|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):
|07.19.11 at 1:32 am ET|
Bruins forward Brad Marchand said at the team’s Championship DVD premier Monday that he is confident that a deal will soon be reached to keep the 23-year-old in Boston. A restricted free agent, Marchand was extended a qualifying offer by the B’s, meaning the Bruins have the right to match any offer sheet the forward could be signed to by another club.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has noted he will not issue constant updates on the progress of negotiations, but Marchand expressed optimism.
“They know I want to be back here, and they want me back,” Marchand said, “so we’ll get something done.”
Marchand pointed to the hoopla of the Stanley Cup celebration as a reason as to why he has yet to put ink on paper. He noted that he has not been involved in the negotiations, and that his agent, Wade Arnott, has handled things.
“It’s obviously been a very busy time for everyone with the Cup and everything. We know we have all summer. We’re both confident something’s going to get done here soon, so I don’t think either of us are worried. We know something’s going to get done.”
In his rookie season, Marchand scored 21 goals and added 20 assists for 41 points. He added 11 goals and eight assists in the postseason.
|07.17.11 at 12:25 pm ET|
It’s hard to imagine Nathan Horton smiling too much on a day like this.
According to a tweet from Tammy Horton-Plante, wife of the Bruins first-line winger, the Stanley Cup was lost at Logan Airport on Sunday. Horton was scheduled to have the Cup on Sunday and bring it to Dunnville, Ontario, where a parade was scheduled. While the Cup was missing from the parade, it turns out that it was never actually missing, and that the initial assumption that it was a Logan Airport snafu may be inaccurate.
Speaking with WEEI.com, a JetBlue representative explained that the Cup was scheduled to fly from Boston to Buffalo on an 8 a.m. flight. It was checked in seven minutes late, however, as its 7:37 a.m. check-in went past the 30-minute cutoff time. As a result, it missed its flight and had to take a later one.
Massport told WEEI.com that after checking with both Logan and the State Police, nothing was ever called in about the Stanley Cup being missing.
After things were sorted out with TSA, Horton’s wife tweeted, “CUP day cut short if cup shows as at all sucha bummer” and followed it with “Parade will be late and cup will arrive this afternoon hopefully. X ur fingers jetblue gets it right.”
Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star was at Central Park in Dunnville for the parade, where Horton showed up with out the Cup. Tweeted McGran: “Horton says he’s embarrassed Cup not with him and he only gets it for a short time.”
‘I’m not 100 percent certain, but I think it was because (the Cup handler) was late (to the airport),’ Horton-Plante told McGran. ‘It may have been an error by the airline. But it sucks because we can’t extend a day with the Cup. Everybody gets a day. It was supposed to be 9 a.m. until midnight.”
The Cup finally arrived in Dunnville at 2:20 p.m., after the Cup-less parade had finished.
Massport has refuted a report that the Cup was en route to Florida on Sunday.
Horton won the Cup in his first year with the Bruins, though he was knocked out for the playoffs in Game 3 of the Cup finals at TD Garden. The 26-year-old suffered what the team called a severe concussion in the first period of the contest on a hit from Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome. Horton did not expect the injury to impact his preparations for the coming season. The former Panthers third overall pick scored 26 goals in the regular season before adding eight in the playoffs, three of which were game-winners.
For more on where the Cup is scheduled to go with each player, click here.
|07.14.11 at 6:26 pm ET|
Speaking to the media via conference call, Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid called the decision to take a three-year extension with the B’s Thursday a “no-brainer,” adding, “I really couldn’t picture myself being with any other team or being anything but a Bruin.”
The 24-year-old would have been a restricted free agent after the upcoming season, but this deal will keep him in Boston until 2015.
B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli called McQuaid “a bit of a poster child” for the organization’s development program, as he spent over two seasons in Providence (AHL) before becoming a regular on the B’s blue line during their Stanley Cup championship season. After beginning the season as a healthy scratch, McQuaid saw action due to injuries on the Bruins’ blue line, and his work allowed the B’s to trade Mark Stuart.
“He found his way into this lineup and now is a really solid contributor with his size his toughness his range,” Chiarelli said. “We continue to see him improve, he’s still at a young age and we felt fortunate to be able to lock him up for the foreseeable future.”
Chiarelli noted that while it was good to get a deal done with one of the players entering the last year of their deals, it was not a sign that the B’s will also extend the others (a group that includes David Krejci and Tuukka Rask) before the season begins.
“This was a case of both parties coming together and reaching a real good deal for both parties,” Chiarelli said. “We don’t always go out early and try to sign guys before their deals are done.”
As for the Bruins’ current restricted free agent, Chiarelli offered no update on negotiations with forward Brad Marchand.
“I’m just not going to comment eye time i go to the media,” the GM said. “There’s been discussions, we feel there’s been progress, and that’s where I’ll leave it.”