|06.28.11 at 10:38 pm ET|
According to a tweet from TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Bruins sent out an email Tuesday offering Tomas Kaberle‘s negotiating rights to other teams. Any team that acquired Kaberle would, as the Bruins do now, be able to negotiate with the defenseman exclusively leading up to the opening of free agency on Friday.
Kaberle, 33, is one of only two unrestricted free agents from the Bruins’ Stanley Cup champion lineup. Acquired on Feb. 18 in exchange for center Joe Colborne, a 2011 first-round pick and a 2012 second-rounder, he had one goal and eight assists for nine points in 24 regular-season games with the B’s. He and Dennis Seidenberg tied for lead among Bruins’ defenseman in postseason points with 11.
Rights to free-agents-to-be can be moved by the teams with which they last played, as the Flyers traded for the rights to goalie Ilya Bryzgalov before locking him up last week. The Canucks traded the rights to defenseman Christian Ehrhoff to the Islanders on Tuesday.
|06.28.11 at 5:41 pm ET|
Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty has been very clear about his unhappiness with the league’s decision not to suspend Zdeno Chara for the March 8 hit that ended the rookie’s season, but he’s also been emphatic about it not going any farther.
In wake of Tuesday’s news that Montreal police still intend to question Chara for a criminal investigation, Pacioretty — who has gotten in trouble on twitter before — took to the social networking service to make it clear that he does not want Chara to be face any sort of criminal charges.
Here are two tweets from the Connecticut native on Tuesday:
|06.28.11 at 5:33 pm ET|
The list of solid free agent defensemen gets smaller with each passing day, as the Hurricanes have retained Joni Pitkanen on a three-year deal, according to multiple reports. ESPN.com has the deal carrying a $4.5 million annual cap hit.
That makes two good blueliners to pass on the open market in the last two days, as Kevin Bieksa re-upped with the Canucks for five years and $23 million on Monday. These signings will continue to push Tomas Kaberle higher on the list of coveted free-agent defensemen, as Christian Ehrhoff, James Wisniewski and Kaberle now make up the big three amongst remaining blueliners.
Free agency begins Friday, and Peter Chiarelli has maintained that he’s been in contact with Kaberle’s agent, Rick Curran. The 33-year-old had a $4.25 million cap hit last season and should see a pay decrease. It appeared he might have made significantly less based on his performance for most of his time with the Bruins, but if supply and demand works in his favor, a team could overpay to land him.
|06.28.11 at 1:27 pm ET|
In the latest bit of nonsense to come from the Bruins’ $156,000+ bar tab from Foxwoods after winning the Stanley Cup, Amstel Light has written a letter to the Bruins (Shawn Thornton and Shane Hnidy’s names were listed) requesting they reveal which member of the B’s ordered the lone Amstel Light on the tab.
“We want to reward the Bruin who ordered the Amstel Light to recognize him for making a great decision,” the press release read.
Added the company: “If he reveals himself, Amstel Light will provide the beer for his 4th of July barbecue (or Canadian Independence Day party) and for his private celebration when he has his time with the Cup.”
The easy thing is to make jokes about Amstel Light and try to guess which player was drinking it. Here, though, all we can do is beg that this is the last we hear of the bar tab. How about dwelling on the Stanley Cup instead? By now, the joke is, well, skunked.
|06.28.11 at 12:19 pm ET|
In wake of Zdeno Chara‘s March 8 hit on Max Pacioretty in Montreal, police said a criminal investigation would be tricky at the time given that many of the people they’d need to speak to had seasons to finish.
Now that the season is over, it appears that Montreal police still intend to speak to Chara about the play, which sent Pacioretty’s head into a stanchion and left Habs fans calling the cops. The investigation will be conducted to determine whether there was criminal intent on the part of Chara, who had a history with Pacioretty due to runs the Habs rookie had taken at the B’s captain and his defensive partner on Feb. 9 in Steven Kampfer.
According to CBC News, Sgt. Ian Lafreniere has indicated the investigation is near completion, but that they still need to speak to Chara.
“We haven’t met Chara, we don’t have his version of the facts, and also at the end of it, [a report is] going to be presented to a crown prosecutor, and this is the person who will decide whether there will be some accusations,” he said.
Chara, who was given an interference major and tossed from the game, was not suspended for the play, and Pacioretty missed the rest of the season with head and vertebrae injuries. Pacioretty recently expressed his frustration with the Bruins winning the Stanley Cup given that he felt the Canadiens could have beaten the B’s in the first round if they had a healthy roster, one that would have included him had the play not occurred.
The play and the different reactions led to extra attention being placed on Chara, as well as the rivalry between the two teams. Prior to the March 24 meeting between the two clubs (their first meeting since the Pacioretty incident), multiple members of the Bruins suggested the injuries to Pacioretty weren’t as bad as initially stated, suggesting embellishment on the part of the Habs. Pacioretty had tweeted from a movie theatre days after the hit, which led to some questioning his concussion, as people with severe concussions generally can’t be around bright lights. After the B’s blanked the Habs on March 24, Mark Recchi, who most famously called out the Habs, said he had done so to create a distraction, thus taking pressure off of Chara.
The report states that Chara will be questioned in the coming weeks.
|06.27.11 at 10:24 pm ET|
John Weisbrod is officially the Bruins’ former director of pro and collegiate scouting, as he has left the B’s to move up the ladder with a new gig in Calgary. Weisbrod, who was a scout for the Stars before coming to Boston in 2006, is now the Flames’ assistant general manager/director of player personnel.
While Weisbrod did a fine job in his role with the Bruins, his best pick doesn’t even play hockey. Weisbrod was the Orlando Magic’s GM when the team had the first overall pick in 2004, and he chose Dwight Howard over Emeka Okafor.
Weisbrod will now work under Calgary GM Jay Feaster.
|06.27.11 at 3:49 pm ET|
It looks like Kevin Bieksa feels that 29 other teams are just a bit too pee-wee for his liking.
According to multiple reports, the Canucks defenseman will not test the waters of unrestricted free agency, as he has agreed to a new pact with the Canucks, thus thinning the defensive free agent market.
TSN has the deal as being worth $23 million over five years, meaning the 30-year-old will carry a $4.6 million cap hit. It also reportedly includes a no-trade clause. Bieksa had a $3.75 cap hit in each of the three seasons of his previous deal. The immediate feeling here is that he got a fair deal, and that it isn’t exactly a hometown discount.
While he likely would not have been a target of the B’s in free agency, the fact that Bieksa’s name is now out of the pool means teams in need of help on the blueline will look elsewhere. That “elsewhere” is a group that includes Tomas Kaberle, Montreal’s James Wisniewski and Bieksa’s teammate, Christian Ehrhoff.
Bieksa led the Canucks with a plus-32 rating in the regular season, which put him in a tie for second behind Zdeno Chara (plus-33) for tops in the league. He was among the Canucks who may have put themselves in a bad light during the Stanley Cup finals, as he had the dive of all dives in Game 4 when he grabbed his face to draw a high-sticking call on Mark Recchi, despite Recchi’s stick being a good distance from his face. He also joked about the Bruins’ postgame jacket, likening the tradition to something a pee-wee team would do.
Free agency opens Friday.