|06.25.10 at 7:18 pm ET|
LOS ANGELES — The Edmonton Oilers have selected Windsor Spitfires left wing Taylor Hall with the first overall pick in the NHL draft, clearing the way for the Bruins to take Plymouth Whalers center Tyler Seguin second overall.
Hall, 18, was ranked second behind Seguin by the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau but had a better OHL resume, having played in the league for three seasons to Seguin’s two. In 57 games for the Spitfires this past season, Hall scored 40 goals and 66 assists for 106 points, which tied him with Seguin for the lead league in points.
Many point to the postseason as a big reason Hall was able to leapfrog Seguin on the Oilers’ draft board. In 19 games, Hall racked up 17 goals and 18 assists for 35 points. In addition to sweeping Seguin’s Whalers in the playoffs, Hall earned his second consecutive Memorial Cup MVP award by leading the Spitfires to a title. Hall also racked up 12 points (6 G, 6 A) in six games for Team Canada in the World Junior Championship.
|06.25.10 at 4:32 pm ET|
Amidst rumors that the Flyers are looking to shed payroll in order to take on Tim Thomas‘ contract, a source close to the situation is saying talk that Simon Gagne could be swapped to the Bruins for the goaltender is bogus.
“This is not an accurate rumor at all,” the source said.
Salary-wise, it makes sense, as Gagne will carry a $5.25 million cap hit next season, the final year of his deal, while Thomas has three years remaining at $5 million per season. On the ice, however, such a move could upset Flyers fans. Gagne can be counted on for 30 goals a season and is just 30 years old, while Thomas, 36, lost his starting job last season to Tuukka Rask.
The left-winger made a major impression on the Bruins in the postseason this past postseason, scoring in overtime in Game 4, adding two goals in Game 5, and slipping the series-winning goal past Rask in the third period of Game 7.
Gagne was hampered by groin injuries throughout the season and was limited to 58 games. He scored 17 goals and had 23 assists for 40 points after having 34-40-74 totals a year prior.
|06.25.10 at 2:56 pm ET|
Tim Thomas, who has been given permission by the Bruins to talk with other teams about a trade, may not be a fit for one of his most logical suitors. According to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun, a Tampa Bay source does not believe the Lightning could add Thomas’ $5 million salary for the next three seasons without shedding payroll. LeBrun says in a tweet that a move to the Lightning “doesn’t look like a fit right now.”
The Sharks and Flyers have also been rumored as potential suitors for Thomas. Tampa Bay has over $23 million in cap space, but only 13 players under contract at the NHL level.
|06.25.10 at 2:46 pm ET|
Anyone upset with the way the whole Marc Savard/Matt Cooke/Colin Campbell situation was handled last season can rest easy, as the NHL Board of Governors approved a ban on blindside blows to the head. Players who commit lateral blindside hits, such as Cooke’s March 7 hit on Savard, now can be given a five-minute major and a game misconduct. If a player racks up two game misconducts for blindside hits to the head, he will automatically be suspended for the next game.
The proposed rule change had been drawn up last week by the NHL’s competition committee. Campbell, the senior vice president and director of hockey operations, fell under heavy criticism in March when he decreed that Cooke had technically not done anything on the hit of Savard to warrant a suspension. Later that month, the general managers called for a revised rule, which now has been passed.
The actual language of the rule outlaws “lateral or blindside hits to an opponent where the head is targeted and/or the principle point of contact.”
Though stricter punishment is now in place, Bruins president Cam Neely is still hesitant to treat the problem as being solved.
‘The one concern that I have is that it’s still going to be a tough rule to call,’ Neely told WEEI.com’s Graig Woodburn on Thursday. ‘I don’t know if you’re going to get everyone happy. That’s the problem.’
Neely, whose playing career was cut short due to injury, can appreciate that though players may still be at risk, the initiative taken to cut down on risk is a step in the right direction.
