Thrashers agree to terms with Boulton

The Thrashers agreed to terms on a one-year contract with unrestricted free agent forward Eric Boulton on Tuesday.

Boulton will earn $650,000 next season.

“This has been my family’s home for six years now,” Boulton said. “I’m very happy to stay. I really like the direction of the team and I’m looking forward to living in Atlanta and winning in Atlanta.”

Boulton is the second of the Thrashers’ 10 unrestricted free agents to re-sign this offseason. Jim Slater signed before the start of free agency. Colby Armstrong, Johan Hedberg and Pavel Kubina signed with other teams.

“It’s very stressful for you and your family,” Boulton said of the free-agent process. “You don’t know if you’ll have a job or you’ll be moving and uprooting your family. This made a lot of sense for us.”

Boulton had eight points (two goals, six assists) in 62 games last season. He had a minus-one rating, 10th best of the team of players who appeared in more than 20 games.

“I think we’ll be a lot different team next year,” Boulton said. “We will be a lot more responsible defensively. We’ll be bigger, stronger and a lot tougher to play against.”

50 comments Add your comment

Blueland Warrior

July 6th, 2010
8:42 pm

Good for Bolts.

KICK SAVE

July 6th, 2010
8:42 pm

KICK SAVE

July 6th, 2010
8:42 pm

Smoothie

July 6th, 2010
8:46 pm

Welcome back Eric! Look forward to watching you beat the crap out of people so Evander Kane doesn’t have to…perhaps a post-hockey career in the UFC awaits! ;-)

For The Record

July 6th, 2010
8:52 pm

Bolts is a Fan Favorite for a reason…Glad he’s back! There are going to be some big hurts laid on the competition this season. We have a big, physical team forming here!

Hopefully the new coaching staff can help Bolts with his skills so he can become more of a scoring threat. Anyone know the status of Big Arty? Wasn’t he a FA this year?

jack

July 6th, 2010
8:52 pm

Telfo

July 6th, 2010
8:54 pm

I like Boults but I am surprised he is back, the bottom 6 is getting really crowded

fes

July 6th, 2010
8:54 pm

glad to have you back boults! i suspect this means arty won’t be signed.

Hockeyfan

July 6th, 2010
8:58 pm

Eager AND Boults? There is going to be some serious arse kicking next season

J.K. SOCKEY

July 6th, 2010
9:08 pm

Why not just set $650k on fire?

I.M. Suckey

July 6th, 2010
9:14 pm

J.K. – perhaps you should heed your own advice.

Hockey Biltong爽

July 6th, 2010
9:29 pm

Good for Boults.. If r2 comes back, he better score double digits…..

Like

July 6th, 2010
9:30 pm

Congrats Bolts. You are the only one that gives a crap most of the time. Us fans appreciate that over the years.

Flames

July 6th, 2010
9:32 pm

I am so excited for Boults. He is a great person and has given so much to the community. I know Duds loves his grit! We are going to be a very physical hockey team. Teams will no longer want to play us.

jack

July 6th, 2010
9:35 pm

Amen flames. So, flames any rumors flying around that you know of?
I think Eklund said we were trading White for pucks. :)

Flames

July 6th, 2010
9:52 pm

I was told that Duds is still trying to get another sniper. I’m still trying to find out who. I don’t know if its by FA or trade. I do know that Boulton had several offers from other teams and he took less money to stay here. You just have to love that Guy.

Smoothie

July 6th, 2010
9:59 pm

Flames, as always, thanks for your input! And you’re absolutely right about Boults! He’s a class act who is not afraid to drink a beer or two with the fans after a game. The Thrashhawks are gonna have some serious sandpaper this year! Happy for him and his family. I know they love Duluth.

Fozzie

July 6th, 2010
10:17 pm

Great news — glad to hear that Boults will be staying!

jack

July 6th, 2010
10:25 pm

thanks Flames, for the information as always. That is great to hear that someone is taking less money to stay here. Go Bolts!!!!!

East Point Bob

July 6th, 2010
10:26 pm

Tom Lysiak

July 6th, 2010
10:46 pm

Great news. You gotta love a middle-weight who drops them with the goons and knuckle-draggers and more than holds his own. I hope there is a spot for him just for his attitude, community work and his desire to play here for less money. Great team guy. Congrats Boults!

kracker

July 6th, 2010
11:27 pm

yaaaay! Glad to see Boults back, he’s got heart!! The Thrash need that.

Sherry Taylor

July 6th, 2010
11:48 pm

I think I saw that Arty has applied for salary arbitration. He, and a couple of the Blackhawks guys we acquired. That’ll be interesting.

