Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Joe McDonald of ESPN,
With the Boston Bruins beginning a new chapter in their storied history with a new general manager in Don Sweeney, and a revamped roster that includes plenty of new players, many think the of newcomers like Matt Beleskey or Jimmy Hayes would need to make a serious impact in order for the Bruins to be successful.
That statement is 100 percent true, but the success of the Bruins in 2015-2016 needs to begin with captain Zdeno Chara.
The 6-foot-9, 255-pound veteran defenseman had one of the worst seasons in his 17-year career during 2014-2015. Not only did he miss 19 games due to a torn ligament in his left knee, the 38-year-old never regained his form when he returned to action in mid-December.
Chara was slow, not the dominant defender the league has known, and yet was still forced to play an average of nearly 25 minutes per game. After the Bruins failed to reach the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time in eight seasons, Boston’s captain admitted he was never fully healed from his knee injury.
from Syd Gernstein of Bloomberg BNA,
At issue is whether the Boston Bruins hockey club may deduct 100% of the costs it incurred to provide its players and staff with meals while travelling to away games. The case poses the IRS and Tax Court with some fairly interesting questions concerning the deductibility of employee fringe benefits.
The tax Code of course allows businesses like the Bruins to deduct their business expenses. Issues, however, crop up the less that the expenses resemble business and the more that they resemble entertainment.
Providing employees with food and beverages, the Bruins in this controversy land in the murky no-man’s land between the two. It will come as shock to approximately no one that the tax Code prescribes a complex and not-always-intuitive formula for navigating this real estate. Summarizing briefly and, seriously, as simply as I possibly can:
thanks to Joe Haggerty of CSNNE for the pointer...
from Matt Kalman at NHL.com,
Here are three questions facing the Bruins entering the season:
Do the Bruins have enough offense? On the list of reasons Boston finished tied for 22nd in the NHL in scoring (2.55 goals per game) last season, center David Krejci missing 35 games because of injuries is at the top. Krejci, who had 31 points in 47 games after he had 69 in 80 in 2013-14, should be back at full health this season.
The Bruins hope some new players will help Krejci give the offense a jolt.
Forward Matt Beleskey, who scored 22 goals with the Anaheim Ducks last season, signed as an unrestricted free agent July 1. That day, the Bruins traded Reilly Smith to the Florida Panthers for Jimmy Hayes; Smith scored 13 goals last season, Hayes had 19.
Then there are the young players who have to continue to blossom. Center Ryan Spooner had five goals and four assists in Boston's final 12 games to finish with 18 points in 29 games. Right wing David Pastrnak had 27 points in 46 games as a rookie.
Beyond left wing Brad Marchand and center Patrice Bergeron, the Bruins no longer have a lot of forwards with experience playing together. So they'll have to mix and match to find the right place in the lineup for the above-mentioned players, plus Brett Connolly, Loui Eriksson and Chris Kelly.
from Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald,
... Thornton took some time to weigh in on a few subjects.
One of them was the Bruins story of the summer, Dougie Hamilton’s trade to the Calgary Flames, a move that was seemingly what the young defenseman wanted.
“I don’t care, to be completely honest. He’s not my teammate. He wasn’t last year and he isn’t next year,” said Thornton. “Listen, I’m a little surprised. I love Boston and for someone to want to get out of it, I don’t get it, especially in the first few years (of his career). But it’s his world. He had decisions to make and that’s the one he made. Hopefully he’s happy in Calgary.”...
Thornton is 38 and is heading into the last year of his deal with Florida. Is this his last NHL season?
“I’m OK either way,” he said. “I’m going into my 19th year. I’m happy with what’s happened in my career and I’m OK if I have to shut ‘er down,” he said. “If I have a tough year and that’s it, then so be it. But if I happen to have a good year, things work out and somebody wants to give me a paycheck for another year, I’m more than happy. I mean, I love competing, I love the game, I love staying in shape, I love being around the guys. I’ve said it before, I’ll play till they rip the skates off me. If that happens to be (next) summer, then it is. If it’s the summer after, then even better.”
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
For eight seasons, through personnel changes, adjustments, and trial and error, Claude Julien’s defensive system became one with the Bruins’ identity. The proof is in the results: 2.45 goals against per game in 2014-15 (No. 8 in the NHL), 2.08 in 2013-14 (No. 2), 2.21 in 2012-13 (No. 3), 2.43 in 2011-12 (No. 6), 2.30 in 2010-11 (No. 2), 2.33 in 2009-10 (No. 2), 2.32 in 2008-09 (No. 1), and 2.62 in 2007-08 (No. 11).
This fall, it will undergo its most significant transformation yet.
