Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Caryn Switaj of BostonBruins.com,
Hockey is hockey.
That’s one of the immediate realizations, upon first arriving at Xiaolang International Ice Rink in Beijing, China.
The rink is nearly 7,000 miles away from Boston. It has two sheets of ice, with overlooks for spectator viewing. There are signs lining the walls, with one that projects the motivational motto: “Be Hungry. Be Crazy.”
It is the home rink of the Little Wolf hockey family, but it served as the Bruins’ home away from home for a week of youth hockey clinics.
The mission? To help grow the game.
Current Bruins Matt Beleskey and David Pastrnak made the trek across the world to help host the clinics, along with alumni Andrew Raycroft and Bob Sweeney, and the Bruins Youth Hockey Development Team.
The trip — “Bruins Global: China 2016” — was made possible through a partnership with Beijing-based company O.R.G. Packaging and the Chairman of O.R.G., Mr. Zhou Yunjie. It represents a joint initiative to help introduce the Bruins to hockey and culture in China, while they help grow the sport of hockey abroad with their knowledge and skills.
“It’s been great,” Beleskey said of the experience. “You see all of the kids having fun and working hard. When you see kids playing hockey and having fun, it’s always a good time.”
Below, watch Matt Beleskey's visit to The Great Wall...
from Matt Dolloff of CBS Boston,
Not to frighten you, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney has some big decisions to make soon. And if the Bruins land their prize in pending free agent Jimmy Vesey, those decisions will only get harder.
That’s not to say that the Bruins should not sign the Hobey Baker Award winner, who still has the Bruins on his short list and sounds like he really, really wants to play for his hometown team. They clearly need to make a run at the Massachusetts native. It’s just that their cap space is already dwindling and major sacrifices may ultimately need to be made to keep him and other core players intact.
The Bruins now have just over $6.7 million in cap space for the 2016-17 season with 12 forwards, seven defensemen, and two goalies under contract, according to General Fanager on Twitter. They have two open spots on the active roster, and Vesey would obviously fill one of those – but at what cost?
To figure out the price for landing Vesey, who would immediately be a top-six forward for them, it helps to look at a similar player who entered the league in a similar situation. For Vesey, an uncannily similar comparison is New York Rangers center Kevin Hayes, younger brother of Bruins winger Jimmy Hayes.
from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,
What the Bruins have done in recent weeks, basically, is hover in place. They’ve gone neither up nor down.
• They lost key right winger Loui Eriksson, who made the smart business move to Vancouver. They replaced him with another right winger (or center) in David Backes. They likely lose some scoring and gain some grit. Both guys are known as strong and responsible defensive forwards. So, all and all, it’s pretty close to an even tradeoff.
• The B’s re-signed defenseman John-Michael Liles, a good move at a cut-rate $2 million.
• Dennis Seidenberg was bought out. As sad as it is to see Sides go, one of the nicest men we’ve gotten to know here, he clearly lost a lot, and the $2.8 million in salary-cap savings next season could be invaluable.
• Riley Nash seems a decent pickup, even if only of the fourth-line variety.
You can talk about all this stuff. But there’s really only one key for the 2016-17 Bruins — Tuukka Rask.
The B’s erstwhile Vezina Trophy goaltender has to play better than he did last season, maybe even the last two seasons, or it’s mighty hard to see this team being much more than a mediocre also-ran. Last season, his goals-against average (2.56) and save percentage (.915) were by far the worst of his five seasons as the No. 1 netminder for the Bruins.
from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe,
David Backes had a bridge to sell. The Bruins were in the market.
With five years and $30 million as bait, general manager Don Sweeney reeled in Backes on Friday, officially making him the Blues’ former captain.
Part of Sweeney’s job is to procure reinforcements to complement Patrice Bergeron, Tuukka Rask, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, and Zdeno Chara, his primary strongmen, until their successors are ready to execute their share of grunt work. Backes is another piece for Sweeney to insert while he waits for Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, Zach Senyshyn, and Jake DeBrusk, among others, to spit out their pacifiers and replace them with mouthguards.
