The writing was on the wall at the end of last season about things being over between Anton Blidh and the Boston Bruins, but it became official on Wednesday when Blidh signed a one-year, one-way deal for a $750,000 cap hit with the Colorado Avalanche.
The 27-year-old Blidh had two goals and nine points in 32 games with the Boston Bruins last season while, at times, being a very effective energy forward capable of handling fourth line duties, agitating opponents and occasionally providing a little offense as well. But Blidh was also at the center of a notable incident toward the end of the regular season when he got into a fracas with the Detroit Red Wings at the end of an April road loss.
Blidh was whistled for a number of penalties in the brouhaha that took place after the final buzzer and the Swedish forward was essentially relegated to the press box for the rest of the season after landing in the coach’s doghouse. Blidh’s final appearance with the Boston Bruins was in the last game of the regular season in Toronto when a handful of regulars were left behind in Boston to rest up for the Stanley Cup playoffs.
It was the end of a seven-season association between Blidh and the Boston Bruins after they selected him in the sixth round of the 2013 NHL Draft and marks the end of any Boston contributions from any players in that B’s draft class with a disgruntled Peter Cehlarik playing in Europe these days.
Blidh wasn’t shy about voicing his dissatisfaction with the way things went down at the end of last season, in terms of his lack of playing time.
“Obviously I didn’t play as much as I wanted. Some days were tougher than others,” said Anton Blidh, back on B’s breakup day following their first round playoff exit vs. the Carolina Hurricanes. “But at the end of the day I thought I did a pretty good job of bringing energy and a smile every day.
“Some days I’d rather be in the AHL, to be honest with you. I did not sign here to just sit in the ninth floor of the press box. I signed here to play hockey. It’s the NHL, my goal is to play up here. Playoffs is the fun part of playing hockey. I felt like I could be a difference some nights. So that was hard, yeah.”
The Boston Bruins are clearly bringing in new fourth line candidates after AJ Greer signed a one-year, one-way deal with the B’s on the first day of free agency, and now Blidh gets an opportunity with a stacked Avalanche team perhaps looking for some additional rabble-rousing while expecting to lose Nazem Kadri in free agency at some point this summer.