When the Bruins invited Lee Stempniak to camp it was a surprise a move. With opening night only four days away Stempniak still remains on the Bruins roster. On a roster filled with young talent the thirteen year veteran has played with renewed injury this preseason. Whether or not that leads to a roster spot remains to be seen. With opening night fast approaching the Bruins will soon have to decide on what they will do with the veteran winger.
Last season Stempniak appeared in 37 games for the Hurricanes scoring three goals and recording nine assists. It was the first time in his career that he appeared in less than fifty games in a season. His three goals were his lowest total since 2012-2013 hen he had nine with Calgary. This preseason he has not looked like a veteran who has lost his scoring touch. Stempniak has looked re-energized by the Bruins youth even though that could be a reason he does not end up with a roster spot.
Furthermore, he is not a twenty goal scorer but still has value. He is a steady veteran presence who can score between 10 and 15 goals. In the preseason Stempniak has six points while only averaging 11 minutes of ice time a game. He has shown that he can produce in a depth role and on the powerplay. His scoring touch is needed but his veteran leadership is also important.
This off-season the Bruins have lost veterans Rick Nash, Riley Nash, and Tim Schaller in free agency. Stempniak has been in the league for over a decade and been in many different locker rooms. He can provide perspective for the younger Bruins players who are still adjusting to the NHL. This is a key quality and contribution that does not show up on the stat sheet.
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Although Stempniak is a well-traveled veteran he will not end up on the Bruins top line. He would most likely end up on the Bruins third or fourth-line. He could provide scoring depth while adding a unique perspective in the locker room and has outplayed some of the players still in camp. It is these type of signings that sometimes work out to be the best moves. Stempniak will know his fate soon but he has made a compelling case in his second stint with the Bruins.