The Boston Bruins have agreed to terms with winger Michael Ryder on a three-year deal at $4 million per season.
The contract is still being finalized but the two parties have agreed to terms pending the final paperwork being in order.
''He has a terrific shot, very strong on the puck and plays a gritty game,'' Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said on a conference call. ''He's someone we've targeted for a while.''
The Bruins were also interested in Marian Hossa, who finished with 12 goals and 14 assists with Pittsburgh in last season's playoffs.
''We were involved a little bit with Hossa,'' Chiarelli said. ''He's a terrific player. We weren't at a position where we felt we would devote time to it.''
Rather, Chiarelli focused on Ryder and said the Bruins increased their offer about three hours before the deal was announced when learning at least two other teams were trying to sign Ryder.
''You get to the point and you sense maybe we're not going to get this guy,'' Chiarelli said, ''but you can't stray too much from it. There was a lot of waiting. We had a lot of repeat discussions'' among Ryder and club officials.''
Ryder, 28, scored 14 goals and 31 points in 70 games with the Montreal Canadiens last season. Taken 216th overall by Montreal in 1998, the Bonavista, Newfoundland native scored 99 goals and 207 points in 314 career games.
The move reunites Ryder with head coach Claude Julien, who coached him in Montreal, Hamilton of the American Hockey League and Hull of the Quebec Major Junior League.