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John Whitesides out as Bruins’ strength and conditioning coach, transitions to community role

09.08.16 at 1:40 pm ET
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John Whitesides

BRIGHTON — John Whitesides will no longer serve as the Bruins’ strength and conditioning coach, Cam Neely confirmed to WEEI.com Thursday. Whitesides, who has been with the Bruins for 15 years, will transition to a role that sees him head up a community fitness program through the Bruins, while Mike Macchioni will take over as Boston’s strength and conditioning coach.

Neely said that the shakeup was Whiteside’s decision, and that he asked to transition out of his longtime role and into the burgeoning “B Fit” program.

“John had approached us last year about an idea he had to get more involved in the community, getting out there in schools and maybe firehouses to show them the proper way to train and work out,” Neely told WEEI.com. “This summer, he had asked if there was an opportunity to transition to the community relations and foundation. It’s an area that he was looking forward to jumping into. We said, ‘If that’s what you want to do,’ we ended up creating this opportunity for him.”

Neely added the the team has also hired two additional physical therapists as they look to strengthen their overall program.

Prior to coming to the Bruins, Whitesides served as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for Boston College’s men’s hockey and women’s basketball. He became something of a fan favorite with Bruins fans in recent seasons, as he was frequently shown barking at his players with expletive-laced speeches on NESN’s “Behind the B.”

Macchioni has worked with the Bruins for a number of years, serving as the Providence Bruins’ strength and conditioning coach in recent seasons and also acting as an assistant strength and conditioning coach for the B’s. Prior to that, the Warwick, R.I. native was a strength and conditioning coach for Providence College. Macchioni was on hand for this summer’s development camp, as he had been in previous years.

“He’s always been helping out at development camp,” Neely said. “He’s worked with Providence, so our group knows him pretty well. He’s excited about the opportunity.”

Read More: Cam Neely, John Whitesides,

Photos: Bruins unveil new practice facility, Warrior Ice Arena

09.08.16 at 1:17 pm ET
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BRIGHTON — The Bruins finally unveiled Warrior Ice Arena, their new practice facility that could also be the location of the team’s morning skates.

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Bruins reportedly sign Peter Mueller to PTO

09.07.16 at 9:46 am ET
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Peter Mueller's last regular-season NHL action came in 2013 with the Panthers. (Robert Mayer/USA Today Sports)

Peter Mueller’s last regular-season NHL action came in 2013 with the Panthers. (Robert Mayer/USA Today Sports)

Peter Mueller wants another shot at the NHL, and it appears the Bruins will at least entertain the idea.

According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, the Bruins will have Mueller, the eighth overall pick in the 2006 draft, in camp on a professional tryout. The 28-year-old center has played the last three seasons overseas, spending last season with the Malmö Redhawks of the Swedish Hockey League.

Mueller spent five seasons in the NHL after playing his junior hockey with 2007 Bruins first-rounder Zach Hamill on the Everett Silvertips of the WHL. Selected by the Coyotes, Mueller spent parts of three seasons in Phoenix before being traded to the Avalanche during the 2009-10 season.

Concussions derailed Mueller’s career for a time, as he missed the entire 2010-11 season due to a head injury sustained during the preseason. Mueller would play one more season in Colorado and one in Florida before leaving North America to play in the Swiss National League.

After one season in Sweden, Mueller signed a one-year contract to return to the NHL with the Blues for the 2014-15 campaign, but the sides agreed to a mutual termination of his contract prior to the start of the season. Mueller then returned to Switzerland.

Not helping Mueller’s case is the fact that he had his best season in the NHL as a rookie, when he scored 22 goals and added 32 assists for 54 points in 2007-08. He failed to play 45 games in each of his final two seasons in the NHL (three if you count the one he missed altogether).

Last season, Mueller scored 13 goals and had 12 assists for 25 points in 43 games for Malmö.

It’s unclear where the Bruins could see Mueller fitting in on their NHL roster, if at all. The team is overflowing with bottom-six centers at this point, as they recently added Dominic Moore to a group that already included Ryan Spooner, Noel Acciari and potentially David Backes.

Read More: Peter Mueller,

David Backes respects Colin Kaepernick’s decision, but wouldn’t sit during national anthem

09.07.16 at 8:38 am ET
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David Backes is entering his first season with the Bruins. (Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports)

David Backes is entering his first season with the Bruins. (Jasen Vinlove/USA Today Sports)

Colin Kaepernick is not playing in the World Cup of Hockey for a couple of reasons. For one, he doesn’t play hockey. For another, the World Cup of Hockey is a sporting event, and Kaepernick doesn’t participate in sporting events these days because Blaine freaking Gabbert took his job.

Still, Kaepernick was a popular topic at Team USA’s training camp, where both the coach and its players were asked about Kaepernick’s recent peaceful protests in which he sat and kneeled during the national anthem. While coach John Tortorella had a rather harsh response, saying he would bench any player who sat during the national anthem, Bruins forward David Backes was a bit more sensible.

“I think as athletes we have a great platform and to use it to influence social change is within our right,” Backes told USA Today. “Whether you should do that during the anthem, which stands for our country and salutes those who have given their lives for our country, allowing athletes to play, is a matter of debate. I have my opinions on that.”

Backes is a strong advocate of rescuing pets, something he displayed when he brought some of Sochi’s stray dogs back from the 2014 Winter Olympics. The veteran forward also heads up Athletes for Animals, a foundation that aims to control the pet population by finding homes for animals to getting them spayed and neutered.

On the subject of the anthem itself, the Minnesota native was respectful of Kaepernick but said that he personally would never sit.

“He is going to do his thing, but I salute those who have stood for our country, who have died and given limbs and lives for us,” Backes said. “I will salute that flag every time it is raised.”

Read More: Colin Kaepernick, David Backes, John Tortorella,

Zach Senyshyn to miss rookie camp, will attend Bruins training camp

09.05.16 at 12:50 pm ET
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Zach Senyshyn

Zach Senyshyn

Zach Senyshyn was a notable absence from this summer’s development camp, and it now appears that the flashiest of Boston’s three 2015 first-round picks could miss training camp as well.

Senyshyn, who was held out of development camp due to mono, underwent an appendectomy on Sunday, the Bruins confirmed. Brad Coccimiglio of Sootoday.com wrote that Senyshyn will “likely miss much, if not all of the Bruins camp.” The B’s confirmed that Senyshyn will miss rookie camp which begins Sept. 15, but will attend the team’s main camp when it begins on Sept. 22. The team noted in Monday’s release that Senyshyn’s participation level is “undetermined at this time.”

The Bruins were highly criticized for selecting Senyshyn 15th overall last summer, as the right wing was projected to go in the second round. Senyshyn was expected to make a statistical leap after playing on lower lines in his drat year however, something he when he jumped from 26 goals in his draft year to 45 goals in 2015-16.

Though unfortunate, Senyshyn missing camp would not be particularly harmful to the 2016-17 Bruins, as Senyshyn would have been considered a major longshot to make the team. Because he is 19, Senyshyn would have to return to junior if he didn’t make the NHL anyway.

Read More: Zach Senyshyn,

David Krejci drops out of World Cup of Hockey

09.02.16 at 4:23 pm ET
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According to Czech television reporter Zdenek Matejovsky, David Krejci has dropped out of the World Cup of Hockey.

Krejci, who has skated this week at Warrior Ice Arena with teammates, is coming off April hip surgery. He said Monday that he was in touch with the Czech team weekly and that the team was aware that he might not play.

“If you asked me a long time ago, then yes, but right now I just want to get to 100 percent,” Krejci said Monday. “If I’m ready, then that will be awesome, but if not, you have to do what you have to do to be 100 percent.”

Krejci expects to be ready for the start of the NHL season.

Read More: David Krejci,

Brad Marchand mum on contract negotiations with Bruins

09.01.16 at 1:41 pm ET
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Brad Marchand

Brad Marchand

BRIGHTON — Brad Marchand has made a stop in Boston before he heads to practices with Team Canada for the World Cup of Hockey. Thursday served as an opportunity to skate with some Bruins teammates at the new Warrior Ice Arena and face the inevitable questions about his contract status.

Marchand, 28, is entering the final year of a four-year, $18 million contract. If he doesn’t sign an extension, which he’s been eligible to do since July, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent next July 1.

“I know that everyone wants an update and everything, but I really can’t comment on what’s going on, but we are talking and hopefully we’ll figure something out,” Marchand said.

Marchand’s next deal would figure to command upwards of $6 million annually at the very least (and likely much more). One of the league’s best two-way forwards, Marchand is coming off a career year in which he led the Bruins with 37 goals in 2015-16.

Last month, B’s general manager Don Sweeney said the team considered Marchand a core player, but that it took “two sides” to come to an agreement. Marchand reiterated his preference Thursday to be a Bruin for the rest of his career.

“This is an incredible organization and one that I think we’re all very fortunate to be part of,” Marchand said. “It would be great to be able to be here my whole career, and you see how rare that is nowadays. It doesn’t happen often, so it would be an incredible thing, but a lot of things have to line up for that to happen, not only now but down the road, so we’ll play it year-by-year.”

Read More: Brad Marchand,
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