|04.28.17 at 3:59 pm ET|
Defenseman Charlie McAvoy and prospect Anders Bjork, both of whom will suit up for the United States, are not the only Bruins heading overseas to the 2017 World Championships next week, as David Pastrnak will join them as he plays for the Czech Republic.
Given the fact that Pastrnak is healthy (unlike many of his teammates and fellow Czech, David Krejci, who is suffering from a knee injury), the jump to the Czech national was pretty much expected.
The invite also comes on the heels of Pastrnak’s best NHL season to date, with a career-high 34 goals and 70 points in 75 games this year.
This will be the second time that Pastrnak has played for the Czechs in the World Championships. He recorded one goal and six points in eight games for the Czech Republic at last year’s games. Pastrnak also skated in three games in the 2016 World Cup of Hockey back in September.
The 20-year-old Pastrnak, a restricted free agent this summer, will report to the national club next week.
|04.27.17 at 3:48 pm ET|
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask’s season had its peaks and valleys.
Rask would be the first to tell you that.
“Pretty steady,” Rask said of his season. “I had ups and downs but for the most part I did my job and just tried to give us a chance to win every night, and for the most part I accomplished it.”
But it was the Bruins, out of necessity for the most part, that created those valleys when they overworked the all-world Rask. And Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has finally admitted such as a truth.
|04.27.17 at 12:09 pm ET|
Anders Bjork is a wanted man and it’s not hard to see why.
Bjork was a breakout sensation in his junior season with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, with 21 goals and 52 points in 39 games. That production made Bjork an All-American, and led to his nomination as one of the 10 finalists for the 2017 Hobey Baker Award, and helped guide Notre Dame to a Frozen Four appearance. He will also skate for Team USA at the 2017 World Championships beginning next week.
And the Bruins, the team that drafted Bjork with the 146th overall pick at the 2014 NHL Draft, remain in contact with the 20-year-old.
“We’ve had discussions and we will continue to have discussions,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said at his year-end press conference at TD Garden on Thursday morning.
But the ball remains in Bjork’s court.
|04.26.17 at 7:22 pm ET|
Any and every hockey fan knows Jarome Iginla’s story by now.
The future Hall of Famer is still searching for the first Stanley Cup of his illustrious career. Iginla, who had an awakening of sorts with six goals and nine points in a 19-game trade deadline run with the Kings to close out an otherwise forgettable season split between Colorado and Los Angeles and without postseason play, is also a free agent this summer and has expressed some interest in possibly returning for another shot at winning it all.
And according to the Boston Business Journal, the 39-year-old has just shelled out $4.5 million for a newly-built home in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Brookline.
Like C+C Music Factory once said, Things That Make You Go Hmmm…
Iginla, as you can recall, skated for the Bruins back in 2013-14, and scored 30 goals and 61 points in 78 games on a one-year contract that was loaded with games played and performance bonuses that made the Bruins straight-up incapable of re-signing him the following season (the base salary was under $2 million and he made nearly double that in bonus money).
It’s also worth noting that Iginla absolutely wanted to return to the Bruins, too, but with the Bruins unable to give him long-term security without paying him peanuts, the 6-foot-1 sniper packed his bags to Colorado, where he spent the last three seasons before that aforementioned trade to the Kings last deadline.
Iginla also played some of the best hockey of his career with David Krejci, who has at times publicly bellyached about how the Bruins also move on from linemates he’s familiar with or has consistency with, as his pivot.
With all that in mind, it would be foolish to consider buying a home to be the surefire way of assuming that Iginla is going to return for one last go with the Black and Gold. Loui Eriksson once bought a house and then left as a free agent six months later.
And the Bruins are not exactly considered Cup favorites heading into next year, or at least not to the level that the soon-to-be 40-year-old Iginla would probably prefer if next year would truly be considered his final run at winning a Stanley Cup.
But at least he doesn’t have to shop for a new house if he does indeed return to the Bruins, right?
|04.26.17 at 3:58 pm ET|
Charlie McAvoy has played a ton of hockey this year. And although the Bruins were eliminated last Sunday, the 19-year-old is not done yet, as he will reportedly join Team USA for the 2017 World Championships.
