‘Boston will love him:’ Craig Smith is ready to bring his relentless energy to the Bruins

BOSTON, MA- When Craig Smith talks about the act of shooting, he doesn’t always say “shoot.”

He likes to “rip” pucks. He “hammers” them. He “wires” them.

Even his word choices are energetic.

“Boston will love him,” said former Bruins defenseman Hal Gill, who watched Smith nightly in his role as a Predators radio analyst. “His interviews are always electric. Usually he’s got his shirt off, he’s high energy, he’s got a big smile. One of my favorite quotes of his is, ‘Pedal through the floor, play with your hair on fire.’ That’s the energy he brings.”

On Oct. 10 the Bruins added Smith, the 31-year-old right winger, for his buzzy brand of 5-on-5 attacking. The signing, $9.3 million over the next three years, was widely hailed as one of the offseason’s smartest: a bargain for a five-time 20-goal scorer. Since debuting at practice on Jan. 3, Smith has ripped, hammered, and wired pucks next to third-line center Charlie Coyle and left wing Nick Ritchie. The Bruins believe they’ll get consistent production from the burly Ritchie, puck-possessing Coyle, and Smith, who scored 18 goals last year and was on pace for 21 when the season ended early.