|06.25.11 at 11:18 am ET|
Bruce Cassidy was named the head coach of the Providence Bruins, the B’s minor-league affiliate in the American Hockey League, Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli announced Saturday morning.
Cassidy has some experience as a head coach at all levels of the professional game. He was head coach of the Capitals starting in 2002-03 and compiled a 47-45-9-6 record in parts of two seasons in Washington while leading the team to a playoff berth in his first year. Previous to that, he had spent one season as an AHL head coach, leading Grand Rapids to a 42-27-11-0 record in 2001-02 before moving on to the Caps. He had also headed teams in both the IHL and ECHL.
Cassidy had worked as an assistant for the P-Bruins for the past three seasons under Rob Murray, who was let go after the team failed to make the postseason for the second straight season. During those three years, the team had garnered a record of 117-103-10-10.
|06.24.11 at 11:41 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Friday night that he does not expect defenseman Dougie Hamilton, whom the team chose with the ninth overall pick in the NHL draft, to play in the NHL next season. If the 18-year-old doesn’t make the Bruins, he will return to Niagara for another season in the OHL.
“I’d say he needs a little more development,” Chiarelli said of the 6-foot-4, 187-pound blueliner. “He’s still fairly skinny. He has to be stronger, but you never know. You never know how he’ll have his summer, but my guess is that he’s at least a year away.”
The Bruins did not bring Hamilton in for a workout, and it was a surprise to the team that he was available with the ninth pick. Hamilton was ranked the No. 4 North American skater by Central Scouting.
“We basically said that we don’t have to bring this fellow in,” Chiarelli said. “If he’s there, it’s a no-brainer so we didn’t have to see anything extra on him. That’s how strongly we feel about him.”
If the Bruins are assuming that Hamilton will be in Niagara, and not in Boston, next season, this pick should not impact how the team approaches Tomas Kaberle this offseason. The team has had talks with Kaberle’s agent, and if the B’s are to retain him on a three-year deal, Hamilton could still come in for the 2012-13 and have a spot open if Johnny Boychuk, who is in the last year of his deal, does not return. Andrew Ference‘s deal is up in two seasons, so the Bruins are set to see a couple of defensemen’s contracts expire over the next couple of years.
While picking Hamilton doesn’t hurt any of those guys directly right now, it could eventually make things tough for the Steven Kampfers and Matt Bartkowskis of the world.
|06.24.11 at 10:53 pm ET|
Perhaps in a sign that the team may have not expected him to be available with the ninth overall pick, the Bruins did not host Niagara (OHL) defenseman Dougie Hamilton for a pre-draft visit. Hamilton, ranked the No. 4 North American skater in the draft by Central Scouting, slipped to the B’s in Friday night’s draft, and they selected the 6-foot-4, 187-pound blueliner.
“I didn’t visit there to interview but I met them at the Combine. I was maybe supposed to go visit them but it didn’t happen,” Hamilton said after being chosen. “I heard that they liked me and I’m just happy to be a Boston Bruin.”
Hamilton did make it to Boston for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals, as some of the top prospects in the draft attended the game at TD Garden and spent the day there.
“We got to go in the room and meet a bunch of the guys, and talk to Tyler Seguin and guys like that, just got to watch the game and pregame skate,” Hamilton recalled. “The fans were basically standing the whole time and cheering, so that picture is in my head right now and it’s exciting.”
As for whether he’ll be in Boston next season, Hamilton said he’ll do what he’s told, and that either scenario will work for him.
“I have no idea,” Hamilton said when asked if he’s ready for the NHL. “It just depends what the Bruins want to do and I’ll be happy with whatever.”
Once he gets there, the big defenseman knows that he won’t be considered the big guy on the Bruins’ blue line given that captain Zdeno Chara stands at 6-foot-9.
“That’d be pretty special,” Hamilton said of potentially being paired with Chara at the next level. “I wouldn’t be the bigger D partner, that’s for sure, but I’m just going to work as hard as I can during the summer and hope for that opportunity.”
|06.24.11 at 9:27 pm ET|
While you may not see him in Boston next season, the Bruins have added what they hope is a major piece of their future in Dougie Hamilton. The Niagara (OHL) defenseman wasn’t expected to be on the board at the ninth overall pick, but the B’s were able to snatch up the big defenseman, ranked as the fourth-best North American skater in the draft. One reason for his drop is the fact that despite the fact that this draft was widely considered to boast more defensive talent up top, only one other defenseman (Adam Larsson) was selected before the B’s were on the board.
So who is Dougie Hamilton? The 18-year-old described himself as a physical, capable defenseman and a “sneaky offensive player.” He played in for Niagara with his brother, Freddie, who was a fifth-round pick of the Sharks in the 2010 draft.
