June 23, 2012

Bruins deal Pouliot to Lightning for Ouellet and a pick

By Jesse Connolly

During Day 2 of the NHL Draft in Pittsburgh, the Bruins traded forward Benoit Pouliot to the Lightning in exchange for a 2012 fifth-round pick and winger Michel Ouellet. 

After just one season in Boston, 25-year-old forward Benoit Pouliot is moving on to his fourth NHL team. (Getty Images)

Pouliot, set to become a restricted free agent on July 1, had 16 goals and 16 assists in 2011-12 for Boston, his first and apparently only season with the club. He had yet to receive a qualifying offer from general manager Peter Chiarelli.

Ouellet, 30, was drafted 124th overall back in 2000 by the Penguins. He spent his first four pro years in their system. The Quebec native reached the NHL during the 2005-06 season and had a strong debut with 16-16-32 totals in 50 games. In 2006-07, he had 48 points in 73 games and appeared in five playoff tilts for the Pens.

After scoring 17 goals for the Lightning the following year, he was traded to Vancouver and spent most of his time with their AHL affiliate in Manitoba. Ouellet then headed to Europe for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 campaigns. In 2011-12, he returned to North America and had 31 points in 55 games for the Norfolk Admirals, Tampa’s top minor-league affiliate.

Ouellet is an unrestricted free agent at present. Though he did not earn a promotion to the Bolts in 2011-12, his NHL salary would’ve been $525,000. He made $105,000 in the AHL.

With the fifth-round pick (131st overall), the B’s selected center Seth Griffith of the OHL’s London Knights. Griffith led the Knights in scoring with 45-40-85 totals in 68 contests this season, his second full year with the team.

Thomas waives no-trade clause

On the afternoon of the NHL Draft on June 22, it was reported that Bruins goalie Tim Thomas said he’d waive his no-trade clause prior to its expiration on July 1. The move certainly opened up some options for the Bruins, giving them the opportunity to possibly seek a trade partner during draft weekend and in the week leading up to the start of free agency.

As of the conclusion of the draft, the Bruins had yet to find any takers for the 38-year-old netminder.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.