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Bruins trade rights of RFA Benoit Pouliot to Lightning

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

The Boston Bruins parted ways with pending restricted free agent Benoit Pouliot on Saturday, trading his rights to the young forward to the Tampa Bay Lightning. In return the Bruins receive Michel Ouellet and a fifth-round draft pick.

Pouliot was brought to Boston from Montreal before last season. He played in 74 games for the Bruins on their lower lines and contributed 16 goals and 16 assists. But there didn't appear to be room for him on the payroll for next season as the Bruins pretty much already have a full roster signed.

His year didn't start so strong as he had just two points in the first 16 games and the move to get him was being viewed a little unfavorably -- in Boston? Nooooo -- but Pouliot picked it up as the season went along. In the first-round playoff series against the Washington Capitals, Pouliot had a goal and an assist.

Pouliot does have a little tie to the Lightning, specifically coach Guy Boucher. Being with the Canadiens before the Bruins, Pouliot spent some time in Hamilton of the AHL, where Boucher coached.

Obviously the hope for the Lightning is that they can get him signed to a new deal -- which shouldn't be an issue, especially given his RFA status -- and that increased minutes can bring out his best production in the NHL yet.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

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