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Report: Interview process underway for Bruins GM job

04.22.15 at 6:46 pm ET
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According to ESPN’s Joe McDonald, the Bruins have already begun interviewing candidates for their vacant general manager position.

The team fired Peter Chiarelli last week, ending his nine-year tenure with the team. Chiarelli met with the Oilers earlier Wednesday.

Reports: Peter Chiarelli meeting with Oilers

04.22.15 at 2:44 pm ET
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According to Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada and Mark Spector of Sportsnet, former Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli is currently in Edmonton meeting with the Oilers.

The Oilers currently have both a general manager in Craig MacTavish and a president of hockey operations in Kevin Lowe. It is unknown whether Chiarelli would replace one of them or join the team in another capacity.

If Chiarelli were to become the Oilers’ decision-maker on hockey operations, he would have the easy task of selecting Connor McDavid with the first overall pick in this June’s NHL draft. The Oilers also hold the Penguins‘ first-round pick this year.

Edmonton also has a number of former Bruins on its roster that had previously been brought to Boston during Chiarelli’s tenure. Chiarelli traded for Andrew Ference and Matt Fraser, while he signed Benoit Pouliot in the 2011 offseason. All three players are currently on Edmonton’s roster, with Ference serving as captain.

Zdeno Chara has non-displaced fracture of left fibula, does not need surgery

04.21.15 at 7:06 pm ET
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The Bruins announced Tuesday that Zdeno Chara has a non-displaced fracture of his left fibula that won’€™t require surgery but will have a four-week recovery time.

The injury was seemingly suffered when Chara blocked a shot from Maple Leafs forward David Booth on April 4. Chara missed a practice the following week but was hit on the other side of his left foot in the team’€™s next game with a shot from Capitals forward Joel Ward.

The injury did not cost Chara any games, as the B’s were still pushing for a playoff spot in the last four games of the season.

Chara said at last week’€™s breakup day that he was healthy and that he would have a full offseason to train. Even with the four-week recovery time, Chara should be able to train normally at some point in May.

It was reportedly earlier Tuesday that the injury would keep Chara out of the upcoming IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Sunday Skate Live Chat: Midseason Finale Edition

04.19.15 at 5:29 am ET
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Should the Bruins have fired Peter Chiarelli? Are they going to fire Claude Julien? Did we really expect anything different from the NHL lottery? Does Tim Murray know the Sabres still have to… pick?

Find out the answers to all these questions and more in the midseason finale edition of the Sunday Skate live chat with Pete Blackburn, Naoko Funayama and DJ Bean. It’s the last Sunday Skate for a while, so make it count.

To listen to the show live, click here. Jump in the chat below.

Live Blog Sunday Skate Live Chat: Midseason Finale Edition
 

Bruins to select 14th overall after Oilers win lottery again

04.18.15 at 8:25 pm ET
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The Oilers won the NHL draft lottery Saturday night, doing so with the third-best odds to finish with the first overall pick. The Oilers, who will almost certainly select Erie (OHL) center Connor McDavid, have the first overall pick for the fourth time in the last six years.

The Bruins, who had a 1 percent chance of the first pick, will select 14th overall. Should they stay at No. 14, it will mark the highest they have selected in the first round since drafting Dougie Hamilton ninth overall in 2011.

Buffalo will pick second overall after missing out on the top pick. The Sabres finished with the lowest points in the NHL and had a 20 percent chance at the first pick. Barring a trade, they will select Chelmsford native Jack Eichel, who recently concluded his freshman (and likely only) season at Boston University. Eichel became the first freshman to win the Hobey Baker since Paul Kariya.

The draft will take place June 26 and 27 in Sunrise, Florida.

Bruins prospect Matt Grzelcyk announces he will return to BU for senior year

04.17.15 at 10:14 pm ET
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Bruins prospect Matt Grzelcyk announced that he will return to Boston University for his senior season at the team’s awards banquet Friday night. He had been mulling the possibility of signing with the Bruins and forgoing his senior year.

Grzelcyk, a 5-foot-10 defenseman from Charlestown whom the B’s drafted in the third round in 2012, served as BU’s captain this past season and will reprise the role next year. He finished fourth nationally among defensemen with 38 points (10 goals, 28 asssists) in 41 games and was named a First Team All-American.

As the leader of a defense corps that featured four freshmen, Grzelcyk helped guide BU to a Hockey East regular-season title, a Hockey East tournament title and a Frozen Four appearance. The Terriers’ season ended with a 4-3 loss to Providence in last Saturday’s national championship game.

Another interesting development at BU’s awards banquet was that Hobey Baker Award winner and future No. 2 overall pick Jack Eichel was named an alternate captain for next season.

Eichel is probably still more likely to sign with the team that drafts him than return to BU for his sophomore year, but him getting an ‘A’ is still notable. Eichel has said that he hasn’t decided anything as far as going pro vs. returning to BU, and people close to BU have suggested that there is more of a chance of him returning than people might assume.

Why Bruins should extend Dougie Hamilton for as long as they can

04.17.15 at 1:41 pm ET
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On Friday the Stars announced a seven-year extension with an annual cap hit of $4.25 million for John Klingberg, a promising defenseman coming off his entry-level deal. This offseason the Bruins ideally would use Klingberg’€™s contract as a template for Dougie Hamilton’€™s next deal. Hamilton’€™s camp likely will have other comps in mind.

One of those comps wears No. 76 for the Canadiens. You may have heard of him.

When it comes to Hamilton’€™s worth at the end of his entry-level deal, P.K. Subban is a very realistic comparable. Just look at their numbers through each of their first contracts:

SubbanHamilton2

In terms of points per game, Hamilton also is in some pricey company:

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 1.05.23 PM

Hamilton will become a restricted free agent on July 1. The Bruins probably want to give him a long-term deal, but if he takes a shorter deal and gets to sign his third contract soon, he could potentially make a lot more money.

That’€™s what happened with Subban. The Canadiens were actually unwilling to give him the long-term deal he wanted after his entry-level deal expired, so he took a two-year deal worth just $2.875 million per. Subban shoved that in Marc Bergevin’€™s face by winning the Norris in the first year of that deal and later cashing in with an eight-year deal with an annual cap hit of $9 million.

The Bruins should avoid that scenario at all costs. Hamilton already is the Bruins’€™ second-best defenseman and easily is worth $5 million a year, and probably more.

The Bruins should give Hamilton a number that high for as long as he’€™ll take. Seven years at $5 million-plus per would buy out three years of unrestricted free agency, delaying perhaps Hamilton’€™s biggest payday until he is 29.

Because of that, Hamilton’€™s camp will demand more per year the longer the deal goes. A shorter deal will mean a smaller cap hit, as Hamilton will easily make up that money in free agency sooner if he gets there.  Read the rest of this entry »

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