|09.14.14 at 6:43 pm ET|
ANTIOCH, Tenn. – At the first intermission of the Bruins’ rookie game against the Lightning, general manager Peter Chiarelli discussed the team’s NHL roster and where things stand going forward.
The biggest takeaways were that David Pastrnak could begin training camp on the right wing of David Krejci‘s line, that he will not sign all of his free-agents-to-be and that he will trade a defenseman at some point. Chiarelli offered no update on the status of Torey Krug and Reilly Smith, both of whom remain unsigned with days left until camp.
With Johnny Boychuk and Carl Soderberg the biggest names entering the final years of their contracts and the Bruins having $49,897,857 against the cap committed to 10 players (not counting Marc Savard) for 2015-16, money figures to be tight going forward. The last time the Bruins had multiple players to sign and a potential cap crunch ahead, Chiarelli opted to sign all three players (Tyler Seguin, Milan Lucic and Brad Marchands, all of whom were a year away from restricted free agency) with the idea that if he had to trade one down the road, he would.
Chiarelli said he won’t go the sign-everyone route this time. The team recently signed David Krejci to a six-year, $43.5 million extension.
“I can’t sign everybody, and I’d love to sign everybody, but we can’t for the numbers that they want,” Chiarelli said. “Before, when I said we’d like to lock up guys. We still would, and we can with our cap. We make a decision on Krej, and that’s a big number. Some things you have to let play out, and we have to be a little versatile ourselves when it comes to team-building and we’re forced to do that this year.
“Am I going to try to sign all these guys? We look at all these guys, we look at different lineups going forward into the year. As the year progresses, we look and I think we’re going to take more time.”
Historically, Chiarelli has signed his key free-agents-to-be before they enter their contract’s final seasons. Boychuk knows that his future is uncertain and recently expressed that he does not want to be traded.
“I’ve always tried to get the team together signed and get them in place and give them a level of security,’ Chiarelli said. ‘I always feel that with that, they will perform. Of course, I’ve got to see the performance to get to that point. They’ve seen that we’ve tried to keep this team together as much as we can; we’ve had a lot of success with this group of guys. Around the fringes, guys have to go, but they’ve seen us try and [keep the team together], so they know our intentions are noble, so now it’s not quite ideal where we can keep the band together, so to speak.
“I think they understand that we always want to ice a Cup-winning team, and with that comes some casualties. This year, I’m looking forward to it, to a certain degree; there’s a lot of competition, there’s a lot of spots, including ‘ you don’t wish one of these D men to be traded, but we just have too many D men. At some point, I’m going to have to do it, and all the teams in the league, most of the teams in the league would like one of these defensemen.
“And I know everyone’s waiting, ‘What move will [he] make? What move will [he] make?’ Well, I have to see what’s going to happen, see who fits well with whom, but the uncertainty is something this year that is a byproduct of the cap and a successful team and locking up those guys, and eventually there’s other guys that are just going to get too expensive. I don’t cast any aspersions on them for being at that level, but that’s what it’s at.”
|09.13.14 at 6:20 pm ET|
ANTIOCH, Tenn. — Malcolm Subban is far from being the oldest Bruin at this week’s rookie tournament, but with more professional experience (one year) than most in attendance, the 20-year-old is practically a seasoned vet compared to his fellow Bruins prospects.
Not counting those who had cups of coffee in Providence late last season, Subban is one of six players in attendance who spent the 2013-14 season playing for Boston’s AHL affiliate. Splitting time with Niklas Svedberg, he went 15-10-5 in the regular season with a .920 save percentage and 2.31 goals-against average and figures to be Providence’s clear-cut starter this season, with Svedberg likely to back up Tuukka Rask in Boston this season.
Before any of that, however, he’ll get the full rookie camp treatment as he takes part in the tournament with fellow goaltender Adam Morrison. Bruins goaltending coach Bob Essensa is on the trip to work with both goaltenders as Subban prepares for veteran camp.
Considering how long it takes goaltenders to develop, the Bruins are wise to give him as much work as he can get.
“Malcolm’s a young goaltender and [last year] was his first year pro,” Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney said after Saturday’s game. ‘For us, I think it was important for him to be ere and play as much as he can, and to continue. Bob’s here to work with him, as he is with Adam. I think this is a very comfortable situation for him to be in.”
