Tag Archives: Hockey

Bruins Draft Countdown Part II: Trading For The Cup

patrice bergeron with the cup


So, if you’re reading this, I’m either going to assume that you’re as excited for the fresh new faces we’ll be adding to the lineup next year, or you still think I’m completely insane for my laissez-faire attitude towards the big name resignings and want to see what other insanity I throw your way.

Before we get to the meat of this not-so-meaty upcoming draft class, though, I’d like to dedicate a post to looking at the trade decisions Boston management has made in recent years. This postseason has been full of speculations about some of the B’s big-name players being shopped around the league, and while some of the trade rumors have been dispelled pretty quickly, other rumors- such as the one that Shawn Thornton will not be returning to the lineup next season- have been more than true.

Therefore, I think it’s important to look at what’s been done before, so we might better understand some of the decisions the team might make this year- and what it could mean for fans in 2015.

t all started in 2005 with the most controversial trade Boston’s management has made in the past decade; on November 30- only three and half months after signing a $20 million dollar contract extension with the center- Boston traded their captain Joe Thornton to the San Jose Sharks for three relatively insignificant players.

Bruins fans overall weren’t terribly happy about the trade. Combined, the three former Sharks- Wayne Primeau, Marco Sturm, and Brad Stuart- had put up only 36 points. In comparison, Big Joe alone had already put up nearly 32. The trade wasn’t about numbers, though, and instead enabled the team to shift its focus from building around the bruiser-like centerman to rebuilding the kind of team that Boston wanted to become again. Thornton’s attitude both on and off the ice clashed with the team-oriented mentality management was trying to bring back, and he was preventing the team from growing. It showed, too- the season he left, Boston failed to even make the playoffs, coming in last overall in the Atlantic Division. Getting rid of him enabled GM Mike O’Connell to start building around Patrice Bergeron instead, who was a rising star at the time and the only player from the 2005-2006 roster who is still on the team.

The Bruins didn’t stop with Thornton, though. Following that postseason, the team embarked on one of the most one-sided series of trades I’ve seen in my lifetime with the Toronto Maple Leafs. That year, they traded goalie Andrew Raycroft, who had already been replaced as the team’s first string by rising star Tim Thomas, for the Leaf’s goaltending prospect Tuukka Rask. Then, three years later, they traded their 2006 first-round draft selection Phil Kessel for three of Toronto’s draft picks. The forward went to Canada, and Boston was given a 2010 first-round pick, which they used to draft Tyler Seguin, a 2010 second-round pick, which they used to draft Jared Knight, and a 2011 first-round pick… which they used to draft Dougie Hamilton.

Yes, you read that correctly. In exchange for an aging goaltender and a hard-headed, high-scoring superstar with an attitude issue, Toronto (albeit inadvertently) gave the Bruins Tuukka Rask, Tyler Seguin, and Dougie Hamilton.

I’m not even finished.

This past postseason, after a disappointing six-game loss in the Stanley Cup Finals to the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston made another blockbuster, big-name trade. They sent Seguin- who had been displaying the kind of attitude issues that had made Thornton and Kessel bad fits for the team, as well- and fellow forward Rich Peverley, as well as prospect Ryan Button, to the Dallas Stars. In return, the B’s received three prospects- Reilly Smith, Joe Morrow, and Matt Fraser- and already established Swedish forward Loui Eriksson. Smith has become a solid member of the team’s second line, and Fraser scored the OT winner in game four against Montreal in his first Boston playoff appearance.

What does this mean, looking at the current off-season?

First, it means that the team can’t simply look at a player’s numbers in order to determine whether he still has a place in Boston. Some fans are quick to criticize players who failed to produce the kinds of numbers seen from superstars around the league, but history has proven that Boston wins cups when the roster looks like a family unit and not a group of disjointed names and faces.

Second, it means that Boston remains the kind of team that drafts smartly, and it shows. Of the team’s top six forwards this past year, four were drafted by Boston themselves. On defense, breakout star Dougie Hamilton is an original draft pick, as well. This draft year isn’t looking as strong as it has recently, so it’s important to look at the players the team has to choose from.
Want to hear who these players are? Check back later this week, and we’ll get to know some of the more intriguing prospects Boston has been looking at- and what they could mean for the team as we head into the next few seasons.

 

Bruins Ink: The Infamous Water Bottle Incident (PHOTOS)

Shawn Thornton waterbottle


The now Infamous Water Bottle Incident from Game 5 between the Bruins and Canadiens is going to live in hockey playoff lore for eternity. At the time, it seemed like a hilarious, harmless and downright agitating tactic by Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton to get under the Habs’ P.K. Subban’s skin.

Unfortunately, “Water Bottle Gate” backfired on the Black & Gold as Montreal took this as disrespect and used it as a rallying cry.

We all know what happened the rest of the series and we are still trying to forget, but not this Bruins fan:

It’s a sweet tattoo don’t get me wrong, but I don’t think I would want a constant reminder on my body on how the Bruins lost a series that should have won.

That’s like keeping your ex-girlfriends name tattooed on your arm after she banged your buddy.

FILE UNDER: TOO PAINFUL

Bruins Draft Countdown Part I: Step Away from Iginla, We’ve Got a Draft Coming Up

Jarome Iginla

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Re-signing former Calgary Flames Captain Jarome Iginla, who became one of the 30-goal Boston top six forwards this season, may seem far more important than looking at the Bruins draft prospects this year. After all, convincing a seasoned forward- who not only hits UFA status July 1st, but has made it very clear that he’s looking to sign with cup contenders only- to skate back into the Garden this season? Seems like a top priority.
I think this is crazy. Iggy is important, but it’s time to focus on the draft.

