Category Archives: Boston Bruins

Bruins Development Camp Gets Under Way

bruins development camp

The Bruins Development Camp Is Off & Skating


Welcome back, Bruins fans!

The time has come to start really looking at how the team’s prospects are shaping up. This year’s roster includes a few expected guys, such as first-round draftee David Pastrnak, second-round draftee Ryan Donato, and current P-Bruins Matt Lindblad, Anthony Camara, and Malcolm Subban.

There are a few notable invites added to the camp this year, as well. Casey Bailey and Ryan Carpenter are both collegiate-level forwards who skated out with the P-Bruins guys for the hour long skate today. Carpenter was signed to a one-way contract back in March with the San Jose Sharks, and will be playing with Worcester of the American Hockey League next season. He and Bailey fit in well playing with the Bruins players, as did fellow invitees Alex Cord, Derek Docken, and Garnet Hathaway.

The development practice, which was held at the Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, Mass, looked positive and promising for those watching. According to Mark Garbino of BruinsLife.com, it looked like ‘Pastrnak and Donato are already shaping up to be good friends’. He went on to describe a friendly shootout held between the two after the practice, saying that everyone seemed to be laughing and getting along quite well.

Despite all the incredible forwards who skated around together today, though, Boston newcomer Linus Arnesson seemed to be the breakout star of the practice with his clear, solid defensive play. He made some amazing passes to Pastrnak, suggesting that the two will make a good team when they finally hit the Bruins lineup together. Arnesson, who was drafted by the Bruins in the second round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, was signed to a one-year entry-level contract this June. The Swedish blue-liner spent one final year playing in the SHL before signing his contract with Boston, but we can expect to see him on this side of the pond come September.

As far as goaltending went, all three of the Bruin’s netminding prosepcts- Zane Gothberg, Adam Morrison, and Malcom Subban- were in attendance at the first day of camp. While Subban showed up an hour late due to dehydration issues, both he and Gothberg made solid showings for the practice.

If Bruins fans weren’t excited about next season yet, it’s doubtful they feel the same way now. Preseason is unofficially under way, and I personally can’t get enough of it. I can’t wait to see how the newest prospects measure up against the already formidable lineup the P Bruins have to offer, and I’m curious to see where more veteran players such as Camara and Arnesson will end up come September. Who will be in Providence? Who’s going to be skating out on the ice alongside Chara and Bergy?

Keep following the development camp, because it’s a great way to find out.

Pick Tuukka Rask’s Vaughn Gear For Next Season (PHOTO)

Tuukka Rask Deroy Designs

(ART: Deroy Designs)

Vote For Tuukka Rask’s Vaughn Gear For Next Season

Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask had a great season even though the playoffs ended far sooner than he wanted. However, he won his first Vezina trophy and led the Boston Bruins to the best record in the NHL.

Now you can vote for the best goalie on the planet’s gear for the 2014-2015 season.

Tuukka Rask Vaughn Gear

Go to Vaughn’s Facebook page and cast your vote.

Hopefully, his new equipment will bring him some Stanley Cup Mojo!

Pot Of Baked Beans Goes To In Goal Magazine!

Brad Marchand Just Riding A Brad Marchand Zamboni (PHOTOS)

brad marchand

Bruins Winger Brad Marchand Is All Smiles On His Zamboni

Bruins winger Brad Marchand is not concerned with all the trade rumors and other gossip of the NHL season. He rather spend his time riding a zampboni emblazoned with the Nose Faced Killah himself.

Hope that zamboni can float with all the rain coming down in New England on the Fourth.

Boo Mother Nature…you hate ‘Merica!

Free Agent Frenzy: Where Does Boston Stand Now?

jarome iginla

Where Do The Boston Bruins Look Now In Free Agency?


Yesterday, Boston Bruins fans were among some of the unhappiest in the league as a whole. While Buffalo and Florida picked up big names in the race to the cap floor, Chiarelli sat silently nursing the meager funds the team has to spend. The Western Conference as a whole became a conference of dynamite, and the B’s… well, they’ve only lost men. No one was signed, and UFA’s Shawn Thornton, Andrej Meszaros, and Jarome Iginla received new deals elsewhere.