The trouble with bridges, though, is they tend to be long, expensive, and subject to wear and tear.
Backes is 32, older than every member of his new core group except for the 39-year-old Chara.
from Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe,
I think members of the Hockey Hall of Fame voting committee sat around, pondered all their choices for the Class of ’16, and in the true spirit of 21st century media, decided to go full click bait on us.
Meet the new class of the HHOF: the one without Mark Recchi.
This is where the click-bait masters would show the pictures of those admitted to the Hall on Monday: Eric Lindros, Sergei Makarov, Rogie Vachon, and Pat Quinn. And right next to them, the silhouette of the unchosen Recchi, with the big bold question mark floating over his head.
Recchi, now five years into retirement, his last of three Stanley Cups fresh in hand as he left Boston, should have been ushered through the FastPass door. But the Hall is not Disney World, and Recchi will have to wait another day to be granted entrance. Hopefully, he won’t have to wait more than 365 days.
from Stephen Harris of the Boston Herald,
General manager Don Sweeney and president Cam Neely passionately want their team to play the fast, up-tempo, stretch-the-ice hockey we saw from the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
But wanting to play that way, and having the players to do so, are two different matters. If you ain’t got the legs and the quickness and the skill, brother, it’s not going to work.
The biggest impediment in the Bruins’ transition to the up-tempo style of play is the presence of four decidedly down-tempo defensemen in Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg, Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller.
There can be no fast-break attack unless there are blueliners making quick breakout passes and/or quickly skating the puck up themselves.
So here Sweeney is, little over 13 months since taking over the team, continuing his efforts to reinvent the Bruins. He faces a daunting challenge.
from Christopher L. Gasper of the Boston Globe,
The “Twilight” saga featured a blood feud between vampires and werewolves, two staples of horror canon. Watching Thornton or Kessel lift Lord Stanley’s hardware qualifies as a horror film of sorts for Hub hockey fans. It’s a reminder of what has contributed to the Bruins’ current rudderless state — squandering valuable assets.
While the Bruins are selling their fan base on the merits of re-signing ordinary people such as Kevan Miller, two of their former phenoms are fighting for the Stanley Cup.
This is already a spring of discontent as the Bruins are playoff bystanders for the second consecutive year. Adding insult to playoff inactivity is the fact that one of these erstwhile Bruins, both traded away in their primes, is going to have their career validated with a Cup. One of them is going to have as many Stanley Cups to his name as Patrice Bergeron. Fighting in hockey is flagging, but this is a punch in the teeth for the Spoked-Believers and the Jacobs clan.
This is the first Stanley Cup Final appearance for Thornton or Kessel, top-five picks who have piled up points and criticism during their careers.
The parallel between the Team Edward (vampire) and Team Jacob (werewolf) showdown in the “Twilight” movies applies shockingly well here.
BOSTON, MA – Boston Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney announced today, May 24, that the team has signed defenseman Kevan Miller to a four-year contract extension through the 2019-20 season at an NHL cap figure of $2.5 million per year. The Bruins have also signed forward Seth Griffith to a one-year, two-way contract through the 2016-17 season at an NHL cap figure of $625,000 per year.
In his third season with Boston, Miller competed in a career-high 71 games and also established career highs in goals (five), assists (13), points (18) and penalty minutes (53). He posted the second-best plus/minus rating on the team (+15). Miller played in his 100th NHL game on November 5, 2015 at Washington.
from the NHLPA,
Colton Orr has announced his retirement today from the National Hockey League (NHL), following nine NHL seasons and a 13-year professional hockey playing career.
“I feel privileged to have played for a decade in the NHL and to have had the support of four great organizations in Boston, New York, Toronto and Calgary. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to play with great teammates and against great players, many of whom have become great friends. It has been an amazing journey that would not have been anywhere near as fulfilling as it was without the love and support of fans, friends, agents, GMs, coaches and family,” said Colton Orr.
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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