It’s an invite that comes on the heels of an impressive NHL debut, as McAvoy seamlessly transitioned into the pro game and stepped into the playoffs as the B’s No. 2 defenseman, with three assists in six games.
“I had a quiet confidence in myself, but before you experience something like that you really don’t know how you’re going to fare and I think it was a credit to my teammates,” McAvoy said when asked of his NHL debut. “When you play with someone like Zdeno Chara, he puts you in a position every shift you’re out there to look good and be successful and I was out there with a lot of great players playing hockey and they made that transition as seamless as possible for myself, and like I said I’m just very thankful to have had that opportunity.
“It was definitely a whirlwind. Played in a couple different jerseys this year and been so very fortunate in every one of those experiences and I’m so thankful for all of them. And each particular thing had its own lesson and its own experience that I can use to help my hockey career and to help me grow and become a better player.”
He will be joined on Team USA by Bruins prospect Anders Bjork.
McAvoy’s jump to the Worlds will make Team USA the fifth team that he’s played for this season between Boston University, Team USA at the World Junior Championships, the P-Bruins, and the Big B’s.
|04.26.17 at 3:12 pm ET|
The Bruins, along with every other team in the league, are going to lose somebody to the Vegas Golden Knights come June’s expansion draft.
Unable to protect everybody (and expected to go with the seven forward-three defensemen-one goaltender protection plan), it’s likely that the Bruins will lose one of Matt Beleskey, Jimmy Hayes, Ryan Spooner, or Riley Nash up front or one of Kevan Miller, Colin Miller, Joe Morrow, or Adam McQuaid from their point. They’re not the only options for the Golden Knights to take, but they’re the most likely, especially when you look at the guys the B’s have on that backend.
With Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug set to make up two-thirds of the protected defensemen for the B’s, the last spot will come down to one of those four defenders, and you can’t help but feel that the unprotected one of Kevan Miller or McQuaid will be picked by Vegas.
“Well, I hope not,” McQuaid, who played in a career-high 77 games this year, said when asked about the potential of leaving the Bruins via the expansion draft. “I never thought of it that way, to be honest with you.
“The reality of the situation is they’re picking somebody from every team, so, I hope that’s not the case for me. I’ve won back here and I’ve always said how much I love it back here and I can’t imagine playing for another team.”
A career-long Bruin — McQuaid’s 424 career games rank as the 57th-most in franchise history — McQuaid has experienced almost everything one can during his eight-year run in Boston. He’s been to two Stanley Cup Finals, including a victory in 2011, and has grown from Providence to Boston and into a bonafide leader for a B’s blue line that’s changed an awful lot over that span. He’s also set to enter the third year of a four-year deal that comes with an affordable $2.75 million cap hit.
But those exact reasons are why a team like Vegas might want the 30-year-old McQuaid in the first place.
“It’s totally out of my control, but hopefully, it’s not the case,” McQuaid said.
The expansion draft will be held June 18 to 20, and the team will be announced on June 21.
|04.26.17 at 8:36 am ET|
After his late season run following Claude Julien getting fired, Bruce Cassidy impressed the Bruins enough to be named the 28th coach of the team.
On Wednesday morning, the team announced Cassidy is now the full-time coach.
Cassidy served as interim coach for the Bruins’ final 33 regular and postseason games, compiling an 18-8-1 regular season record and propelling the team to a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since the 2013-14 season. Since Cassidy assumed head coaching responsibilities on Feb. 9, the Bruins ranked first in the NHL in goals per game (3.37), first in the NHL in fewest shots allowed (741), tied for second in the NHL in wins (18), tied for second in the NHL in power play percentage (27.8 percent) and tied for third in the NHL in goals allowed per game (2.30).
Prior to this year, he spent five seasons (2011-16) as head coach of the Providence Bruins, having spent the three previous seasons (2008-11) with the club as an assistant. He coached the Capitals from 2002-04 and led them to a 39-29-8-6 record and a postseason berth in his first season with the team.