|09.15.11 at 1:11 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — With rookie camp winding down, Bruins prospects have about to day to process what they’ve learned in the past week and figure out how to apply it when main camp officially opens on Friday. For some players, including Jared Knight and Ryan Spooner, it won’t be their first rodeo, but for 2011 ninth overall pick Dougie Hamilton, it will be uncharted territory.
“I think the first skate will be pretty cool,” Hamilton said after Thursday’s rookie practice at Ristuccia Arena. “I don’t really know what to expect. They’re obviously the pro guys, so you want to size yourself up to them and see what they’re like and what you need to do better and what you need to do to become an NHL player like them, so it’s going to be special going out there with them and kind of just learn from them and see what I need to do better.”
Hamilton hasn’t been around enough Bruins veterans to be able to pick their brains for what to expect, but he’s pretty close with someone who’s having a similar experience some 3,200 miles away.
Hamilton’s brother Freddie, a 2010 fifth-round pick of the Sharks, was not invited to main camp with the team last year, but like Dougie is set to wrap up rookie camp and hit the ice with the big boys. Neither figure to make strong pushes to make either team’s NHL roster, but to both be in similar spots in their careers (both played for Niagara of the OHL last year) is something that allows them to share their experiences.
“He’s helped me a lot with everything,” Hamilton said of his brother. “He’s doing [rookie camp] right now and he’s going to main camp. We’re kind of both going through the same thing right now on different coasts, so that’s cool.”
Brother Freddie isn’t the only OHL teammate Hamilton’s chatted with recently. When the Bruins and Islanders played their rookie games earlier this week, Hamilton faced Ice Dogs teammates Ryan Strome and Mitchell Theoret, who are both in rookie with the Islanders. Strome, selected one pick ahead of Hamilton in the draft, netted a pair of goals in Tuesday’s 7-2 Islanders’ win, one of which came off a funny bounce that, with Michael Hutchinson out of the net to play a dump-in, left Strome with an easy goal. Hamilton grinned as recalled telling his OHL teammate not to get too carried away with the tally.
“I don’t think he can brag too much about that one,” Hamilton said. “It’s pretty tough to miss those ones.”
Hamilton seems to be holding his own on the ice in the rookie practices, though his body isn’t yet what it figures to be by the time he reaches the NHL. The team would like the 194-pound Hamilton to add more weight, with the hope that he could end up in the 210 pound area to fill out his 6-foot-5 frame.
The biggest test for any of these players comes in the rookie games, as the game often features a high level of skill that’s yet to be fully polished. Top OHL players are donning NHL jerseys in games for the first time, and making their debuts in NHL arenas.
Hamilton certainly seems like a smart player on the ice, and though the Bruins’ offense never really got going in Tuesday’s game, he certainly knows when to be aggressive and pinch when to stay at the point in the offensive zone. Overall, Hamilton viewed the rookie games as a positive experience, though a different one.
“It’s a lot faster, a lot stronger guys, so you’ve got to step your game up and kind of play up to their level,” Hamilton said. “The guys are bigger and stronger, so it kind of pushes you. You’ve got to try to get your confidence up and be comfortable with that.”
The rookies will practice Friday at TD Garden before most of them, including Hamilton, join the veterans on the ice Saturday.
|09.15.11 at 10:26 am ET|
WILMINGTON — After a day of off-ice workouts following their two rookie games vs. the Islanders, the Bruins’ youngsters returned to the ice at Ristuccia Arena on Thursday.
Skating wizard Besa Tsintsadze was on the ice with the rookies. He made a couple of appearances in July’s development camp.
The rookies will practice again Friday, but from there the party will be moved to TD Garden for the official start of training camp. Assistant general manager Jim Benning indicated after the skate that all but about four of the guys from rookie camp will be in main camp when it opens.
|09.14.11 at 5:27 pm ET|
Here are a few highlights from Bruins forward Brad Marchand and general manager Peter Chiarelli from Wednesday’s conference call after Marchand signed a new two-year deal:
On getting a deal done before camp:
“From the get go I never was going to miss a day of camp. I never wanted that. I wanted to be here the first day. I wanted to show I wanted to be here and go through the whole camp with the guys and be a part of the team. I was very happy that it didn’t have to come down to that, and we were able to get the deal done before camp, so now we can just move forward.”
On the term of the deal:
“It’s a great fit for both of us. I’m happy with the term. We talked about a little longer [deal] and I think that was just more about a little more security, but I think this was just a perfect fit for both parties.”
On whether he will become an unrestricted free agent after the contract expires in 2012-13:
“No, I believe I still have two more years.”
“It took a little while, but I’m very happy to sign Brad to two years. He was a terrific performer in the playoffs, a clutch performer and just loves to play, plays on the edge, and we’re really excited to have him with the Bruins for two more years.”
On getting the deal done before camp:
“It was important. I didn’t think that it would get to that stage. Brad’s always told me that he wants to be here, and be part of the Bruins, and I know the works that Don Sweeney put in and Brad’s representative, they put in some good time. I had a feeling it would get done. It’s nice to finish this business before camp, because you fall behind in camp and it’s hard to catch up. I didn’t think it would get to that stage and it didn’t.”
