BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Bruins have made their first big move of free agency.
The Bruins signed free-agent left winger Matt Beleskey to a five-year contract worth $19 million, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.
Beleskey happily announced the news on Twitter.
Don Sweeney originally had a conference call with reporters scheduled for 5 p.m. on Wednesday, but its start time was pushed back, thereby kicking the Beleskey speculation into overdrive.
Beleskey, 27, ranked near the top of most lists of best available players this summer in a relatively thin free-agent class.
The 6-foot, 204-pound winger has scored 57 goals with 55 assists in 329 career NHL games with the Anaheim Ducks. Last year, he netted 22 goals and added 10 assists in 65 games before going on a tear in the postseason, when he scored eight goals in 16 games.
He figures to at least have the chance to play on David Krejci’s wing, after Milan Lucic was traded to Los Angeles last week. Though lineup decisions for coach Claude Julien remain a number of months away.
Beleskey made $1.4 million last year before becoming an unrestricted free agent on Wednesday.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Bruins signed restricted free agent Ryan Spooner to a two-year contract. Sweeney also traded Reilly Smith and Marc Savard’s contract to Florida in exchange for right winger Jimmy Hayes.