Subban got the start Saturday in the first game of the tournament and allowed both goals in a 2-0 loss to the Panthers. After facing just three shots in the first period, Subban was beaten on a wrist shot from Panthers forward Steven Hodges on Florida’s fourth shot of the game and later allowed a power play goal in which former Bruins prospect Cody Payne buried a loose puck in front.
Different goalies feel differently about long stretches of inactivity during games. Some like that it brings no chance of a goal scored, while others find it tough to stay in the game when they’re not facing shots. Subban seemed to put himself in the latter category.
“It’s pretty tough, especially the first game. You haven’t really gotten a feel for anything, so I’m just trying to feel the puck and I guess that was the result in the first two goals they got,” he said. “In the third period, I felt a lot better when I got into the game a bit more and finally felt a little more comfortable, but by the time that happened the game was pretty much over.”
Though not happy with the result Saturday, Subban seems to be embracing the opportunity to get game experience in an exhibition setting as he readies himself for the big camp.
“It’s good to be around guys your age and stuff and see the young talent in the organization,” Subban said. ‘Obviously I still have a lot of developing to do; I’m only 20, so I’ll just keep trying to develop right now and play with other guys my age and just go from there.”
The free trip to Nashville doesn’t hurt, either. Bringing Subban to the tournament gives the second-year pro an opportunity to be with players his age before he skates with a mix of youngsters and veterans in the coming season.
Plus, it lets him shake off whatever rust he may be carrying back from the offseason.
“I was there last year and had a pretty good year here in the AHL last year, so I feel like this wouldn’t really represent what I can do,” he said. “Obviously you still want to play well here; it’s obviously a tournament they have to get you ready for camp and whatnot and show what you have so far. I’m looking forward to playing well. I’m not here just to slack off.”
|09.13.14 at 5:17 pm ET|
ANTIOCH, Tenn. – David Pastrnak drew three penalties, made some nice plays and lost half a tooth in his first game as a Bruin.
Pastrnak centered a line with Anthony Camara and Seth Griffith as the B’s rookies took a 2-0 loss to the Panthers Saturday. He created a few of chances in the first period, the first of which came when he spun off a defender high in the zone and dished it to the wing. Later in the first, he intercepted a pass from Florida goaltender Sam Brittain and sent it in front, but Griffith couldn’t get there in time.
His best play of the game, however, was a one-man show in which he stole the puck from 2014 first overall pick Aaron Ekblad high in the defensive zone, bolted through the neutral zone and went through a defender for a partial break. He was then slashed by Florida defender Jonathan Racine and wasn’t able to get much on his shot, which was stopped by Brittain.
In the second period, Pastrnak got his stick on a puck in the neutral zone and pushed it up to Camara and Griffith for a 2-on-1. The next shift, Camara returned the favor by sending a pass up to Pastrnak in the neutral zone, but Pastrnak missed wide with a slap shot. He was also on the ice for the game-winning Panthers goal during 4-on-4 play early in the second.
One thing that was very apparent Saturday: Pastrnak tries to force a lot of turnovers defensively and gets his stick on a lot of pucks. Once he gets it, he makes things happen.
“Certainly, some offensive opportunities he created on his own or from some other people are fun to watch,’ B’s assistant general manager Don Sweeney said after the game. “There’s some risk-reward in his game that at times will really translate and other times he’ll understand that that’s a young man’s play. That’s what coaching and growth and development is all about.
“But [we're] really excited about the offensive plays that he did make and the effort that he puts in. He’s back on the back check, strips the puck and goes the other way as well. Lots of good things to like about David’s play and lots of things to have some talking moments that I’m sure coaches will address with him.”
Pastrnak got better on faceoffs as the day went on. There was a brief scare in the third period when Racine appeared to get him in the face with a high stick. He lost half a tooth on the play, with Racine going off for high-sticking.
He stayed in the game and drew a penalty shot on his next shift. After some fancy stick handling, he hit the post trying to beat Panthers goalie Jacob DeSerres glove side. Since shootouts will be held at the end of each of these games no matter what, Pastrnak got another crack at it and was stopped.
|09.13.14 at 4:10 pm ET|
ANTIOCH, Tenn. — The Bruins rookies lost the opening game of their three-game tournament Saturday, falling to the Panthers by a 2-0 score.
