Bruins' Beleskey on free-agency hype: 'I didn't think I was going to get $5M'

Gary A. Vasquez / Reuters

Matt Beleskey wasn't looking to become the next David Clarkson.

After it became apparent the winger wasn't going to return to the Anaheim Ducks, instead testing the open market as an unrestricted free agent, Beleskey was believed to be looking to cash in on a breakout season and sign a player-friendly contract that would quickly become difficult to swallow for his new club.

For his part, Beleskey says he never tried to swing for the fences, and is quite content with the five-year, $19-million contract he signed with the Boston Bruins.

"Honestly, I didn't think I was going to get $5 million at all," Beleskey told Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald. "Five million is a lot of money. I would have taken it if someone offered, obviously. But I'm very happy with the contract I've signed here with the no-trade they set up for me (a full prohibition in the first two years, partial the next two) and the term they signed me for - and a team that wants me to be around as a Bruin."

Furthermore, Beleskey is fine with leaving space for the team to add more bodies in order to compete for the Stanley Cup once again.

"If I can be a guy that maybe doesn't get that huge contract and then maybe there's more money to get another guy, then that's perfect. Because that's what we're going to need to win."

Even $3.8 million per season is a lot to give a player with 57 goals in 329 career games. However, the Bruins seem to believe the 22 goals scored in 65 games this past season are the rule and not an exception.

To his benefit, Beleskey will enter 2015-16 as Boston's fifth-highest-paid forward, and, as such, will be able to prove his worth without the weight of expectations that come with big-ticket contracts.

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Bruins' Beleskey on free-agency hype: 'I didn't think I was going to get $5M'
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