position/player: F, Noel Acciari
Former team: Boston bruins
term: three years
Aav/Total value: $1.6 million aav/ $5 million total
what you need to know
The signing of Noel Acciari was an unexpected one and likely flew under the radar on July 1. But, this signing, to me, was very underrated. As a matter of fact, I love this move by Dale Tallon. I can’t even put into words how frustrating it was last season watching our forwards chip pucks into the corners and then chase the loose puck down only to nonchalantly wave a stick at it or lazily attempt to pin the opposing defenseman to the boards.
Well, that won’t be happening anymore. At least not on Acciari’s line. He is a bruiser, a grinder, an old school tough guy except he has some pretty good wheels. In 72 games last year, he had 221 hits, playing just 12 minutes a night. He also sits right at 50% in the face-off circle. He does all the little things and he does them well. The price is a little steep for his skill-set and the no-trade clause in his deal is a strange one. But, he brings a mean, nasty, tough presence to a bottom six that doesn’t really have one. If there are any questions about the physicality Acciari brings to the table, go back and watch the Bruins run to a game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. Acciari’s line was one of the nastiest, most physical line in the playoffs.
His offense isn’t much of an asset, but he comes up with a big goal from time to time and he fits the fourth line better than Troy Brouwer or Riley Sheahan. He’s not fun to play against and the opponent knows when he is on the ice. He can also throw fists with the best of them which is still a nice weapon to have. I watched in shock as he rained endless hay-makers to Mackenzie Weegar’s face in a fight this year. It’ll be nice to have him on our side now. Call me crazy but I’m seriously excited to see Jayce Hawryluk and Noel Acciari wreak havoc with their forecheck together on a fast and gritty fourth line.
Acciari brings Stanley Cup brand sandpaper and a healthy type of hockey violence that fits nicely in the new “speed era” of the NHL. He’ll quickly become a fan favorite.