Here are some observations from the game:
- 2014 first-round pick David Pastrnak centered Anthony Camara and Seth Griffith in addition to skating on the first power play unit. He made a few really nice plays, most notably stealing the puck from 2014 first overall pick Aaron Ekblad late in the first, flying through the neutral zone and going through a defender before being slashed on a partial break.
Pastrnak caught a stick to the face midway through the third period, but was not bleeding and stayed in the game after getting checked out by a trainer on the bench. Pastrnak lost half a tooth on the play.
He didn’t miss any time, however, as he drew a penalty shot on his next shift and hit the post.
For more on Pastrnak’s game, check out today’s Pastrnak Watch.
- Malcolm Subban was in goal for the B’s. He wasn’t tested in the first, facing just three shots on goal. Panthers forward Steven Hodges scored on Subban with a wrist shot from the left circle on Florida’s first shot of the second period, with Cody Payne (a fifth-round pick of the Bruins in the 2012 who was traded to the Stars in the Jaromir Jagr deal) tucked a loose puck in front past Subban’s right skate for a power play goal in the second.
Subban made up for a Dawson Leedahl turnover in the third by making two stops in front. He finished the day with 19 saves.
- Brian Ferlin skated on the second line with Ben Sexton and Matt Lindblad.
- Camara took three penalties the third period. Shortly after he took a trip by taking down a Panthers player on a race to the puck, he want back to the box for high-sticking. He also took a cross-checking penalty with the goalie pulled with just over a minute to play.
- Regardless of the score, shootouts will occur at the end of each of these games. Seth Griffith scored for the B’s, Alex Fallstrom, Camara, Ferlin and Pastrnak were stopped by DeSerres.
|09.13.14 at 1:46 am ET|
NASHVILLE — As darkhorse candidates to make the Bruins go, Brian Ferlin’s numbers won’t dazzle the ‘they need a sniper!’ crowd.
Yet Ferlin, whom the Bruins chose in the fourth round of the 2011 draft (a round after they took Anthony Camara), presents an intriguing case. The Jacksonville native left Cornell to sign with the Bruins after three years of playing in coach Mike Schafer’s defensive system, and he feels he has more to give offensively.
While it’s good that he aspires to be a better offensive player, his numbers at Cornell weren’t bad, especially considering the system the team played. For example, with 13 goals in 32 games as a junior, Ferlin was the only Cornell player to reach double digits in goals scored. As a sophomore, he was second on the team with 24 points (11 goals, 13 assists).
His .84 points per game clip as a junior (27 points in 32 games), combined with his two-way play, was enough for the Bruins to encourage the 6-foot-2, 201-pound right wing to turn pro.
“At the end of the day, they left it up to me,” Ferlin said Friday. “They didn’t really push me too much one way or another, but after talking to Sweeney and Chiarelli, those guys, they made it really clear that there was obviously opportunity within the organization and I just kind of felt like I was mentally and physically ready to make the jump to the next level.”
Though he’s yet to play an AHL game, Ferlin hopes he can make a strong enough push to make himself a realistic candidate to take one of the forward spots that is up for grabs. One thing he has going for him is that he’s a right shot, as none of the NHL right wings on Boston’s roster are righties. Ferlin is, as are David Pastrnak and Seth Griffith.
Ferlin’s also willing to fight, it seems, as he worked on technique with Bobby Robins after a recent informal practice. Robins, Ferlin said, had approached him about it, and Ferlin accepted with the mindset that he should be able to offer anything and everything to the team if it means getting a spot. He’s only fought twice before, dating back to his USHL days in 2010. The last fight he got in was against now-Canadiens defenseman Jared Tinordi.
Yet for all the smart hockey he plans to offer and his willingness to drop the gloves, it will be offensive firepower that will round him out as a prospect. It’s common for players to be weak in their offensive zone, but not being able to produce offensively ‘ something that has plagued players like Jordan Caron ‘ can really hurt players who otherwise have NHL qualities.
“I think that certainly the areas that I needed to work on in my game defensively and playing really solid in all three zones, that’s a big thing that coach Schafer emphasizes at Cornell,” Ferlin said. “I think I definitely came out of there a more well-rounded player, but it’s definitely not a run-and-gun offense. You’re not taking a bunch of chances. Traditionally, there’s not many guys that put up huge numbers there. There’s been a lot of pretty good pro players that come out of that program, so I’m not too worried about it from that standpoint.