Why? Well.

First, while we have to look realistically at the cap space the Bruins have to work with, this shouldn’t affect Iggy. Take a deep breath, and stop Googling “Jarome Iginla contract renewal”.

No one knows exactly how much money the Bruins have to negotiate with other than Peter Chiarelli and company. I’ve been seeing numbers that range from seven million to almost ten million in cap space, and while the bottom line is that the Boston Bruins have less money to work with than I feel comfortable boasting about, this has nothing to do with Iginla.

The amount of cap space is still dependent on who- if anyone- gets traded within the next few weeks, and who they get traded for, so it’s likely that the team will make the necessary movements it takes to re-sign the thirty-six year old first liner. A popular rumor galloping around the internet is that the Bruins are going to trade left winger Brad Marchand, who has a cap hit of 4.5 million, for left winger Evander Kane of the Winnipeg Jets, who has a cap hit of around 5.3 million… but looking the other way, if the B’s trade Marchy for a prospect and a couple of conditional draft picks, the cap space looks a lot larger, rather than smaller. Trade analysts have also speculated about movement for fourth liner Shawn Thornton- a UFA this summer- or rookie defenseman Torey Krug, which would free up more cash for both Iggy AND the team’s extremely weak left defense, which will be costly to repair.

Next, we have to shift our focus to the talent pool that other teams will be drawing from well before we do.

The Bruins are known for making smart draft picks- after all, top six left winger Brad Marchand, who has already been a hot topic today, may have had a bad playoff run, but he’s proven himself to be someone who can hang with the best of the league’s elite players over the past five years- and Boston selected him 71st overall in his draft class.

(Do you know how many players from his round of the 2006 draft are household names now? Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason, who was picked 69th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets, and *arguably* New York Islanders right winger Cal Clutterbuck, who was selected by the Minnesota Wild directly after the Bruins snagged Marchand.)

Additionally, the Bruins have been snapping up quiet but promising defensive players over the past few years, who have the potential to cost much less to sign than already established players floating around the free trade market this summer. During the 2013 preseason, the Boston coaching staff actually had to turn away some of the defensive prospects they had skating in the first few games due to the overwhelming amount of defensive talent the team had already. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kevan Miller continued to put up positive numbers next season as a mid-year contract, and 20-year-old defensive style left wing powerhouse Anthony Camara has been making waves on the Bruins’ AHL affiliate in Providence. Of 58 games played, Camara- who doesn’t turn 21 until September- had only nine goals and thirteen assists- but plays defensively as a forward, which might be what the B’s front lines need. If he doesn’t skate with the big dogs next year, I’ll give everyone twenty bucks. *Don’t quote me on this, please.*

That being said, I think this is only further proof that the draft is just as crucial- if not more so- this year as it has been in the past.

Everyone is concerned about who is going to select eighteen-year-old Wonder boy defenseman Aaron Ekblad on June 27th. Right now, it’s looking like that’s could be the Florida Panthers, who haven’t been a cup contender in almost fourteen years. (I don’t need to remind Boston fans of the last time the Panthers looked good). If they hire Bylsma as a coach, and he brings some of his favorite players from Pittsburgh with him, AND they get Eckblad? Boston’s going to need to start monitoring this division rival again.

Even if the rumors are true, and the Panthers decide to trade away their first overall draft pick, Boston picks 25th this year. There are a number of promising young defensemen to look at, but there are 24 teams who are looking at these kids, too… and can get to them first.

So.

While I can’t think of anything more exciting than getting another eighty-two-plus games with Iggy, we all need to take a deep breath, let the negotiations roll, and look at the up-and-comers we’ll be welcoming to the Black and Gold on June 27th.

Check back Monday for the next part of this series. In honor of the trade rumors that have been circulating the web, we’ll talk about the biggest trades made by the Bruins in the past decade, and what they’ve meant for the team.

B’s Beat: Do You Remember The Decapitated Teddy Bear From The 2011 Cup Final? (PHOTO)

I stumbled upon the picture below in a recent Sports Illustrated Stanley Cup photos spread. For the life of me, I do not remember the decapitated Teddy Bear from Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Bruins and Canucks. As you may recall, the B’s fell 1-0 and by the looks of it those arrogant Vancouver fans thought the Cup was all but theirs.

140521234506-2011-bruins-decapitated-bear-op1x-14670-mid-single-image-cut

Three years later, it still sucks being them and people are still getting arrested for the riots.

Word to the wise, don’t poke the bear and definitely don’t cut off it’s head…

B’s Beat: Canadian Tire Store In Montreal Proudly Disrespects The Bruins (PHOTO)

Canadian-Tire-produced

The Montreal Canadiens complained throughout the whole Bruins series that they were disrespected.

Well, it appears one of the Habs’ new sponsors, Canadian Tire has very little respect for the “Spoked B”.

One of the chain’s Montreal stores (Alexis-Nihon mall. Thanks Karen for the tip!) proudly displays a Boston Bruins door mat jersey (which was stapled) that patrons walk all over to make donations.

canadiantire

I find it hard to believe that any Boston Bruins sponsor would show this much disrespect to a member of the Original Six.

Bobby Orr’s Iconic Goal Done In Pencil Stop Motion Animation (VIDEO)

bobby-orr (2)

Everyone hockey fan knows Bobby Orr’s Iconic “Flying Goal” from the 1970 Stanley Cup versus the St. Louis Blues.

You probably seen artistic interpretations using OYO/Legos, but this pencil drawing version will simply blow your mind.

The above video was done by piecing together 63 individual pencil drawings….simply incredible.

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