Cornbread

July 7th, 2010
2:43 am

Glad to see Boults signing. A respected heavyweight among heavyweights.

3 6

July 7th, 2010
6:35 am

we needed this, Eager is NOT an enforcer, I can’t make that clear enough. having 8 fights mostly against middle-weights does not add the intangibles that Boulton brings, Eager is a better Thorburn, we need our policeman and i’m excited they got this done. Boults WANTS to be here, that counts a lot toward that character this team is building, the identity we’ve never had. Boults IS a Thrasher, always will be.

Flames

July 7th, 2010
7:27 am

I know that several of the Players are happy that Boults was resigned. I spoke with several of them and they were worried that when the team signed Eager that Boults wasn’t coming back. Boults is a leader in the club house. He takes the younger guys under his wing and they look up to him. He does things with them in the off season. He is a true leader in the since that he made not be the most talented hockey player on the ice, but he will be the most competitive.

Flames

July 7th, 2010
7:54 am

A true leader in the SENSE that he MAY not be the most talented hockey player on the ice…..SORRY it is early…. : )

GaVaHokie

July 7th, 2010
8:21 am

When you look at the money just wasted on Boogaard by NYR, this is a great signing… for $650,000 you got a guy who can drop the gloves, skates well, hits and brings energy to the locker room.

Every year that line of Thorsy/Slater/Boults gets better… let’s keep it going.

To me, it seems the camp battle is coming down to White vs. Cormier for 3rd Line Center.

KLS1

July 7th, 2010
8:29 am

Its hard not to like Boulton. I hope this team can go far enough so people can really appreciate his role…

3 6

July 7th, 2010
8:37 am

I’d rather have Arty back on the team as well, but obviously we have a glut and I’d be a happy fan if Duds can send White anywhere but here. To me White signify’s the old regime of soft players, we obviously aren’t going in that direction anymore, I just read where Bogosian has put on some muscle weight and has been hitting the gym to get bigger and stronger. Boulton deserves an A, he called out that russian star for being lazy, Boults called out frankenstein Holik for being soft and standing there while a teammate got man-handled as well in previous years gone when Holik was here, Boults IS the locker room, he talks, they listen, he has been through the wars and he has earned the respect of everyone. and now Boults doesn’t have to do it all by himself, we finally have “team” toughness, sign Eager!

We are the toughest team in the SE by far, any Boults detractors will be glad he’s on the team when we play teams not in our division. Has anyone looked at the east? Lots of heavyweights, big rugged teams. the NYR didn’t waste money on Boogaard, they wasted it on Brashear because they are still paying him. Boogaard is a top tier Enforcer, Brashear is washed up and making the same amount of money while playing in the AHL. Jody Shelley signed with Philly for a million a year I think, Boulton is just as good as he is if not better, IMO.

Rest in peace, Bob Probert..some of us enjoy the game the way it was meant to be played, Boults plays it the right way, so glad he’s back.

GaVaHokie

July 7th, 2010
8:45 am

NYR should have kept Shelley… Boogaard plays 6 minutes a game and no one will fight him anymore. You don’t pay a guy $1.6 million for 6 minutes a game.

3 6

July 7th, 2010
9:00 am

Carcillo isn’t going to attack Gaborik with Boogey sitting on the bench, on the ice, or in the arena. It’s not up to me or anyone to justify it, “we” aren’t paying him, what do you care? I wouldn’t pay anyone that kind of money to do anything, but you do realize how many jersey’s and fans Boogaard puts into seats right? He was worshipped in Minny, and his jersey was the best-seller. I agree he is overpaid, but it looks so much worse with Brashear still in the organization, not to mention with Torts as a coach..Boogey might not even get 6 mins, considering Torts normally opts to use 3 lines instead of rolling 4. //shrug.

Hockey Steve

July 7th, 2010
9:14 am

Welcome back Boults!!

jack

July 7th, 2010
10:09 am

I am glad he did not go to ESPN to announce where he was going. :)
ESPN and Lebron is making me sick

da' boomer

July 7th, 2010
10:40 am

Any word on Afinogenov or have I missed something? I sure would like to have him back. Also, let’s completely cut ties from the past and get new home uniforms. Our’s are embarassing.

Get The Puck Out

July 7th, 2010
10:40 am

AMEN BROTHER!!! Lebron and ESPN stinks!!!

jack

July 7th, 2010
10:43 am

I mean it seems like a stupid HS recruiting segment, where the recruit places the teams hats in front of him and he selects one. Give me a break……

GaVaHokie

July 7th, 2010
10:59 am

Carcillo isn’t going to attack Gaborik with Boogey sitting on the bench, on the ice, or in the arena.