Since he became general manager on May 20, Don Sweeney has repeated that the Bruins’ defensive structure will remain in 2015-16. But last year’s ninth-place finish, the sacking of Peter Chiarelli, the roster turnover, and the nature of the game are demanding defensive evolution to take place.
A month out from camp and new players (Matt Beleskey, Jimmy Hayes, Zac Rinaldo, Matt Irwin, Colin Miller) in place, Sweeney has a sharper idea of how game flow will proceed than when he was promoted. The questions are how far the transformation will go and whether the Bruins have the right mix to play this way.
“I think they have to,” said Sweeney, when asked if the defensemen will be skating more in 2015-16. “At times, we probably got a little bit too stationary on our breakouts. We need to be in motion a little bit. That means our forwards will be in motion a little bit, because teams were able to smother the walls, pinch, and pre-pinch.”
continued plus more hockey topics...
“We just found ourselves in a place we don’t want to be. It’s going to be a workout time. We had a change when we brought Cam in and Charlie, and they wanted a change. They thought we needed a change. They thought it was the right move for the franchise. I think Peter is a great human being and a great hockey mind. And I think he’s going to prosper out west (in Edmonton). He’s got a great young team there. We were not in the same position. It’s a cap environment we find ourselves in here and you’ve got to look to the future. If you watch the success of the Chicago team, and I do admire them quite a bit, they dealt with their high-priced players early on and the kept creating room. Every year, there was a change, not too unlike the change we see here (this year). We see some great players going elsewhere. Even to this year, you see very successful teams have met that problem. We didn’t deal with it in a timely enough manner and we found ourselves in a cap position that wasn’t attractive for us.”
-Jeremy Jacobs, owner of the Boston Bruins on ex-GM Peter Chiarell. More on the Bruins from Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald.
NEW YORK (July 29, 2015) – Representatives from the National Hockey League, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, New England Patriots, National Hockey League Players’ Association and Bridgestone gathered today at Gillette Stadium to detail plans for the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®. In January, the NHL announced that the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will feature the Bruins and Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., on New Year’s Day, 2016. The event will be televised live on NBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports at 1 p.m. ET.
When these long-time rivals meet, Boston will become the first Club to host the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® for a second time, after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime of the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® at Fenway Park. It will mark the first time the Canadiens will play in the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, and just the second time a Canadian-based NHL team will play in the game, following the Toronto Maple Leafs’ appearance in 2014.
from Joe McDonald of ESPN,
You'll find Harry Sinden's name in the Boston Bruins media guide under the ownership and executive section.
The former Bruins coach, general manager and team president is listed as "senior advisor to the owner and alternate governor" right below owner Jeremy Jacobs, CEO Charlie Jacobs and president Cam Neely.
Sinden, 82, has been out of the spotlight since he officially retired on Aug. 9, 2006. That same summer, Peter Chiarelli was named general manager.
Under Chiarelli, the Bruins won a Stanley Cup in 2011 and returned to the finals in 2013. During Chiarelli's nine seasons in Boston, Sinden had zero influence on decisions and very little input.
But this new era under first-time GM Don Sweeney has an old-school feel to it. Sinden's name has been mentioned more in the past few months than it was during Chiarelli's entire tenure in Boston.
from Steve Conroy of the Boston Herald,
There are still some very serviceable defensemen — Johnny Oduya, Cody Franson, Christian Ehrhoff — left on the free agent market as of today, so Bruins general manager Don Sweeney may not be done building his first roster.
With a couple of veterans on the last year of their contracts — Loui Eriksson, Chris Kelly, Max Talbot — a trade or two could still be in the offing. But presuming Sweeney has done most of his heavy lifting — and there was a lot of it — now might be a good time to try to figure out what might be going on in coach Claude Julien’s head with regard to his lineup. As opposed to past years, there are few obvious choices, up front and on the back end.
Just remember, these are working documents, now more than ever:
Lines: Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Brett Connolly, Matt Beleskey-David Krejci-Jimmy Hayes, Loui Eriksson-Ryan Spooner-David Pastrnak, Zac Rinaldo-Chris Kelly-Max Talbot....
Defense: Zdeno Chara-Zach Trotman, Joe Morrow-Dennis Seidenberg, Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid/Kevan Miller.
BOSTON, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, July 6, that the club has signed forward Jimmy Hayes to a three-year contract through the 2017-18 season worth a cap figure of $2,300,000, forward Brett Connolly to a one-year contract through the 2015-16 season worth a cap figure of $1,025,000 at the NHL level and forward Brandon DeFazio to a one-year, two-way contract through the 2015-16 season worth a cap figure of $575,000 at the NHL level.
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.
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