Kukla's Korner Hockey
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.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
At noon on Tuesday, the chats that Don Meehan, Jarome Iginla’s agent, has had with his client’s suitors will turn into hardcore negotiations. From those dealings, Iginla could receive a two- or three-year offer that is guaranteed to trump the one-year extension the Bruins prefer.
At that point, Iginla will have a decision. He will return to Boston on a one-year, bonus-heavy contract to chase the Stanley Cup that’s given him the slip since his NHL debut in 1996, or the right wing will elect the security of a multi-year contract — with a team less powerful than the Bruins, most likely — and join his fourth organization in just over 15 months.
This is business.
General manager Peter Chiarelli will understand if Iginla walks. The No. 1 right wing, who turns 37 on Tuesday, is coming off a 30-31—61 season. Within the market’s context, Iginla is a top option among his competition. Iginla scored more goals last year than Thomas Vanek, Matt Moulson, Ales Hemsky, Jussi Jokinen, Mike Cammalleri, and Daniel Alfredsson, the other unrestricted, shoot-first wings.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
It’s likely that Iginla will find a suitor more willing to give him better security, in years and dollars, than the Bruins can offer. The question, however, is whether Iginla would be in better position to chase his first Stanley Cup in a destination other than Boston.
The Black-and-Gold bosses remain confident in their group. Tuukka Rask (Vezina) and Patrice Bergeron (Selke) won awards in Las Vegas for being the best at their job descriptions. Zdeno Chara, runner-up to Duncan Keith for the Norris, is still within his window of dominance. There are many GMs who’d like to swap rosters with Chiarelli, especially if Iginla comes back.
“In a broad sense, I feel good,” Chiarelli said. “With Jarome or that type of player, it would obviously be better. We’ve got some players that are going to come up and bubble up. I always like that energy and enthusiasm these guys bring. I feel good. Our younger guys are getting better.”
The hangup is more about term than dough. The ideal scenario would be for Iginla to sign a one-year extension. The Bruins could stack Iginla’s contract with bonuses, keeping the cap number low, because he is a 35-or-older player.
It would be tougher for the Bruins to go beyond one year. The NHL does not allow 35-or-older players to earn bonuses on multiyear contracts. The Bruins would have to ship out salary to make it work.
BOSTON, MA - Boston Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced today, June 27, that the club has promoted Scott Bradley to Assistant General Manager and Ryan Nadeau to Director of Hockey Operations/Analytics. Chiarelli also announced that the team has hired John Ferguson as the Executive Director of Player Personnel.
from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,
Don Meehan, the powerful agent who counts Jarome Iginla among his vast clientele, has started setting up meetings with teams other than the Boston Bruins to discuss the veteran winger’s future.
Without getting into specifics, Meehan confirmed to Sportsnet early Thursday that Iginla’s focus is expanding now that the hockey world has gathered in Philadelphia for the entry draft — a turn of events that says more about the current state of the Bruins’ cap situation than the player himself.
This does not appear to be a case where an agent is trying to capitalize on the free agent interview period and create leverage. Meehan is simply protecting his client.
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