|09.08.11 at 12:25 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins held their first veterans practice of 2011 as they prepare for the start of training camp next weekend. The skate lasted about an hour and saw several familiar faces.
There was one notable attendee and one notable absence in the group, as Brad Marchand was on the ice despite not having a contract for the coming season. Winger Nathan Horton, who participated in each and every veterans practice a season ago, was not in attendance. He was knocked out of the playoffs in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals on a hit from Aaron Rome and had a separated shoulder in addition to his concussion, but said last month that he was ready to go. We’ll see if he takes the ice in the coming days.
Speaking of newcomers, defenseman Joe Corvo, who came to the team in a July trade with the Hurricanes, was out there. No sign of Benoit Pouliot yet.
Here’s the list of those spotted: Andrew Ference, Zdeno Chara, Johnny Boychuk, Tyler Seguin, Steven Kampfer, Milan Lucic, Marchand, David Krejci, Sean Thornton, Corvo, Adam McQuaid, Dennis Seidenberg, Gregory Campbell, Rich Peverley, Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille, Colby Cohen, Max Sauve, Jamie Arniel, Michael Hutchinson.
|09.07.11 at 2:12 pm ET|
Former Bruins defenseman Brad McCrimmon died in Wednesday’s KHL plane crash in Western Russia. The plane was carrying Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, a KHL team coached by McCrimmon with multiple former NHL players on the roster. If crashed after takeoff at an airport in Tunoshna, according to reports out of Russia. McCrimmon, 52, who played in Boston from 1979-82 and was an assistant coach for the Red Wings the past three seasons before taking the job as head coach with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock confirmed McCrimmon’s death to Detroit media. “I know that Brad was on the flight, but that’s all I know,” Babcock said. “So, obviously, it’s a tough day around here. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.”
Reports indicate the jet crashed into a radar tower just seconds after takeoff and caught fire after hitting the ground, killing 43 of the 45 people on board. The plane carried 37 team members and eight flight staffers. Former NHL players Pavol Demitra, Karel Rachunek, Karlis Skrastins, Josef Vasicek and Ruslan Salei were on the roster.
The agent for forward Alexander Galimov told Sovetsky Sports that his client survived. The other survivor is a member of the flight crew.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement on the crash Wednesday, saying that NHL players didn’t need to be involved for it to be a great loss for the game itself.
“Though it occurred thousands of miles away from our home arenas, this tragedy represents a catastrophic loss to the hockey world —
including the NHL family, which lost so many fathers, sons, teammates and friends who at one time excelled in our league,” Bettman said. “Our deepest condolences go to the families and loved ones of all who perished.’
Dr. Viktor Berezing, from the burn trauma unit of the hospital where the survivors were taken, told Interfax: “Galimov has burns to 80 percent of his body. The crew member has broken bones and lacerations in addition to massive burns.”
The team was headed from Yaroslavl to Minsk to open the season Thursday against Dynamo Minsk.
One report indicated that league president Alexsandr Medvedev interrupted the league’s opening game between Salavat and Atlant during the second period to address the crowd. He announced that all players and staff of the team except for one survivor had perished. The sellout crowd then observed a moment of silence.
According to another report, a Lokomtiv official stated: “At first we didn’t want to believe it. But right now there is no hope. The team is gone.”
McCrimmon, a native of Saskatchewan, played in 1,222 games for six NHL teams from 1979-80 to 1996-97, suiting up for the Bruins, Flyers, Flames, Red Wings, Whalers and Coyotes. He finished with 81 goals, 322 assists and 1,416 penalty minutes. McCrimmon then served as an assistant coach for the Islanders, Flames, Thrashers and Red Wings.
|09.05.11 at 10:00 pm ET|
According to a report from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe, veteran winger Chris Clark will be at Bruins camp this month on a tryout basis.
The longtime Flame and Capital spent the last two seasons with the Blue Jackets. Last season, he scored five goals and added 10 assists in 53 games. Now 35, Clark’s best statistical season came in 2006-07, when he had 30 goals and 24 points.
Clark, who hails from South Windsor, Conn., will compete with Benoit Pouliot and some of the Bruins’ prospects for a roster spot. Among the players to compete with Clark and Pouliot are Jordan Caron and Jared Knight.
The Bruins saw the last veteran they brought in for a tryout sign with the team. Last season, enforcer Brian McGrattan participated in the Bruins’ camp and made the Europe trip before being signed. He ended up spending time in Providence before being traded to the Ducks in February.
|09.05.11 at 8:50 pm ET|
The 32-year-old blueliner took the trophy for a bike ride, to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and around the North End, among other places, Monday as part of a day that saw quite a few passers by turn into a large crowd.
Ference was also in attendance for Mark Recchi’s day with the Cup last month in Kamloops, British Columbia. Here are a few pictures of Ference’s day with the Cup, all courtesy of John Bishop and the Bruins via twitter:
|08.30.11 at 11:08 am ET|
|08.26.11 at 4:08 pm ET|
According to a report from Sports.ru, Russian defenseman Yury Alexandrov‘s days as Bruins property are done. The 23-year-old is expected to take a deal with SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL.
Drafted 37th overall in the 2006 draft by the B’s, Alexandrov played last season in Providence, putting up 6-13-19 totals with the baby B’s. Though he was less than impressive in last summer’s rookie development camp, he was among a large group of young defensive prospects in Boston’s system.
|08.26.11 at 1:51 am ET|
With captains’ practices just two short weeks from commencing, WEEI.com will be looking at the questions facing the defending Stanley Cup champions in the 2011-12 season.
Today’s question is whether Joe Corvo will be able to replace Tomas Kaberle on the Bruins’ blue line. Corvo isn’t nearly as talented, but he’s definitely capable of doing what Kaberle did in a so-so stint in Boston. When you look at the fact that Corvo is in the last year of a deal with a $2.25 million cap hit, while Kaberle got a three-year, $12.75 million deal in Carolina, the exchange looks good for the Bruins.
Though it became trendy to give Kaberle a big pat on the back during the Cup finals for his improved play, the fact of the matter is that things had gotten to the point where Kaberle was getting less ice time than he’d ever gotten in his career (he actually played less than 10 minutes in Game 7 of the finals). Not to compare two different players in two different situations, but as a point of reference, Corvo averaged a little under 25 minutes per game last season (Kaberle had 21:15 with the B’s), but Corvo is sure to get less than that, assuming he becomes one of the six regular defensemen in Boston.
For the sake of comparison, Kaberle is a little bigger than Corvo, while Corvo is a better skater. (While Kaberle’s passing skills were as-advertised, one thing that stood out here with the Czech blueliner was how poor a skater he was). Corvo’s 40 points last season tied a career-high, while Kaberle had 47 points in a season that was close to on par with his recent output, but far from the 67 he had in the 2005-06 season.
One player with plenty of perspective on the matter is Dennis Seidenberg. He’s played with both defensemen, as he was teammates with Corvo in Carolina in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons. Seidenberg, who occasionally played on a pairing with Corvo (Corvo was usually paired with Tim Gleason, while Seidenberg skated with Joni Pitkanen), gave his new and former teammate a glowing review this week.
‘[He’s] a very, very good skater,’ Seidenberg said of Corvo. ‘Good hands, good passer. Very fast. I like playing with him like I did in Carolina. I’m looking forward to it and I think he’ll fit in really well.’
But can he replace Kaberle? Seidenberg seems to think so.
‘He’s an offensive guy and I’m sure he likes to shoot the puck, and that’s what we need ‘ guys getting the puck to the net and creating rebounds,’ Seidenberg said. ‘I think he’s been doing that in the past and I’m sure he’s going to do it again.’
The Bruins certainly did their offensive defenseman to shoot the puck, but that was not part of Kaberle’s repertoire. It is that area in which the Bruins are in luck. Corvo had 191 shots on goal last season, which would have placed him behind only Zdeno Chara (264) amongst Bruins defensemen. Kaberle had 130 over the course of last season, including 31 shots on goal in 24 regular-season games with the B’s.
There’s also the fact that Corvo will need to stave off Steven Kampfer, who hasn’t gone anywhere. On paper, it would seem that Kampfer could start next season in the role Adam McQuaid filled early last year as the seventh defenseman, but one shouldn’t count out Kampfer now that he’s healthy. Based on experience, though, it would seem a spot would be Corvo’s to lose.
In the end, Corvo can meet, exceed, or fall below expectations when it comes to replacing Kaberle. Ultimately, that could come down to whether people are talking about the pre-Boston Kaberle or the one who underwhelmed in black and gold. If it’s the latter, Corvo is certainly capable of doing what Kaberle did for $2 million less this year.