Bruins fans have plenty cause to be concerned. According to CapGeek, the team is suffering from almost five million dollars in overages penalties, leaving somewhere around five million dollars to supplement the 12-man roster currently under contract. Here’s a handy list of who still needs to be signed, and how much money they might expect to receive next year, based on how they’ve played in the past:

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS:

Corey Potter, D- $600,000-$800,000

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS:

Torey Krug, D- $900,000-$3 million

Matt Bartkowski, D- $700,000-$900,000

Reilly Smith, RW- $900,000-$2 million

Jordan Caron, RW- $700,000-$900,000

Justin Florek, LW- $600,000-$800,000

The team also lost a first line forward when Iginla signed a 3-year contract with the Colorado Avalanche, a depth forward when Thornton signed with the Florida Panthers for $1.2 million, and an experienced defenseman when Meszaros went to the Buffalo Sabres. This means that in addition to the 4 to 7 million dollars the team needs to spend to bring back the six men listed above, there are now three open positions on the roster that need to be filled.

Many fans have been criticizing Peter Chiarelli for the loss of Iginla and Thornton on July 1st. After all, both players worked well for the team. With the situation the team’s finances are currently in, though, it just wasn’t feasible without losing a few key players. In order to re-sign Iggy, players like Brad Marchand, Johnny Boychuk, or even two or three smaller players (i.e. Krug, Bartkowski, Caron, Paille) would have had to be moved in order to clear up the cap space. Iginla had made it clear that he was looking for a multi-year deal at a price the Bruins couldn’t afford, and the Avs were able to provide that.

What does this mean for the team, though?

For starters, some of the younger players are going to get to see more ice time.  Players like Matt Fraser, Ryan Spooner, Matt Lindblad, and Anthony Camara should all expect to suit up wearing the spoked B next year instead of hanging around Providence. Newcomer Loui Eriksson, who had been a part of the trade with Dallas that sent Rich Peverley and Tyler Seguin south, might get moved up to the first line.

In addition, it’s likely that someone is going to get moved. Chiarelli made it clear that he didn’t want to change the current lineup very much, but the loss of Iginla will hurt if the team can’t find a way to replace him. Boston has never been big on 50-goal scorers and flashy superstars, instead relying on good team play and strong two-way defense… yet, without one of the team’s four 30-goal scorers, it’s likely that Boston won’t be quite the cup contender they have been for the past couple of years. The second line alone scored fifty goals, but the drop between that second line- which contained Alternate Captain Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, and Reilly Smith- and the third line was drastic. While this was due in part to the line being plagued with injuries all season, this still suggests that the men called up to play for Chris Kelly and Loui Eriksson aren’t capable of producing the way the third line should on a team that rolls four lines.

My suggestions? Move players who aren’t performing well in the less tangible ways. Jordan Caron, who was the team’s extra forward on the roster, had some of the worst puck possession stats in the league- but also looked sloppy and unable to read his teammates in the same way that some of the younger guys, such as Lindblad, Spooner, and Fraser, could. Chris Kelly spent the majority of the season battling injuries, and wasn’t the kind of leader on-ice that he has been in the past. Matt Bartkowski was all over the place, having as many showings where he looked a hot mess as games where he looked on point. Moving one of these guys- all of whom are able to be moved in one way or another, according to their contracts- for someone who can provide tangible numbers might be what the team needs to do. Many of the providence forwards I mentioned earlier will be able to step up into good depth forward roles, leaving the team with only one or two spots needing a new guy.

Keep an eye out for any movement out of Boston, though- because when something happens, I have my money on it being big.

Free Agent Frenzy: Shawn Thornton Heads to Florida

Florida Panthers v Boston Bruins

 

Well, Boston fans, it’s official:

Former depth forward and longtime Bruins fan favorite Shawn Thornton is headed south.

According to CBS Sports, the Florida Panthers picked up Thornton about an hour after Free Agency opened on Tuesday, July 1st.

Thornton has been signed to a two-year, $1.2 million dollar deal by Boston’s division rivals, which is only a slight raise from the $1.1 million he was receiving from the B’s. Quite a steal for Florida, who are still sitting under the salary floor two hours after negotiations began.

Boston is going to miss Thorty, who was not only an effective enforcer on the ice, but was a leader on the team in the locker room. Best of luck, and here’s to all the season matchups against Florida that will give Boston fans the opportunity to see one of the team’s favorite guys for the past few years.