On whether a longer deal was discussed:
“In these negotiations, you talk about a lot of different things. We did with this one, and we found that this term was probably best for both parties, and it gives some security. It gives Brad the ability to come back in a couple of years and negotiate with us again. It was just something that was a fit here, but we did talk about a bunch of different terms.”
On whether other deals signed influence negotiations:
“These are all comparables, and there’s a whole list of comparables that you talk about. it was something that we worked on throughout the summer. Deal’s come up, we discuss deals, we discuss where our offers are, etc. Eventually you get a deal done.”
|09.14.11 at 2:48 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Wednesday that they have signed restricted free agent Brad Marchand to a two-year contract.
Renaud P. Lavoie of RDS in Canada was the first to report the deal, noting it is for $5 million and a $2.5 million cap hit.
Last season, Marchand made $821,667. He had 21 goals and 20 assists in the regular season as a rookie, and his 11 goals in the playoffs put him behind only teammate David Krejci for tops amongst all skaters.
Had he not signed this week, it was possible Marchand may have missed part of training camp.
|09.14.11 at 1:30 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — According to a tweet from ESPN’s James Murphy, the Bruins could finally sign restricted free agent Brad Marchand on Wednesday.
Tweeted Murphy: Brad Marchand’s agent Wade Arnott just told me: “We are closing in on a deal for Brad ‘ it will likely get done today.”
A deal for Marchand prior to Friday would save both sides the headache of what would essentially be a holdout. Without a deal, the risk involved in showing up to training camp and potentially being hurt would potentially prevent Marchand from showing up, though he’s participated in each veterans’ skate.
|09.14.11 at 1:26 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — In case being traded to the Bruins the day Tomas Kaberle signed with his team wasn’t enough of a hint, Joe Corvo is well aware that he’s in Boston to fill a role.
‘From what I hear, it’s some power-play time, some shots on the power play and getting it to guys, just moving the puck, skating the puck, trying to bring a little of the offensive flair to it and making plays with some of the guys on the team, the skill guys,” Corvo said Wednesday as he met the Boston media.
Shooting is something on which Corvo prides himself on, and something Kaberle rarely did in his days as a Bruin. It would seem it’s simply a difference in philosophy for the two players, as the pretty passes may now be absent with Kaberle gone.
‘He looks for the pass, looks to set guys up. If the shot’s there, I’m going to take it most of the time,” Corvo said. “I think a lot of power-play goals aren’t the cute, tic-tac-toe goals. A lot of them are rebound goals. And the more you hit the net and put it on goal, guys are going to be around the net and score.’
Corvo said the day Kaberle signed with the Hurricanes was a strange one, as he had known the Bruins were interested him but that a deal wouldn’t be made unless Kaberle signed with Carolina.
‘I had heard that it kind of hinged on him signing there, whether they would sign him there or what they were going to do,” he said. “But it was obviously a great surprised. I was just happy to kind of be in a market again where everybody’s so crazy about hockey and hockey’s so important. It’ll just be fun to play.’
More to come later on Corvo.
|09.14.11 at 1:15 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — When the Bruins signed forward Benoit Pouliot on July 1, any hockey fan with access to YouTube probably couldn’t stop laughing at the irony. The guy whom the fans hated and was even referred to as “one of the greatest disappointments of talent in National Hockey League history” by Jack Edwards was going to call TD Garden his home.
Now, you won’t find a more pro-Jack Edwards guy on the planet than me (UNH pride), but I’m not just defending Jack when I say he wasn’t the first to call Pouliot a bust. Pouliot was the fourth overall pick of the 2005 draft, and though his skill is undeniable, he hasn’t shown up enough on the scoring sheet. Last year, he had 13 goals in his fifth professional season, so it’s natural for people to wonder whether it’s a case of the 24-year-old not reaching his potential yet or a case of him being, as Jack said, a disappointment. He met the media Wednesday and shared his thoughts on that tag.
“I didn’t see it, but I heard about it,” Pouliot said of Edwards’ call. “I don’t really think about it. I don’t really listen to that kind of stuff. It’s their opinion, it’s the way people put it out there, but at the same time, in Montreal I had some good, good, good things happen to me. Playing on the third and fourth line helped me with my game a lot, defensively and the way I play in my own zone. It’s mostly good stuff.”
Pouliot had a rough go of it late in his tenure with the Canadiens. Game 3 — the game in which Edwards made his famous comments (“he’s a really high draft pick, but he’s never done anything with his talent.”) — would be the last of his Montreal career. Coach Jacques Martin cut him the rest of the way, so Pouliot was forced to watch the remainder of the series after playing 79 regular-season games.
“I don’t know. I think there was maybe a lack of trust between me and the coach,” he said. “At first when I got there, I think he played me 17, 18 minutes a game. Things went well, and then it kind of went downhill after that, but last year I had a good year on the third line, fourth line all year long, and it was more positives than negative stuff when I was Montreal.”
More to come on Pouliot.