance.