|07.21.11 at 4:15 pm ET|
Stick-tap to our friend Matt Kalman of The Bruins Blog for catching this story about Tomas Kaberle‘s day with the Stanley Cup yesterday. We posted a couple of videos of Kaberle with the Cup in the Czech Republic yesterday, but nobody could have seen this coming. Check out this photo from isport.cz, which the Globe and Mail picked up:
Here’s NHL.com‘s explanation:
After a brief stop to take some pictures with the Cup, Kaberle just entered Kladno for a stop at Velky Tanecni Sal, which appears to be a Knights of Columbus-type establishment, where hundreds of people are waiting for an opportunity to see their Stanley Cup Champion and local hero.
Upon entering the hall, Kaberle was greeted by a band called The Hello Piggy Band. Kaberle was brought on stage and received a sword and shield. He also presented the Stanley Cup to the crowd and received a real hero’s welcome when he hoisted the trophy over his head.
One probably has tons of questions after seeing this, none of which should be bigger than the mystery of why Kaberle didn’t invide Joe Lo Truglio and Christopher Mintz-Plasse along.
|07.20.11 at 6:54 pm ET|
The Bruins announced four deals Wednesday, as they made the signings of 2010 second-round picks Jared Knight and Ryan Spooner official and announced a one-year extension for forward Stefan Chaput. The B’s have also hired former NHL defenseman Kevin Dean as an assistant coach of the Providence Bruins.
While Dean and Chaput will spend next season in Providence, Knight and Spooner will not. Because they are both 19 years of age and will not be 20 before Dec. 31, they will either have to make the Bruins’ NHL squad or return to their OHL clubs.
Spooner was told last year by the Bruins that he needed to put work in to get stronger, and general manager Peter Chiarelli said at this month’s development camp that Spooner clearly had done what was required of him. He echoed how much he’s been impressed by each player’s progress Wednesday.
“Both of them got a little bit stronger, a little bit faster,” Chiarelli told a pool reporter. “Specifically Spooner, his testing improved from when we did the last till now. And you can see his a little bit bigger a little bit faster, a little bit more committed. Knight was always strong, he seemed a little more comfortable with his game at that level. And they both had good junior years. So I like to see them put some work in and then we decided to sign them.”
Once again, Chiarelli offered no update on the negotiations with restricted free agent Brad Marchand.
“I’m not going to comment on progress,” he said. “We want to get him signed and we’ll continue to work towards that.”
|07.20.11 at 3:42 pm ET|
When David Krejci and his Bruins teammates arrived in the Czech Republic to begin what would end up being a championship season, the best he could offer was taking fellow players out for goulash. As the video below shows, what he and Tomas Kaberle have brought this time is a bit shinier, and contains far less calories.
(On that first video, what is that at 0:35? Did the Winnipeg Jets make a draft pick on this trip?)
The Cup is on its European swing now, with Kaberle up first. Krejci will have his day on Thursday, with captain Zdeno Chara getting two days with the trophy on Friday and Saturday. Tuukka Rask will have it Sunday and Monday before it heads back to North America.
As Bruins PR man Eric Tosi tweeted, the defenseman signed autographs and took pictures with fans for over five hours and didn’t stop until all who showed up were accomodated. That’s hardly surprising that Kaberle would do such a thing, as his kindness was not on the list of things in question during his time in Boston.
For the list of where the Cup has been and is set to go, click here.
|07.20.11 at 3:10 pm ET|
When players begin showing up for captains practices and eventually training camp as the summer winds down and the preseason begins, Andrew Ference, like the other returning players from the Stanley Cup champions, will have a couple of new faces to meet.
Ference will have a new fellow blueliner in defenseman Joe Corvo, for whom the B’s traded a fourth-round pick to the Hurricanes the day Tomas Kaberle signed with Carolina. Ference may not know Corvo personally, but he knows they’ll have a good ice-breaker for when they meet.
“I know he’s got a lot of tattoos, so we’ll be able to swap,” Ference said with a laugh.
Ference, the team’s resident tattoo aficionado, flew his tattoo artist in from Calgary so he and his teammates could commemorate their Stanley Cup championship with ink on breakup day. While many players discussed what types of tattoos they were considering that day, the final tally of players to go through with it was a measly seven, including Ference, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin. Ference noted that other teammates simply got them on other days, such as Chris Kelly, whom Ference said was set to get his this week.
While a simple google search will show that Seguin and Marchand (the latter of whom rarely wore a shirt in the week that followed the Cup win) got “Stanley Cup Champions Boston Bruins 6-15-11″ on the side of their ribs, Ference went with a very plain black-and-white spoked B on his right arm.
“Some guys got the writing, and I went with the B,” Ference said. “I don’t know. I left room for more years though.”
Ference will also meet Benoit Pouliot, with whom he’s already had at least one dealing. It was Ference who sparred with Pouliot in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals after the then-Canadiens forward attempted to hit Johnny Boychuk high on a dangerous play in the corner. Ference isn’t concerned about having any difficulty befriending who was once the enemy, citing the team’s ability to do it in the past.
“We got along fine with Michael Ryder,” Ference pointed out, as Ryder spent his entire career in the Montreal organization before becoming a popular guy in the Bruins’ dressing room.
While there are similarities between the two situations of Ryder and Pouliot in that both came to the Bruins after playing for the Habs (Ryder signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the B’s back in the summer of 2008), one would generally be far more skeptical of Pouliot today than they were of Ryder in 2008. Ryder was an established scorer in the NHL, while Pouliot, to borrow a bit of logic from Jack Edwards, has been nothing short of a fantastic bust since being drafted fourth overall by the Wild in 2005. For Pouliot to do anything like Ryder on the stat sheet would make the $1.1 million they dropped on the 24-year a sound investment.
|07.19.11 at 2:11 pm ET|
Here’s Mut and Merloni talking with their frequent guest, Brad Marchand, at the Bruins’ Stanley Cup Champions DVD premier at Loews on Tremont Street Monday. Marchand notes that he didn’t have to leave Boston after the week-long celebration for his own health concerns, but for those of others.
|07.19.11 at 11:52 am ET|
According to Kirk Luedeke (one of, if not the best, hockey prospects writer out there) of the New England Hockey Journal, the Bruins have signed both of their 2010 second-round picks in right wing Jared Knight and center Ryan Spooner to three-year entry level deals.
The signings of the player in no way impacts their standing with the big club, as the 19-year-olds would both have to return to their OHL clubs if they don’t make the Bruins this season. They do not have AHL eligibility for the full season given that they are under 20 and haven’t played four years of junior hockey. Both did finish last season in Providence, however on amateur tryout agreements. Knight had a pair of assists in three games, while Spooner had two goals and an assist in his three contests.
Knight, selected 32nd overall in 2010, was a product of the Phil Kessel trade, as the pick used to select him was acquired in the Sept. 2009 deal. He had 25 goals and 45 assists for 70 points for London (OHL) last season. Spooner, selected 45th overall, had 35 goals and 46 assists between Peterborough and Kingston (both of the OHL) last season.
Both players were singled out by B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli as players who impressed at this summer’s development camp.
‘For a guy like Spooner, one of the things that we told him at the end of last year and at development camp and at training camp, was he has to put the time in to get better, to get stronger, to get bigger,” Chiarelli said. “And he did. He did do that, and all the testing showed that. There’s still room to improve, but you could tell, we take the testing very seriously and Ryan put the time in and you could see it in his play. He had a little more spring in his step with the puck, he had a little more bulk in his, he was able to protect the puck a little bit better.
‘You see it firsthand, so a guy like Knight, he was already last year in tremendous shape and this year he’s even improved.’
|07.19.11 at 2:58 am ET|
WATERTOWN — It probably wasn’t the craziest thing he’s done in Boston in the middle of the night since winning the Stanley Cup, but Bruins forward Brad Marchand spent late Monday/early Tuesday at Best Buy in Watertown signing championship DVDs at the store’s midnight release.
Marchand, 23, drew a crowd that wrapped all the way behind the building, and Marchand chatted with fans (sarcastically criticizing a youngster’s No. 11 jersey for sporting Gregory Campbell‘s number rather than his own) and signed the DVD sleeves as the locals thanked and congratulated him. One fan told Marchand that he loved it when the B’s rookie punched Canucks forward Daniel Sedin in Game 6 of the finals, to which he responded, “me too.”
While one fan was dressed in a bear suit, the most telling moment of the autograph session was when one fan took his shirt off to show the young winger his Bruins tattoo. Of course, Marchand is no stranger to losing his shirt, as many pictures of Marchand’s shaved chest made the rounds in the week that followed the B’s securing the Cup last month.
“I guess that’s the new thing,” Marchand said. “Everyone’s going to be shirtless at the games next year.”
Marchand reiterated that he is not concerned over the status of his contract negotiations. The restricted free agent has yet to sign an extension with the B’s, but he’s pointed to the business of the shortened offseason as the reason for why he remains unsigned. Obviously, there is something holding up the deal, but whatever it is doesn’t have Marchand worried.
“Not at all,” Marchand when asked if he had assumed a deal would be done by now. “There’s been a lot going on, obviously with the Cup and everything. That’s taking the leading role in everything, so I’m not surprised at all.
“We’re obviously very excited to get something [done],” Marchand added, “and hopefully it gets done soon.”
Here are a few pictures from the event, taken by perhaps the worst photographer in the world (send complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org):