Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
All is quiet with Torey Krug and the Boston Bruins. That’s probably exactly the way the Boston front office has mapped it out.
Due to the interesting circumstances behind their first pro contracts, neither Krug nor Reilly Smith have full restricted free-agent rights; instead, they're entry-level restricted free agents. Both Krug and Smith got that designation after burning the first year of their entry-level deals coming out of the NCAA, and currently have just two years of service time in pro hockey.
They can’t sign any offer sheets this summer, can’t move to any other teams, don’t have any arbitration rights and are fully under the power of a salary cap-strapped Bruins team while waiting for new bridge-type contracts....
It was believed initially that both Krug and Smith could be looking at second contracts in the Ondrej Palat/Tyler Johnson range of 3 years/$10 million. Now that won’t be happening this summer, given their service-time status.
It’s much more likely that Krug and Smith will be steered into signing one- or two-year deals in the $1 million-2 million AAV (average annual value) range that are friendly to the organization. That’s clearly a positive development for Peter Chiarelli and the Bruins, but isn’t so great for exciting young players in Krug and Smith after breakout NHL campaigns in 2013-14.
read on for more on Krug...
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
Canadiens center Tomas Plekanec isn’t very well-liked or well-respected within the B’s dressing room, and a national hockey audience got a taste of why when he repeatedly snapped his head back in embellishment during phantom high stick encounters against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The blatant play-acting even spawned the hash tag #Plekanecing on twitter where fans snapped selfies in mock pain and head-snapping embellishment.
During the 2014 Phoenix House Champs for Change dinner in Halifax, Marchand was asked by AHL President Dave Andrews during a panel discussion which NHL player irritates him the most. Surely it’s a long list with an agitator like Marchand, but there wasn’t much hesitation in his answer (YouTube video).
“There are a few guys out there that really irritate,” said Marchand, who it should be noted has authored his own adventures in embellishment over the years. “Tomas Plekanec from Montreal…I hate him. I can’t stand him. No, I probably shouldn’t say that. I dislike him very much. Now somebody is going to call and get mad at me tomorrow.”
from Luke Winkie of Extra Mustard at Sports Illustrated,
MIKE HAYNES, Colorado Avalanche
Listen to how excited this grown man gets when a player on the Colorado Avalanche beats up a player on the Chicago Blackhawks. I mean, it's Doug Gilmour so I get it BUT STIILL. I don’t know much about Mike Haynes, but what I do know is that he shouted “HOW YOU LIKE THEM APPLES” to an opposing hockey team. That will live on forever.
JACK EDWARDS, Boston Bruins
Look, we don’t want to harp on Boston too much, but it’s really hard to write a list about homer broadcasters without returning to Beantown fairly regularly. I love Jack Edwards, he’s got that old stony voice that tends to elevate the viciousness of hockey, and I love that he wages all-out verbal warfare against the Canadiens every time they play the Bruins. It's fairly clear that Jack Edwards likely has never met a French-Canadian he didn’t want to punch in the face.
read on for a video on each plus other non-hockey homer announcers....
thanks to Allan Muir of Sports Illustrated for the pointer
Boston, MA - The Boston Bruins announced today, July 24, that the club has hired Joe Sacco as Assistant Coach.
A native of Medford, MA, Sacco spent the 2013-14 season as an Assistant Coach for the Buffalo Sabres. Prior to that position, the former NHL forward served as the Head Coach of the Colorado Avalanche (2009-13) where he compiled a 130-134-40 record and was a Jack Adams finalist in 2010.
Sacco served two years as an Assistant Coach in the AHL (American Hockey League) for the Lowell Lock Monsters (2004-05) and the Albany River Rats (2006-07) before becoming a head coach for the Lake Erie Monsters (2007-09).
from Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe,
... Still, nine is too many. Seidenberg is healthy, and so is the injury-prone McQuaid. Miller will be fighting to retain his spot, as will Bartkowski and McQuaid. And Warsofsky, whose skills and size are a duplicate of Krug’s, is likely No. 9 in the field, but will be trying to prove himself.