“I think coach Schafer really helped me and he obviously plays a similar system to what the Bruins expect out of their guys — being responsible in all three zones, so I think that will help me really translate over well to the pro game.”
|09.12.14 at 8:58 pm ET|
ANTIOCH, Tenn. — Welcome to the first installment of “Pastrnak Watch,” in which we’ll sporadically provide updates on David Pastrnak’s push for a roster spot this training camp.
In Friday’s practice, which was the first for Bruins prospects since they arrived in Nashville for a five-day stay and rookie tournament, Pastrnak played all center.
Pastrnak doesn’t play center for Sodertalje SK in Sweden, though he’s played it a bit this summer for the Czech Republic Under-20 team. There’s no shot he’d be a center this season for the Bruins (the need is at right wing, the position he plays in Sweden), but Pastrnak said after the practice that playing center helps him round out his game, as it comes with more defensive responsibilities.
The 18-year-old centered a few different lines, as he skated with Seth Griffith and Anthony Camara early, and Brian Ferlin and Camara later, while also working on the power play with Camara, Griffith, Lindblad and Chris Casto.
“I think you’ll probably see him play both the center and the wing during this rookie camp; I think that’s the plan,” Providence Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the practice. “I’m kind of going off management where they slotted him in at center, so that’s where he’ll play.
“I think they’ll probably move him around, but you’ve got to do more as a centerman away from the puck, and I think it will be good for him to show the people he needs to show what he’s got in that area of the game. Like most young guys, I think he’ll struggle a little bit early on. It’s normal to want to get going on offense and get ahead of the puck and learning to play below the puck is always a challenge for a centerman. Hopefully, he catches on quick and it works out well for him. And hopefully he has the puck a lot and he doesn’t have to worry about it.”
All in all, Pastrnak looked like he fit in well with the group of NHL hopefuls. He pulled off a successful deke to score on Malcolm Subban early on during drills, but Subban answered back by gloving a wrist shot on Pastrnak’s next turn. Subban also stopped a pair of Pastrnak one-timers.
Pastrnak is wearing No. 88. During 3-on-3 drills, he put in strong work behind the net to steal the puck from a bigger defender. He also tried to pull off too fancy a spin move on Kevin Sullivan high in the zone and lost the puck. Pastrnak and the B’s rookies will face off against Panthers prospects at 2 p.m. Saturday.
More to come on Pastrnak (bigger piece Saturday in addition to these updates throughout camp).
|09.12.14 at 7:23 pm ET|
ANTIOCH, Tenn. — Bruins prospects have kicked of their stay in Tennessee with a practice at the just-opened Ford Ice Center.
The B’s youngsters will play three games as part of a four-team rookie tournament. They’ll play prospects from the Panthers on Saturday, Lightning Sunday and Predators Tuesday. The roster is as follows:
FORWARDS: Andrew Aamon*, Spencer Asuchak*, Anthony Camara, Mitchell Dempsey, Alex Fallstrom, Brian Ferlin, Seth Griffith, Cory Kane*, Dawson Leedahl*, Matt Lindblad, Pastrnak, Ben Sexton, Kevin Sullivan*.
DEFENSEMEN: Linus Arnesson, Bryce Aneloski*, Mickael Beauregard*, Chris Casto, Lee Moffie*, Frankie Simonelli*, Mike Young*.
GOALTENDERS: Adam Morrison, Malcolm Subban
*Aamon, Aneloski, Asuchak, Beauregard, Leedahl, Moffie, Simonelli, Sullivan and Young are in rookie camp on a tryout basis.
Prior to the practice, a big ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the Ford Ice Center, which will serve as the Predators’ practice facility. Among those present for the ceremony was none other than country legend and elite in-concert storyteller Vince Gill.
My dad and I go to see Gill whenever he’s in Boston, so I assumed he would be friendly enough to tolerate some punk coming up to him and saying “my father go to see you whenever you’re in Boston.” Not only was he super-friendly, but he shared that he actually grew up a Bruins fan because the Bruins’ minor-league team, the Oklahoma City Blazers, were the closest team to his hometown of Norman, Okla.
Gill said he’s never gotten a chance to go to an actual Bruins game over the years and has since adopted the Predators as his team, but said he went to tons of Blazers games as a kid, with Wayne Cashman among the Bruins he saw.
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