Hamilton compares himself to Jay Bouwmeester, Brent Burns and Rob Blake. Here are his measurables and statistics:
Date of birth: June 17, 1993 Height: 6-foot-4
Weight: 187 pounds Shoots: Right
2010-11 stats: 67 games, 12 G, 46 A, 58 P, 77 PIM
Here’s a nice getting-to-know-you video from Open Ice Hockey:
Here’s what IceDogs coach Marty Williamson told NHL.com about Hamilton as part of the blueliner’s scouting report:
“Especially at this level, you find guys that are awkward or don’t have a lot of explosion. You’re 6-foot-4, you don’t have a lot of explosion (but) the jump off his skates is phenomenal. When he sees those opportunities to jump into the rush or lead the rush, I really believe it’s untapped what he can do. He’s a very special defenseman in our league. He just has to understand the details and he’s going to be a very good pro . . . Dougie gets himself very prepared for hockey games. He’s very diligent preparing himself. He goes about it very business-like. He’s mature beyond his years.’
Chris Edwards of Central Scouting likes Hamilton’s size, strength and puck-moving ability. Here’s what he had to say on NHL.com:
“He moves the puck well and makes good outlet passes, he does make good decisions with the puck, moves it very well out of his zone. He’s a big guy, he’ll take the body. ‘¦ He uses his size well. He can muscle people off the puck.”
And here’s a look at one of Hamilton’s 12 goals last season:
|06.24.11 at 8:35 pm ET|
The Bruins selected Niagara Ice Dogs defenseman Dougie Hamilton with the ninth overall pick in Friday’s NHL draft. Hamilton was rated the fourth-best North American skater in the draft by the NHL Central Scouting Bureau.
At 6-foot-4 and 187 pounds, Hamilton is considered a strong defenseman with good puck-moving ability. In 67 OHL games this past season, Hamilton had 12 goals and 46 assists for 58 points. He had a plus-35 rating and racked up 77 penalty minutes.
After making the choice, B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli appeared on VS. and described Hamilton as a “big strong kid with good offensive instinct.” Hamilton becomes the first defenseman drafted by the Bruins in the first round under Chiarelli.
The selection closes the book on 2009’s trade between the Bruins and Maple Leafs that sent Phil Kessel to Toronto in exchange for two first-round picks and a second-rounder. The Bruins ended up with Tyler Seguin, Jared Knight and Hamilton.
After the selection was made, Knight, who played against Hamilton while the two were in the OHL, tweeted “congrats to [Hamilton]… Great player… One defensemen I hated to play against.”
|06.24.11 at 7:21 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told reporters in Minnesota Friday that the team has qualified restricted free agent Brad Marchand, meaning the team has retained negotiating rights with the 23-year-old and can match any offer sheet that another club may sign him to.
Should Marchand sign an offer sheet with another team, the Bruins will have seven days to either keep Marchand under those terms or see him walk. The Bruins would receive draft pick compensation if they were to lose Marchand, but given his importance to the club and how much cap space the B’s have, the chances of him not returning are extremely slim.
As a rookie Marchand scored 21 goals and 20 assists for 40 points in the regular season. He scored 11 goals in the playoffs, including two in the Bruins’ Game 7 win over the Canucks in the Stanley Cup finals.
|06.24.11 at 3:45 am ET|
Each day this week, WEEI.com will be taking a look back at the Bruins’ historic 2010-11 Stanley Cup Championship season. So far, we’ve looked at the goal of the year, fight of the year, save of the year and top rookie. Up today is the Bruins’ rookie of the year, a no-brainer for anyone who followed the championship season.
Andrew Ference: 70 GP, 3 G, 12 A, 15 P, +22 (regular season)
25 GP, 4 G, 6 A, 10 P
‘He’s been very, very consistent, if not the most consistent defenseman we’ve had all season. He’s been solid every time he’s been on the ice. He never gives up any soft goals. He’s been unbelievable for us, and a real workhorse.’
– Dennis Seidenberg, May 19
There was no questioning who the Bruins’ most important player was during their Stanley Cup run, as Tim Thomas was outstanding for the B’s. Next on the list of key performers would probably be either Zdeno Chara or Dennis Seidenberg, as those two formed the shutdown pair that nobody could beat.
Yet while all of the praise rightfully went to the goaltender and the No. 1 pairing, Andrew Ference was continuing his solid season that saw him earn every dime of his $2.25 million cap hit.
Ference was never Chara-like, nor did he have to log the type of minutes Seidenberg did, but at the end of the day, what Ference brought was something the Bruins needed. It was hard to say with confidence going into the season who the Bruins’ No. 3 defenseman was, and just how good he’d be. Ference answered that by staying healthy (for the most part) and giving the Bruins a splendid No. 3 D man.
Were there low points with Ference? Absolutely. The game-winning play for the Canucks in overtime of Game 2 started with Ference, and him flipping off the Montreal crowd was an avoidable headache. At the end of the day, Ference was huge for the B’s, even if he didn’t get credit for it.