‘I think it’s going to be tough for the referee in that split second to really judge the call. Like all new rules, there’s going to be some questions,’ he said. ‘At least there is an attempt to get [hits to the head] out of the game.”
|06.25.10 at 1:17 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli confirmed to members of the media Friday that the Bruins have reached a one-year agreement with unrestricted winger Mark Recchi. The 42-year-old future Hall of Famer was acquired at the trade deadline in 2009 and has totaled 59 points in 99 games with the Bruins. A veteran of 21 years, Recchi has 563 goals and 922 assists, good for 1485 points.
The deal is expected to be announced Monday. TSN has reported the deal includes a base salary of $1 million and bonuses that could tack on more than $500,000. Recchi made $1.7 million last season. NESN was the first to report the story.
|06.25.10 at 12:53 pm ET|
With either Tyler Seguin or Taylor Hall set to join the Bruins in tonight’s NHL draft, it seems only appropriate to take a look back at what’s happened around WEEI.com in the past month with the two stars.
May 27: I spoke with Seguin about what playing in Boston may be like. We discussed his early struggles in the OHL, potentially playing wing, and his intrigue with jumping right into a push for a Cup with the Bruins. I also spoke to his coach, Mike Vellucci, who compared him to Steve Yzerman.
May 28: Peter Chiarelli gave a quote that, if read into as much as it was here, could suggest the Bruins were leaning towards Seguin.
June 1: We asked you who you wanted for the Bruins. Sixty-two percent of you wanted Hall, 24 percent said they’d be happy with either, and 14 percent preferred Seguin.
June 2: We got word that the Bruins were bringing in Hall for a visit. Seguin also met with the Bruins last weekend and the team visited both players’ homes.
June 4: Peter Chiarelli said Hall and Seguin are so close that trading a large package to secure their preferred player might not be worth it. He emphasized this point several times with the media over the last month.
June 16: Chiarelli admitted that he got a very intriguing offer that stood out from the others involving the second overall pick, but rejected it. He stressed that under no circumstances would the pick be moved, saying “We’re going to take one of those two forwards.”
June 21: Chiarelli said both he and Oilers GM Steve Tambellini were hesitant to show one another their cards.
June 24: Seguin called Boston a “great place, great city.”
|06.24.10 at 10:08 pm ET|
While the Board of Governors approved a rule change providing a five-minute penalty for a blindside hit to the head ‘ such as that which sidelined Bruins center Marc Savard this season ‘ Neely emerged from Thursday’s meeting focused on Friday’s draft in which the Bruins have the second overall pick.
The Edmonton Oilers have the first pick in the draft, and with it the possibility of trading down if the player they would select is different than the player the Bruins want. Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin are considered locks to be selected with the top two picks, but so far, the Oilers have not indicated which player they prefer.
There has been much speculation the Oilers plan to take Hall and the Bruins would then choose Seguin, but nothing is definite at this point.
‘Edmonton still hasn’t really said anything, so nothing is etched [in stone]. We’re still waiting like everyone else,’ said Neely, who was named as the Bruins President on June 16.
Neely had attended Board of Governors meetings before, but was doing so his new capacity for the firs time on Thursday.
‘A lot of the stuff I’ve been doing has not really changed that much,’ said Neely. ‘Obviously, a little more responsibility now, which is OK. I’m looking forward to the challenge.’
Among his first duties at the Board of Governors meeting was assessing the blindside hit rule approved Thursday.
‘The one concern that I have is that it’s still going to be a tough rule to call,’ Neely said. ‘I don’t know if you’re going to get everyone happy. That’s the problem.’
In response to a question regarding the Matt Cooke hit on Savard, which caused Savard to incur a significant concussion, Neely said that the hit would be illegal under the new rule, which he generally favors.
‘I think it’s going to be tough for the referee in that split second to really judge the call. Like all new rules, there’s going to be some questions,’ he said. ‘At least there is an attempt to get [hits to the head] out of the game. ‘
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