Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
... there’s still work to be done before the puck drops in Prague Oct. 9. Based on conversations with principal players, here’s how this observer sees things unfolding prior to the start of the 2010-11 season:
1. Trade Marc Savard. Sure, there might still be questions about Savard’s character, concussion history, and offensive-centered game. But Savard (left) remains on the block for two major reasons: The Bruins believe David Krejci can be a No. 1 pivot, and that Seguin can start 2010-11 as a third-line center. When the Bruins were negotiating with Savard last year, they never believed the first-round pick Toronto surrendered in the Phil Kessel trade would be a top-two selection. Savard remains attractive — several teams continue to kick the tires — because of his cap-friendly number ($4.007 million per season) and his projected production. Because of the full no-trade clause that activated July 1, Savard has the upper hand in dictating his destination (his three children live in Peterborough, Ontario). But the Bruins could widen the scope by taking a drastic route: threatening to place Savard on waivers, thereby giving 29 teams, starting with Edmonton, a crack at claiming the center and rendering his no-trade irrelevant.
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via Danny Picard of NECN,
The Bruins officially announced the re-signing of 26-year-old defenseman Mark Stuart today, and general manager Peter Chiarelli addressed the media at Ristuccia Arena, saying the one-year deal given to Stuart could be extended after further evaluation next season.
“I look at it as a bridge contract to something more,” said Chiarelli. “He’s [an unrestricted free agent] next year, so we’ll evaluate during the year and we may extend him during the year.”
As for what the Bruins will do next, with limited cap room and restricted free agents Blake Wheeler and Gregory Campbell still unsigned, Chiarelli said that as of right now, he’s not making any moves.
“Right now we’re standing pat,” he said. “You look out here, there might be a few guys that are going to challenge [for a spot on the B’s roster]. I like our prospect depth. Right now I’m standing pat. That may change, but right now I’m standing pat.”
from Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star,
His seven prospects locked up in his suitcase as he returned to Toronto, Leafs GM Brian Burke set his mind on what will be a busy few days leading up to Thursday’s free agent frenzy.
First up is Marc Savard. The Bruins are said to be ready to ship their playmaking centre. The Leafs are in the mix, and the price tag is much cheaper than Thomas Kaberle.
This opportunity is an unintended consequence of the Phil Kessel trade.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
A few random thoughts from Day 2 of the sleepiest NHL entry drafts of all time:
Short term, you’d have to concede that the Boston Bruins are the most improved team since the end of the season, given that they landed arguably the best or second-best prospect in the draft - Tyler Seguin - Friday night; and added a potential point-per-game player in Nathan Horton earlier in the week….
Long-term though, the big winners over the weekend was unquestionably the Panthers, a team in need of a major overhaul. GM Dale Tallon, in his first month on the job, began the process by moving out Horton earlier in the week and then traded defenceman Keith Ballard to the Vancouver Canucks Friday night.
According to various sources, the Bruins have re-signed Johnny Boychuk with a two-year, $3.75 million deal. He’ll receive $1.75 million next season and $2 million in 2011-2012.
From the Boston Herald’s Stephen Harris:
The Bruins [team stats] were not a team that needed a major overhaul this offseason.
The B’s could have stood pat, kept their roster all or mostly intact, and likely been a solid playoff team next season. The problems of last season were about questionable attitudes - for certain key individuals and at times for the team as a whole - and, of course, injuries.
But this team finally got its act together late in the season and came within a bounce of the puck of reaching the third round of the playoffs.
According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie’s tweet, the rumored deal of the Panthers’ Nathan Horton to the Bruins is a “done deal”.
UPDATE: Per Bob, the deal is Horton and Gregory Campbell for Dennis Wideman, 15th overall pick and another draft pick.
From the Boston Herald’s Steve Conroy:
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli just might be entering the most important week of his career.
With four picks among the first 45 selections in this weekend’s NHL draft in Los Angeles, Chiarelli has the opportunity not only to fortify the future but also do some wheeling and dealing to get his stuck-in-the-second-round club over the hump.
And you can bet Chiarelli has been and will be hoping to get something, and perhaps something gargantuan, done.
From NESN.com’s James Murphy:
Well, it appears Chiarelli could already have a trade in place that would bring a current NHLer to Boston.
While the parameters of the trade are unclear at this point, a very reliable source told NESN.com on Friday that the Bruins are closing in on a trade with the Florida Panthers that would see them acquire winger Nathan Horton, who was drafted third overall by the Panthers in 2003, but in six NHL seasons, has cracked the 30-goal plateau only once and—in the eyes of fans and media—failed to reach his potential and use his 6-foot-2, 229-pound frame properly.
There were no specifics on what else may come to Boston in the deal or what the return would be to Florida, but it has been well documented that Chiarelli would love to move into the top 5-7 picks overall to get one of the top defensive prospects available, so this could be a package deal involving roster players and picks.
via the Boston Herald,
The Bruins have called a press conference for tomorrow to announce that Vice President Cam Neely will be elevated to the title of team president, according to a club source. It has long been speculated that the Hall of Fame former Bruin, who became a club executive after GM Peter Chiarelli was hired in 2006, would one day stepped into the role of team president, last held by Harry Sinden, who was moved out of that role and into that of senior adviser to the owner, also after Chiarelli was hired.
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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.
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