Bruins sign potential steal in former Predators forward Craig Smith

When you think of free agent moves that take NHL teams over the top, many look to big names like Taylor Hall or Alex Pietrangelo. However, sometimes it's actually smarter to go under the radar, like the Boston Bruins did when they signed Craig Smith on Saturday.
The Bruins confirmed they had signed Smith, 31, on a three-year contract for $ 9.3 million ($ 3.1 million AAV).
Bruins get a possible theft with Craig Smith's signature
Smith, who used to be a member of the Nashville Predators, has never put up large counting numbers.
Still, he has scored more than 20 goals in five of his last seven seasons and would likely have hit that mark had it not been for the pandemic break. (Smith sat on 18 goals and 31 points in 69 games.)
When you dig deeper, Smith really shines.
In fact, it seems so bright that people wonder if its brilliant "fancy statistics" are almost too good to be true.
The thing is, when you're pulling a digestible $ 3.1 million cap hit, it's not that big of a deal when there's more than you can imagine (and box scores).
As dominant as the "Perfection Line" of the Bruins by Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron was, Boston has been following the second ranking for some time. The Bruins, who sign Craig Smith, could go a long way in keeping the puck in their opponent's zone (and sometimes in the net) even with that dominant trio on the bench.
At 31, Smith is at some risk of decline, although his volume shooting style ages pretty well.
Bruins still have room to add more in the free agency
This also leaves room for the Bruins to add a splashier name than Craig Smith. Cap Friendly estimates the Cap Space in Boston at about $ 12.3 million.
Granted, Jake DeBrusk and Matt Grzelcyk remain as RFAs, so this number may be misleading. On the other hand, there were rumors that DeBrusk was being bought on the trading market. So don't count the Bruins from the Taylor Hall sweepstakes (maybe even Alex Pietrangelo after they ran Torey Krug?).
Even if the Bruins are looking for contact instead of the fences, signing Craig Smith could be a huge blessing.
More NHL Free Agency
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Red Wings signs Thomas Greiss as NHL Free Agent Goalie Rush
Avalanche shield Andre Burakovsky, still have space for free agent splashes
ProHockeyTalks 2020 NHL Free Agency Tracker
Avalanche shield sniper Andre Burakovsky for two years, $ 9.8 million
NHL Free Agency
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James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk for NBC Sports. Email him at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.
Bruins sign potential theft from former Predators striker Craig Smith, who originally appeared on NBCSports.com

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