“I think David’s ready to play in the NHL,” said Providence coach Bruce Cassidy. “Could he beat out eight guys in Boston? I don’t know. That’s a pretty good lineup, right? So a good problem for Boston to have, tough for David. But I’ve always felt if you’re good enough and you’re ready and you go up and prove it, they’ll make room for you.”
That could provide some good competition in camp — if Chiarelli lets it get that far.
Despite the GM emphasizing that he wants to keep his core together, Boychuk ($3.366 cap hit) is a free agent after this upcoming season and could command a deal approaching that of new Washington Capital Brooks Orpik (five years, $27.5 million) on the open market. Boychuk would bring more return and more cap relief than other options. Chiarelli also has already shown a willingness to deal Bartkowski ($1.25 million), who was headed to Calgary at the 2013 trade deadline before the deal was nixed by Jarome Iginla.
The Bruins need to continue showing they’re the tough, experienced, puck-possession team to beat in a wide open East or the current band may not be together that much longer.
-Joe Haggerty of CSNNE on the Boston Bruins. Read more to find out what choices the Bruins may be forced to make.
from Joe Haggerty of CSNNE,
“I believe [the team toughness] is already there, I do. We have a couple of candidates that played in Providence that surely could fit in if we need them. But I really think it’s already there, I do,” said Chiarelli. “You’re going to see Adam [McQuaid] back, whoever’s playing D, so we’ve got some tough guys there that can hold up their own. So I believe it’s already there.”
On any given night the Bruins will feature multiple players capable of dropping the gloves if the team needs an emotional spark, or if there’s an opponent taking liberties with members of the Black and Gold tribe. Clearly Milan Lucic would be the most intimidating name at the top of that list, but defensemen Kevan Miller and Adam McQuaid are no slouches in that category either.
from Eric Wilbur of Boston.com,
As much as Bruins fans don’t want to acknowledge it, trading Krejci this summer would solve a lot of the Bruins’ headaches going forward, but in no way does that mean it's the logical avenue. If it were though, Chiarelli could more easily sign Soderberg and Boychuk to long-term deals, as well as give the likes of Reilly Smith, Torey Krug (restricted free agents), and Dougie Hamilton (RFA next summer) the paydays they’re due.
In 2013-14, Krejci had his strongest regular-season campaign since the 2008-09 season, scoring 19 goals to go with his team-leading 50 assists. But he uncharacteristically disappeared in the playoffs, tallying only four assists as the Bruins lost in the second round to the Montreal Canadiens, despite heading into the second season with a big, shiny President’s Trophy.
Nobody is clamoring to ship Krejci out based on his poor postseason, and there is certainly a general knowledge that the center is the straw that stirs the Bruins' drink. But if Chiarelli and the Bruins want to remain steadfast in their philosophy of maintaining depth across the roster, don't be surprised if it's something they might explore, if they haven't already.
from Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun,
There are days when Savard still suffers symptoms, but his health has improved — though he realizes a potential NHL comeback is not likely in the cards.
“It’s going to be tough to play again,” said Savard, who had 207 goals and 706 points in the regular season and added eight goals and 22 points in the post-season. “I listen (to the doctors) and taking another hit is not really on the agenda. Right now, it doesn’t look promising.”
But playing golf has provided him a nice outlet for his competitive juices.
“It’s been nice to have something competitive that I can still do and ease the pain,” said Savard. “I have two boys and two girls. My girls are in dance and my boys play AAA hockey, so I’m still around the rink a lot and that fills the void of missing the game.”
Savard had his career taken away in 2011, the same year the Boston Bruins captured the Stanley Cup.
The lighter side of Lucic...
from Juliet Pennington of the Boston Globe,
Favorite vacation spot? The Bahamas. I’ve been there three times [to the Atlantis resort] and I liked it so much that I chose to get married there.
Favorite food or drink while vacationing? Margarita on the rocks with salt.
Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? Bora Bora [an island in French Polynesia] — but I’m finally going there this summer. I’m looking forward to it, especially since Brittany and I have been married for two years and haven’t really had a honeymoon.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
Email Paul anytime at email@example.com