Bruins

Joakim Nordstrom signs for league minimum in Calgary as free-agent market remains unforgiving for players

(Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

One of the regulars on Boston's checking line and penalty-kill unit over the last few seasons is heading north of the border, as Joakim Nordstrom signed a one-year contract with the Calgary Flames on Monday afternoon. The deal is for the league minimum of $700,000.

Nordstrom, who signed a two-year, $2 million contract with Boston back in July 2018, was a versatile piece in Boston’s bottom-six corps, even earning a few reps in the top six during the 2018-19 season. During Boston's run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2019, the 28-year-old forward recorded eight points (three goals, five assists) over 22 postseason outings.

Offseason surgeries, lingering ailments and other setbacks (an allergy-related condition kept him off the ice for a few games in February) limited some of Nordstrom's effectiveness in 2019-20, but the Swede was still regularly tasked with eating up PK minutes — leading all B's forwards last season with 1:46 of shorthanded TOI per game.

Monday's news doesn't come as much of a surprise, given that Don Sweeney noted ahead of the start of free agency that the Bruins would likely be moving in a different direction in 2021 and beyond.

“We’ve had a talk with Joakim Nordstrom that it may be challenging for us as well, have had good communication with (agent) J.P. (Barry) on that front," Sweeney said. "But I made sure that I spoke with him, that I wasn’t going to be aggressive in trying to sign him for the short term. It didn’t mean we wouldn’t consider it, but I wanted to make sure he had an early heads up.”

Moving forward, Boston has a number of options it can turn to when it comes to replacing Nordstrom — headlined by