Yes he will.

But my biggest point was how much more we’ll get out of Boulton at $650,000 than NYR will get out of Boogey at $1.6 mil.

GaVaHokie

July 7th, 2010
11:05 am

If I’m Carcillo, I’m drawing Boogaard out on the ice as much as possible, because when Boogey’s on the ice, your team scores… 6 minutes of ice time and a -12 last year.

mike

July 7th, 2010
11:09 am

Get rid of White, keep Arty for the 3rd line. He can move a puck, and loves to hit. Let Eager protect Kane. We play in a soft division. A physical, defensive team may not be pretty, but it will get us into the playoffs.

Congratulations Bolts! Great signing. He ain’t afraid of anyone, and was about the only one to give 110% last year.

I’ll laugh my a$$ off if Kovalchuk ends up on Long Island!

Like

July 7th, 2010
12:28 pm

So what are the projected lines now… Anyone, anyone?

Brendan

July 7th, 2010
12:49 pm

What I’ll add is … “It’s good to have a player who WANTS to be here.” This move does, completely, make sense for Boulton. I wasn’t aware that he had multiple teams chasing him. But if he did, and chose Atlanta, especially at what is certainly a “fair” price, then so much the better. If the Thrashers offered 2-years, instead of one, Boulton probably would have agree to ANY price they asked. It makes sense for him to seek longevity here in Atlanta.

Boulton isn’t totally worthless, offensively. He’s not a goal scorer, clearly, nor is that his function. But I’ve seen Boulton score some pretty goals as a Thrasher. He’s not a “couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn at 5 feet” kind of enforcer. I like this signing. If Todd White could be moved, I’d welcome it. But to do so probably means taking on some other team’s bad contract in the exchange. Think Kristian Huselius, Zubrus, Rolston, etc. Dustin Penner is overpaid, out in Edmonton, thanks to their own “poaching” of him from Anaheim on an RFA offersheet, a few years ago. Artyukhin may not want to play in Atlanta. He may be holding out for a condender, and try to play there for a discount.

Let’s also not forget something here. It’s great that we’re getting bigger. With more size and more muscle, we might start to win some puck battles. But this is still the “new” NHL, where youth, skill and speed are at a premium. We don’t want to get so big that we’re back to “hooking and holding” because we don’t have the footspeed anymore. Our 2005-06 squad was arguably our most taltented, but they were old and slow (Modry, Mellanby, Holik, Bondra).

Smoothie

July 7th, 2010
1:32 pm

Flames – time to fan some flames of innuendo!

Chesnokov just tweeted that Zherdev is reportedly signing to play for the Flyers! I’m aghast at learning of this news, but any chance that Duds is already on the horn with Holmgren about Simon Gagne?

Flames

July 7th, 2010
6:29 pm

I have my ear to his door as we speak. I know he would like another sniper but who I don’t know yet. Carter, Gagne, Mad Max would be nice.

jack

July 7th, 2010
7:24 pm

Thankes Flames, any of the 3 wqould be great :)

Lee

July 7th, 2010
7:44 pm

Good to have Bolts back!

KLS1

July 8th, 2010
9:27 am

Love to see the whole Kovy thing drag out…thank God this is somebody elses problem. I have a Kovy jersey and it will never see the light of day again.

This ain’t the NBA Kovy and you aren’t LeBron…good luck to whoever signs this ego maniac.

Hotrod

July 8th, 2010
11:58 am

Thankyou Bolts! Sounds like your head is in the right place.

Now go have a great year and earn a 2 or 3 year extension.

Brendan

July 8th, 2010
2:27 pm

KLS1, I wonder how much of this is Jay Grossman’s doing? As in, “I promised ya $10 million-a-year kid; I keep my promises.” Meanwhile, Kovy is thinking, “Great, but $10 million and where I want to be are what I pay you for.

Think about it. If Kovy has told his wife and kids that next season will be in L.A., then he’s got to accept the Kings’ best offer, or scrap the idea. Or, perhaps do that 1-year deal at $7.5 million, then re-evaluate. Hossa did something similar, but with him, everyone knew that his intentions were to win the Cup. I would like to think Kovy’s intentions are to win the Cup, but I’m prepared to be wrong, if he signs with some loser club, just because they offered him $10 million-a-year.

fanfan

July 12th, 2010
10:09 am

Wow, see how many uneducated hockey idiots we have in this city. All they see is his fights (and get a kick out of that). Their stupidity is amazing. Just the regular WWF crackheads. Howabout points, goals, and passes?