Boston Bruins: Is Joe Vitale Don Sweeney’s next move?


The NHL just had its first big trade of the season, involving star centers Kyle Turris and Matt Duchene.  Are there any moves that Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney could and should be making?

The Boston Bruins 2017-18 season has had ups and downs as it kicks off. Don Sweeney has made it clear that he is relying on the young talent the team has in its farm system to develop. He clearly hopes that these players are gaining the experience needed to piece together a Stanley Cup contending roster.


However, we just watched Matt Duchene go to Ottawa, Kyle Turris go to the Preds, and the Avs stack up with young talent acquiring a haul of players in the three-way deal. Should we Bruins fans be worried?

The young talent he Boston Bruins have in Charlie McAvoy, Anders Bjork, Sean Kuraly, Brandon Carlo, Frank Vatrano, Danton Heinen, Jake DeBrusk, and Noel Acciari is certainly promising. Yet, it seems there are definitely some names on the roster that need a second look.

Bruins forwards Matt Beleskey and Ryan Spooner both seem to be wasted space on the ice and on the cap. Beleskey carries a $3,800,000 cap hit with his poor on-ice performance and inconsistent lineup placement. Potentially, the biggest let down on this Bruins roster, taking big cap space away from the Bruins.  This prevents them from signing a player that is actually worth that amount of money. Spooner’s deal is another eye-opening one, totaling in $2,825,000 guaranteed for 1 year of average performance.

Free agency failures

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For those who did not follow this summer’s free agency pool, there were a whole bunch of players that were on the market the Bruins did not make a move for. Ex-bruin Joe Thornton was one of them, Patrick Sharp another, and TJ Oshie was floating around out there, too.  Currently, there are three veteran free agents available that should catch the Boston Bruins eye: Pascal Dupuis, Brian Gionta, and Joe Vitale.

Pascal Dupuis is an obvious one, but his age is concerning. The ex-Penguin is towards the end of his career at 38 years old, but his Stanley Cup experience could be something the Bruins are missing. Brian Gionta is another solid option for the Black and Gold, but his size is questionable. Standing at only 5’7’, he is also at the end of his career and asking for too much money. Joe Vitale however, is extremely intriguing for the Black and Gold roster if you put aside his most recent injury.

Why Vitale works for Boston

Joe Vitale is an ex-Northeastern Husky, so you could say he is familiar with the Boston area. However, his game style is something the Bruins need on the roster. Not only does Vitale have playoff experience, and a Stanley Cup under his belt, but he is also a heavy hitting power forward that would be perfect for the Bruins bottom line.

Noel Acciari who was sidelined with an injury early in the season is expected to return sometime soon. If the Bruins were to make some moves shifting around their roster Joe Vitale could be the perfect centerman to Acciari and Schaller/Heinen.

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Vitale hasn’t cracked an NHL roster for a full season since 2016-17 season. He has remained off every team’s radar since being released by the Arizona Coyotes. He played only one game, totaling 6:13 total ice time, and then 1 game with the Detroit Red Wings where he suffered a concussion in the season opener in a fight (with the Boston Bruins own Kevin Miller).

Putting the injuries aside Vitale is the diverse heavy hitting center-man who is not afraid to go to the unwanted areas of the ice, and clean up rebounds for dirty goals. Could he be the Bruins next move going forward? He is not a heavy cap hit at all totaling only $1.1 million, and being a hockey guy he has to be hungry to bounce back from the injuries.

The Takeaways

Overall, it is crucial that Sweeney gets a fourth line veteran on this roster with the ability to fulfill a Shawn Thornton like role on the ice, and on the bench. Vitale is certainly an intriguing possibility for the future of this Boston Bruins organization to full fill this bottom line role.

Next: Bruins injury report: MAKE IT STOP!

Vitale would offer the rookies what is needed to develop into the players they need to be to make a run for the cup. Coming at a cheap price it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Sweeney pull the move on signing the vet to a one season trial deal.