Players Bound for Rhode Island and Elsewhere
Providence, RI - The Providence Bruins, the 2007-08 regular season champions of the American Hockey League, announced that the National Hockey League's Boston Bruins have placed forwards Jeremy Reich and Nate Thompson on waivers for the purpose of assignment to Providence. Forward Peter Schaefer has been released by Boston and will be placed on waivers for the purpose of assignment to the P-Bruins. Additionally, defenseman Matt Hunwick has been assigned to Providence, blue-liner Mike Egener has announced his retirement from professional hockey and goaltender Kevin Nastiuk has been released from the P-Bruins' training camp.
At the moment, Providence has 23 players in its camp, including 13 forwards, eight defensemen and two goaltenders.
Reich, 29, signed with Boston as a free agent on August 30, 2005 and played parts of two seasons in Rhode Island before a 2006-07 promotion to the NHL. With Providence, the left wing and then assistant captain registered 34 points (12g, 22a) and 340 penalty minutes over 123 games. In his return to the NHL for the first time since the 2003-04 campaign with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Reich has totaled two goals and five points along with 141 PIM in 90 contests for Boston over the last two years. Originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks 39th overall in round two of the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, the veteran of eight professional seasons has amassed 165 points (64g, 101a) and 1,355 PIM in 555 games. Of those totals, 159 points (62g, 97a) and 1,194 PIM have come in 456 AHL contests for the native of Craik, Saskatoon.
Thompson, 24, captained Providence in 2007-08, posting career-highs with 19 goals, 20 assists, 39 points, 83 PIM and 75 games played. The center re-signed with Boston on July 28, 2008 after spending his first four professional seasons in the organization since being drafted by the Bruins 183rd overall in the sixth round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Thompson turned pro in 2004-05 following his fourth junior season with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League. In his career, the native of Anchorage, Alaska, has played in 220 regular season games, all but four in Providence, notching 35 goals and 45 assists for 80 points and 215 penalty minutes along the way. His other four games came in a Boston sweater during the 2006-07 season, going scoreless in four separate one-game call-ups.
Schaefer, 31, appeared in 63 regular season games for Boston in 2007-08 and tallied 26 points, including nine goals. In the postseason, Schaefer played in all seven contests and contributed one goal and three assists against the Montreal Canadiens. The left wing was acquired by the Bruins from the Ottawa Senators on July 17, 2007 in exchange for forward Shean Donovan. Following four seasons in the WHL with the Brandon Wheat Kings, Schaefer turned pro in 1996-97 with the Syracuse Crunch. In his 12 professional seasons, including two spent internationally, the native of Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan has appeared in 725 games, recording 410 points (154g, 256a) and 410 PIM. Schaefer has spent 556 of those contests in the NHL.
Hunwick, 23, is coming off a rookie season split between Boston and Providence, notching one assist in 13 games over four call-ups to the big club and 23 points (2g, 21a) in 55 contests for the P-Bruins. The blue-liner also finished with a plus-16 rating at the AHL level. His first and only career NHL point as it stands came on December 8, 2007 at the Toronto Maple Leafs. Prior to turning pro, Hunwick played in 163 games for the University of Michigan Wolverines, scoring 24 goals and adding 73 assists for 97 points. The two-year captain at Michigan and native of nearby Sterling Heights was drafted by Boston 224th overall in the seventh round of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.
Egener, 24, retires after four years at the professional playing ranks. The defenseman was signed by Boston as a free agent on August 28, 2008 and was waived on September 28, 2008. In his career, the native of Lahr, Germany, finished with 19 points, including nine goals, and 584 PIM in 202 contests, 158 of those with the Springfield Falcons. Eneger was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning 34th overall in round two of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
Nastiuk, 23, was selected 126th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in round four of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Since, the netminder has enjoyed three pro seasons split between the AHL and ECHL. In 2007-08, the native of Edmonton, Alberta, went 6-5-2 with a 2.44 goals-against-average for the Florida Everblades while adding a 4-1-0 mark and 2.31 GAA for the AHL's Albany River Rats. In his AHL career, Nastiuk is 5-8-3 in 16 games for Albany and the Lowell Lock Monsters. Meanwhile, the goaltender has posted a 36-17-10 career ECHL record between Florida and the Las Vegas Wranglers. Prior to turning pro, Natiuk played four seasons for the WHL's Medicine Hat Tigers, winning 40 games in 2003-04 en route to a WHL championship and an appearance in the Memorial Cup.
Providence Bruins season tickets, Flex Tix packages and single game tickets are on sale now for the 2008-09 season. To purchase tickets or to learn more information, call the P-Bruins ticket office at (401) 273-5000 or log on to the team website at providencebruins.com.