A New #81 in Black & Gold: Bruins sign Miroslav Satan


Now that Miroslav Satan is back in the NHL as a member of the Boston Bruins, the jokes are sure to accompany him.  I know, “he should have signed with the Devils.”  You’re right, “Jesus must not have been available.”  I’ve heard them all and I get it!  I get them all!  Now that I got that off my chest, let’s take a look at what the Satan (shuh- TAN) signing means for the Bruins.

I think that everyone can agree that Satan is not the same player who scored 40 goals for the Buffalo Sabres in 1998-1999 (a season that kicked off a string of five consecutive 60+ point seasons for him).  After all, he spent time in the AHL last season after the Pittsburgh Penguins sent him down.  However, Satan found himself back up with the Pens and back on the ice for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals and he did have 66 points as recent as 2005-2006.  So to say that Satan is washed up could be unfair to the Slovakian winger, as he could provide a boost to a Bruins team that continues to struggle offensively.

First of all, Satan’s presence allows Steve Begin to rejoin the fourth line, where he played so well earlier in the

season.   Secondly, Satan could be put on a line with Marc Savard, who can elevate almost any winger’s game instantaneously.  This could potentially bode well for Satan and, subsequently, the Bruins as a whole.  Finally, the Satan signing could serve as a wake-up call for the underachieving Bruins.  While it is difficult to imagine a professional athlete needing any such motivation, it could provide a kick in the pants for a guy like Blake Wheeler, who has a pedestrian 20 points on the season thus far.  While it is likely that Vladimir Sobotka will be the first roster casualty of the Satan signing, Wheeler is one who could find himself pushed to the brink when Milan Lucic returns, which could be later this week.  Byron Bitz could also find himself struggling for ice time.

Satan is scheduled to make his Bruins debut within the next week to 10 days, making the next few games even more important for those whose jobs could be on the line.  It remains to be seen what impact Satan will have on the ice for the Bruins.  Yes, he is 35 years old.  Yes, his best days are probably behind him.  But what the new #81 provides is Stanley Cup experience and another offensive option at only $700,000, essentially making the signing a classic low-risk, high-reward transaction.  Your thoughts?