The Bruins signed defenseman Garnet Exelby to a one-year, two-way contract Wednesday. In 2012-13, the 30-year-old could contend for the No. 7 job with the Bruins formerly held by Mike Mottau. If Exelby makes the Boston roster, the ex-Thrasher will make $600,000 in 2012-13. He would earn $130,000 in Providence.
The 6-foot-1-inch, 215-pounder had his best days in Atlanta. Exelby, Atlanta’s eighth-round pick in 1999, appeared in 357 games for the Thrashers from 2002-09. In 2007-08, he appeared in a career-high 79 games, recording two goals and five assists along with 85 penalty minutes.
On July 1, 2009, Toronto acquired Exelby and Colin Stuart for Pavel Kubina and Tim Stapleton. In 51 games for the Maple Leafs in 2009-10, Exelby averaged only 10 minutes, 6 seconds of ice time per appearance. Exelby scored one goal and three assists while logging 73 penalty minutes. Under ex-coach Ron Wilson, Exelby was a regular healthy scratch.
Exelby, a stay-at-home, left-shot blue liner, has not played in the NHL since 2010. Last year, he scored seven goals and 14 assists in 75 games for Grand Rapids, Detroit’s AHL affiliate, and recorded 177 PIMs. In 2010-11, Exelby played for Rockford, Chicago’s top farm club. He submitted a 3-10—13 line with 128 penalty minutes for the IceHogs.
“He got buried in Toronto after the trade to the Leafs from Atlanta and has been steadily reestablishing himself,” Neil Abbott, Exelby’s agent, wrote in an e-mail. “He is still young enough to become a regular in the rotation.”
The Bruins also re-signed restricted free agent Lane MacDermid. The 22-year-old left wing signed a one-year deal worth $600,000 in Boston and $70,000 in Providence. The burly MacDermid could push Daniel Paille on the fourth line or serve as the 13th forward next season. Last year, MacDermid appeared in five games for the Bruins. In his NHL debut, he tangled with Rangers heavyweight Mike Rupp.
In 69 games for Providence last year, MacDermid scored four goals and 12 assists along with 121 PIMs.