|09.13.10 at 2:41 pm ET|
BOLTON — Cam Neely and Nathan Horton could be seen talking and laughing prior to teeing off at The International for the Bruins’ annual golf tournament on Monday. For Horton, his Bruins career has consisted of throwing out a first pitch at Fenway, playing street hockey with kids, scrimmaging with no coaches, surprising season-ticket holders by delivering their tickets with Milan Lucic, and now golfing. Given his excitement to be in Boston and factoring in all the aforementioned perks, one might dare to suggest that nobody is more excited for the 2010-11 season than Horton.
Except Neely, of course.
At his formal introduction as team president this summer, Neely spoke with passion of how the fans deserved more. Now on the other side of the offseason, Neely reinforced his line of thinking that the team has “unfinished business to take care of” and noted that he feels Peter Chiarelli and co. have put together “a much better club this year.”
Though Neely praised the talents of Horton and Tyler Seguin, the offseason’s other prize, he offered a unique perspective when discussing the subject of trade talks with returning players. Names such as Michael Ryder, Tim Thomas, and most notably Marc Savard came up frequently through either reports or speculation.
‘Speaking as a former player, you can’t worry about what’s out of your control. The way I looked at it when I was a player was, you hear about rumors and things that you can’t really control, you can’t worry about it.
“The only thing you can worry about are the stuff you can control, whether it’s in sports or in general. That’s how I approached it as a player and that’s how I would think most players would approach it. It’s always difficult if you hear your name mentioned in ways you don’t want it to be mentioned, but things you can’t control, you shouldn’t worry too much about.’
Neely knows a good amount about trades given the fact that he himself was dealt from the Canucks to the Bruins back in 1986. He can only hope that the team’s most recent trade for a big winger in Horton works out the way it did back then.
|09.13.10 at 2:24 pm ET|
BOLTON — Between rehabbing from a hip injury, coming off a season in which he lost his starting job down the stretch, and trying to remain a key piece of the puzzle, Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas had plenty to talk about Monday at the team’s golf tournament in Bolton.
Thomas said the hip that was operated on following the season is feeling “pretty good” and that after skating a bit last week, has “passed every test we threw at it so far.” He’s not sure whether he’ll be cleared to go full throttle once camp opens Friday.
“I don’t know,” Thomas said when asked what his level of participation will be. “That’s going to be up to the trainers and physical therapists. It depends on how it reacts as it’s going along. You can’t really make a projection at this point.”
Thomas added that he and the medical staff will “evaluate it as it goes along” and that he should have a clean bill of health by the team the wheels touch down in Prague to open the season on October 9.
“That’s what we’re shooting for, is opening day of the regular season, 100 percent,” Thomas said. It’s been going pretty well. It might end up being 100 percent before that.”
Much has been made about what Thomas’ role with the team will be in the 2010-11 season. After getting the majority of starts in the regular season (43), Thomas saw Tuukka Rask take over as the team’s starting goalie in each of the Bruins’ two playoff series. The 36-year-old now must focus on proving naysayers wrong and splitting time with Rask once again.
“I thought it over over the summer, and I’m approaching it just like I did every challenge I had at every level going through,” Thomas said. “It’s a battle against yourself. I’ve proven in the past what I can do when I bring the best game that I have to the table, so it’s up to me just to do that.
“I was promised the same chance [as before], and that’s the way I’m approaching it,” he added. “I think I will [get a chance]. My play will do the talking. It’s in my hands. that’s the way I look at it.”
|09.13.10 at 1:34 pm ET|
BOLTON — David Krejci took a few minutes to talk about his wrist, the Bruins’ much-anticipated Prague trip, and, of course, the links on Monday at the team’s annual golf tournament at The International in Bolton.
“I can skate, so I can golf,” Krejci said with a grin. The center suffered an ugly injury in the Eastern Conference semifinals when he separated his right wrist but now has every necessary procedure, including getting screws removed, in the rear view mirror.
The 24-year-old said throughout the summer that he would be fine for training camp, and he confirmed as much on Monday.
“It’s really close. Really close,” Krejci said. “We’re talking about days [until] it’s going to be 100 percent. I don’t think it’s 100 percent right now, but it’s really close.”
Krejci participated in captain’s practice last week at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington. Though he was still getting a feel then, he said Monday that by the time camp officially opens he’ll be able to say he’s totally healed.
“It still [hurts a little]. I can feel it sometimes when I shoot, [but] I can shoot almost 100 percent,” Krejci said. “By the camp, I think I’ll be [better].”
It’s been four weeks by Krejci’s estimation since he started putting the wrist through the usual trials. Though he’s piecing everything together in the days leading up to Friday, he’s seen enough encouraging signs to know he’ll be good to train with his teammates and use the preseason to ready himself for his third year in the league.
“I can stickhandle fine. My motion’s there. I have no problem with that. It’s a little weaker, but I’ve been working on it the last four weeks,” Krejci said. “I’m getting the muscle back, so I should be fine by the [time the] season comes.”
Here are a couple unusual notes from Krejci’s chat:
– He’s excited to walk through metal detectors at the airport with confidence. Because of the screws in his wrist that were removed about a month ago, he constantly set off the machines in his travels.
“They checked me completely,” Krejci said of security. “It wasn’t fun, but it is what it is.”
– Maybe reading too much into a city before travelling there can be a bad thing. Asked if cab drivers in Prague were as difficult to deal with as this would suggest, Krejci said they were fine in Prague, but not necessarily in the neighboring towns. He did note that taxis aren’t as frequently utilized over there and that “you can’t just go in the street and stop one.”
|09.13.10 at 12:50 pm ET|
BOLTON — The Bruins and friends teed off for their golf tournament at The International, meaning practically all of the players were available to chat Monday morning in Bolton. Though David Krejci gave WEEI.com some good tips on dealing with cab drivers in Prague, the most interesting player to speak may have been his winger in Michael Ryder.
