The Boston Bruins have signed former University of Maine defenseman Dan Renouf to a two-year, two-way contract, according to NBC Sports Boston.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Renouf played in four games for the National Hockey League’s Detroit Red Wings this past season but spent most of the season with the Wings’ AHL affiliate in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
He posted three goals and 11 assists in 63 games for the Griffins.
The Bruins blue line corps has been wiped out by injuries with Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk undergoing off-season shoulder surgeries that will sideline them until at least November. Mike Reilly had ankle surgery, which could keep him out until October.
Another former Black Bear, Jim Montgomery, was recently named the Bruins head coach replacing the fired Bruce Cassidy.
Former UMaine assistant and Maine Mariners head coach Ben Guite said Renouf might be able to carve a spot for himself on the Bruins’ roster right out of training camp.
“He’s a smooth skater who has size and is tough,” said Guite, who coached him at UMaine. “He is even-keeled and he plays a simple game.”
A two-way contract means Renouf will receive a specific salary if he plays for Boston and a lower one if he winds up playing for their American Hockey League affiliate in Providence.
The Pickering, Ontario, native played three seasons for the Black Bears from 2013-16 and had 10 goals and 28 assists in 111 games.
He played on AHL Calder Cup-winning teams in Grand Rapids in 2016-17 and Charlotte in 2018-19.
Since signing his first pro contract in 2016 — a free agent deal with Detroit — he has registered 13 goals and 73 assists in 342 AHL games and three assists in 23 NHL contests.
Guite noted that the Bruins do have some size on defense in Brandon Carlo (6-5, 212 pounds) and Hampus Lindholm (6-3, 208) along with Derek Forbort (6-4, 219), but they also have some smaller defenseman like Grzelcyk (5-9, 174) and Connor Clifton (5-11, 175) who can struggle to win puck battles against bigger opponents.
“Dan’s a physical player,” Guite said.
“I could see him starting the season as the Bruins’ No. 6 or No. 7 defenseman but I could also see him being sent down to Providence and mentoring the younger defensemen until he gets called up.”
One of the defensemen he will be competing with is another former Black Bear in 24-year-old J.D. Greenway, who played in 16 games with the Providence Bruins (2 assists) and 26 for Guite with the ECHL’s Mariners (5 assists) last season.