Bruins Draft Recap: Grading Our Draft Choices

pastrnak

After weeks of profiling, analyzing, stressing over rumors, and arguing over what the team needs, the draft has come and gone. While the Philadelphia fans booed everyone who, well, wasn’t Philadelphia, a German player refused to put his team hat on, and the son of a former Flyers player got drafted by Pittsburgh, the Bruins made some pretty interesting moves. Here’s my grade for Boston during the draft:

First Round Pick: David Pastrnak, winger 

Grade: B

I’ll admit, I should have seen this one coming. The five foot ten Czech winger has been compared to both David Krejci and Justin Williams, but has openly admitted that he wants to follow in Krejci’s footsteps. He was the fifth overall European skater according to Central Scouting, and in the SHL-2 scored the most points of any U18 player this past season since 1971. He’s fast and smart with the puck, and plays with the kind of “lateral elusiveness” that Krejci is known for as well. Scouts have called him electric, and in a Bleacher Report article following the draft, he was referred to as a “small but exciting forward” that the Bruins will be lucky to have.

He doesn’t get the A he could because of his size, and a rumored tendency to disappear on a play where he’s not already in possession of the puck when playing against particularly physical teams. Because of this, he probably won’t be a very good fit as a depth forward to replace players like Shawn Thornton or Jordan Caron, which means that we’re not likely to see him don the spoked B for another season or two.

Despite this, I’m excited to see what he can do in Boston. In an interview following the draft, he said that he thinks that “[Krejci is] the right guy for him to look up to”. This implies a strong mentor-mentee relationship that could serve the team well in the coming seasons.

Second Round Pick: Ryan Donato, center

Grade: A-

For longtime Bruins fans, this second-round selection bears a familiar surname. The Massachusetts native is the eldest son of former Bruins left winger Ted Donato, who the team drafted in the fifth round of the 1987 NHL Entry Draft. Ryan grew up a huge fan of the team, and knows a ton of the players already from his time hanging around the rink as a kid. He’s a smart player who scored 14 goals in his last twenty-six games with his high school’s team, where his uncle- Ted Donato’s brother- is the head coach.

Unfortunately for the Bruins, Donato has already made it clear that he plans on playing hockey at Harvard, which he won’t attend until the fall of 2015. This means that the team won’t see much of him, if at all, for at least four or five years. His passion for the organization, though, as well as his family history, means that this could be a smart long-run move on management’s part.

Fourth Round Pick: Danton Heinen, forward

Grade: C

Heinen, the second Canadian drafted by Boston since 2012, seems like a perfectly adequate player. A strong, powerful forward who has spent time both in the center and right wing positions with the Surrey Eagles of the BCHL, he led his team in scoring this past season with 29 goals. He was also their captain, suggesting strong leadership skills that the team will need as some of the vets phase out. The B’s might need more on defense in coming years, though, making three forwards in as many rounds seem like a strange move. Additionally, Heinen is already committed to the University of Denver next year, meaning that only one of the first three picks in Boston will be able to play in the next three or four years.

Fifth Round Pick: Anders Bjork, left wing

Grade: B+

As the second American and fourth forward picked up by Boston during the draft, Bjork could be the first one to hit the ice with the team. He spent last season with the US U-18 team, playing alongside Dylan Larkin, who was picked fifteenth overall in the first round by Detroit. He’s committed to Notre Dame next year, but he’s bigger and more physical than either Donato or Pastrnak, so he could be NHL-ready much faster.

Seventh Round Pick: Emil Johansson, defender

Grade: C+

Of the five picks in their possession this year, this Swede was the only defenseman the B’s picked up. Strange, but not necessarily a bad thing. Johansson has experience playing for Sweden’s HV71′s U21 team, and the NHL has seen a sharp increase in extremely capable players coming out of the Swedish leagues in recent years. He’s not the tallest blue liner the team could have chosen, standing at a mere six feet even, but he’s got good mobility and is much sturdier than the other players the team selected. Could expect to see him making moves for the P-Bruins next season, then moving up to play alongside someone like Hamilton or McQuaid once they develop more veteran experience.

Overall Grade: B

This draft class wasn’t particularly rich in big, intimidating players, and the Bruins picked smartly from the smaller guys available. They added players who already had a sense of belonging on the team in Pastrnak and Donato, and picked a solid seventh-round defender that it seems most teams overlooked. With the salary cap crunch the team faces this year, though, I expected to see more movement towards players who could be NHL-ready sooner, or even towards players who would be able to fill roster spots in Providence when current prospects move up to the big leagues. Overall, though, not a bad draft class. Not bad at all. 

« Older Entries Recent Entries »