“I’m anxious to get started this year. Last year was disappointing, especially the way it ended,” Ryder said. “I think especially regular season too I think will be a lot better. There are things we have to improve on this year and hopefully we can do that.”
It’s no secret that Ryder was among the players who took the brunt of criticism when the Bruins offense stalled for the entire season. As a result, and with him entering the final year of a three-year deal, many wondered whether Ryder and his $4 million cap hit would be back this season.
“It happens everywhere you go,” Ryder, who seemed genuinely unfazed by the offseason speculation said. “After the season there’s always going to people talking and saying things [regarding] who should go where, and whatever, but you’ve got to forget about it and concentrate on starting off the season.”
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli rained on the parade of angry fans who wanted Ryder gone when he said early in the offseason that the team would not be buying the final year of Ryder’s deal out. He pointed to an off-year for the winger, who said he “expected to be back” with the team. Ryder admits that coming off a 27-goal season in 2008-09, his 18-goal showing last season was a letdown and he accepts whatever negative chatter comes with it.
“The whole team didn’t score goals last year. We had a hard time putting the puck in the net in the regular season,” Ryder said. “When you’re looked at to score goals and the team’s not scoring, you’re one of the guys that’s under the gun. I kind of accept that and I’ve just got to try to find ways to make that happen.”
Ryder remains a possible victim of the salary cap. The team will be approximately $3.5 million over the $59.4 million mark once Marco Sturm returns from long-term injury status. Asked if he felt he considers each practice and game from here on out an “audition,” Ryder expressed confidence in his role with the Bruins.
“I know I’m still part of this team,” he said. “I’ve just got to go out and prove that I belong here.”
|09.12.10 at 2:46 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins top prospect Tyler Seguin took part in his first official practice of this year’s training camp on Sunday. After voluntarily skating with Bob Essensa‘s goalie camp last week, he skated alongside Jamie Arniel and Jared Knight as Peter Chiarelli, Cam Neely, and Claude Julien looked on.
“I’m very excited,” Seguin, the second overall pick in June’s NHL draft, said. “I just know that everything is finally here and this is where all the big impression are made. It’s nice to be out there to be able to show my stuff.”
The session was closed to the public, but Seguin has gotten plenty of attention in Boston since his selection. In addition to throwing out the first pitch at a Red Sox game on his first day in Boston, he saw the Ristuccia Arena stands packed for this summer’s rookie development camp. Seguin, who racked up 106 points in 63 OHL games last year, doesn’t mind the attention.
“I’m just going out there, having fun with everything, and working my hardest,” Seguin said. “Whatever comes with it is just a bonus.”
“Yeah I have. I’m pretty comfortable and confident in either position. I’ve played both over my OHL career, so coming in here, any position — whether it’s goalie — those two positions I’ll play to make the team.”
Seguin did catch himself after the last comment, clarifying that he is “brutal” in net.
Here are a few notes from what Seguin’s session with reporters:
– He’ll play in both rookie games at the Garden this week against Islanders rookies. Last week fellow center prospect Joe Colborne, when asked, said that he had Seguin to thank for the games being played on such a big stage.
“He’s all over my case lately,” Seguin said when told of the discussion with Colborne.
– Seguin hasn’t figured out where he’ll live if he makes the team. Could see a situation similar to the Patrice Bergeron/Martin Lapointe situation of a few years back.
“He’s like, ‘Yeah, I’ve been playing for the last three weeks online trying to get good for the tournament.’ I completely 100 percent forgot about the thing and the day we came in I was like, ‘I didn’t even know we had to play,'” Seguin said. “‘I thought we were just taking some pictures and interviews.'”
|09.12.10 at 2:24 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Any concerns over how happy Marc Savard is after hearing his name in trade rumors all season were met with some positive news Sunday, where Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said the center was in town last week. Though he won’t be back in Boston for Monday’s golf tournament, Savard did hit the links recently by playing a round with Chiarelli himself.
“He was in good spirits and [is in a] good frame of mind right now,” Chiarelli said of their day together.
Savard had said in August that he was “hurt” by the idea of the team considering him in a potential trade. He signed a seven-year, $28.5 million extension in December.
|09.12.10 at 12:36 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — With the likes of Peter Chiarelli, Cam Neely, and Claude Julien looking on from the stands, the Bruins began rookie camp Sunday morning. After skating with Bob Essensa‘s goalie camp last week, second overall pick Tyler Seguin took to the ice wearing his No. 19 (he wore 57 at rookie development camp this summer and many of the other prospects in attendance were sporting high numbers).
Seguin, believed to be able to help the Bruins as a center or wing this season, skated between Jamie Arniel and 32nd overall pick Jared Knight. Joe Colborne centered Lane MacDermid and Jordan Caron. The other two lines featured some guys rotating in. One consisted of Joe Pleckaitis, Tyler Randell, Max Sauve, and Ryan Spooner, with the Craig Cunningham, Yannick Riendeau, Antoine Roussel, and Walker Wintoneak skating on the other.
Defensemen Yury Alexandrov, Matt Bartkowski, Ryan Button, Matt Delahey, Ryan Donald, Alain Goulet, and Steve Kampfer skated as well. Goaltenders Adam Courchaine, Matt Dalton, and Michael Hutchinson were also in the house.
The first of two session is in the books. We’ll have more once the second is over with and the players have spoken.