July 17 2013 04:01PM
As the TJ Brodie negotiations stretch out, Feaster is at least getting other orders of business done. Today the team announced they have inked 24 year old defender Chris Breen to a one-year, two-way contract.
The deal is worth $577k/$80k per year, depending on where he plays.
Breen is a huge 6'7" defender who was signed as a free agent out of the OHL three years ago. He has established himself as a top-4 option at the AHL level thus far, but has yet to appear in an NHL game. Breen is willing to drop the gloves on occasion, but is the rare big man who doesn't rack up a lot of penalty minutes. To wit, his 55 PIM's for Abbotsford last year were a career high.
Breen has size, strength and a huge reach but also next to no offense and non-trivial deficiencies in terms of skating and puck handling. The former may be enough to overcome the latter and get him into the show as a bottom pairing defenseman. In my personal viewings of Breen he has looked very susceptible to being beaten to the outside by anyone with speed as well as struggling with the puck on his stick, but I haven't watched enough Heat hockey to get a true read on the player either.
No doubt Breen will get a look this year. O'Brien, Cundari and Smith are ahead of him on the depth chart, but it will only take a couple of injuries (or a big step forward by the player) to get him a cup of coffee on the parent club.
If he does make the jump, it will be interesting to see how he adapts to the speed of the NHL game.