|09.15.10 at 3:15 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Dr. Bryan T. Kelly may practice in New York, but he’s certainly had a hand in determining the health of Boston athletes. The same orthopedic surgeon who surgically repaired Red Sox infielder Mike Lowell‘s hip following the 2008 season, Kelly most recently repaired a torn labrum in Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas‘ left hip.
Now 36, Thomas figures to compete for playing time with Tuukka Rask while also working towards a clean bill of health. He has indicated throughout the week that ultimately the coaches and trainers will determine how hard he goes in practice and how much pre-season action he sees, but Thomas was on the ice Wednesday for Bruins captain’s practice with Rask.
Less than two months of age separate Thomas and Lowell. The 2007 World Series MVP is set to retire following the season, but Thomas, a Vezina winner just two seasons ago, doesn’t plan on considering retirement until his current deal expires in 2013.
Though the have their age, reputations, respective torn labrums, and an orthopedic surgeon in common, Thomas sees the similarities ending there, especially when looking at his recovery.
“Mike Lowell had already had arthritis. Mine didn’t have it, but with that injury I had, my chances of getting it had gone way up,” Thomas said Wednesday. “By the way they were able to do the surgery, my chances of arthritis in that hip are no higher than the average person, so that’s great.”
Looking at his recovery, Thomas has been encouraged by the amount of time he’s been able to spend on the ice to this point. Though he did caution that “it’s the human body and it’s going to do what it wants to do,” being able to take shots and work with teammates has been a welcomed task, especially when contrasted with the thought of the alternative.
“The hip’s done well enough that that hasn’t been the case,” Thomas said. “I’ve been able to partake in regular stuff. ‘¦ I’ve rarely had to be out there by myself.
“Being out there in a regular practice and not being able to do what you want, that drives you crazy because it’s the highest level in the world,” Thomas added. “‘¦ Pretty good’s not enough at this level.”
Thomas said the plan is still for him to be fully recovered by the time the Bruins open the regular season in Prague against the Coyotes on Oct. 9.
Rob Bradford contributed to this report.
|09.15.10 at 12:33 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas indicated Wednesday at captain’s practice that he sees himself retiring after his current deal expires. Thomas, 36, is entering the second season of a 4-year, $20 million contract signed following his Vezina season in 2008-09 season.
“If I had to speculate right now, I’d say odds are probably yeah,” Thomas told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford, while also adding that how he recovers from offseason hip surgery will go a long way in determining whether he attempts to play into his 40’s. Thomas will turn 39 in the last year of his deal.
“It all depends. I just had a major hip surgery. If I’m fortunate the next three years and I don’t have any other injuries, it makes it easier to play another year or two,” Thomas said. “If I happen to have injuries ‘¦ it’s never easy if you want to be able to walk by the time you’re done.”
Thomas is shooting to be 100 percent by the time the team opens the season on October 9 in Prague. In parts of six seasons, Thomas has compiled a 126-91 record with a 2.61 goals against average and a .918 save percentage.
Rob Bradford contributed to this report.
|09.15.10 at 12:10 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The process of acclimation continues for Nathan Horton, who has been out there for each of the Bruins’ captains practice. Though he will technically be a newcomer come Friday’s opening of training camp, Horton, acquired in June from the Panthers, has been everywhere for the Bruins since arriving in town. In addition to his aforementioned attendance on the ice, he’s participated in charity events and has thrown out the first pitch at Fenway Park.
One of his more recent adventures around New England came Monday, when he and Milan Lucic delivered tickets to a season-ticket holder. Though his teammates are plenty familiar with the winger, Horton understands the fans may not quite have his mug memorized.
“We did surprise them. I’m not sure they knew somebody was coming, and then it was me and Milan,” Horton said. “[I don’t think] they know my face real well, but they know him and they were pretty excited.”
Wednesday night Horton will try his luck in Marco Sturm‘s charity poker tournament. Though the getting-to-know-you process has been an enjoyable ride thus far, Horton’s ready to get down to business on Friday.
“It hasn’t started yet,” Horton said of his new job. “It’s been fun till now, but once Friday comes I think it will be a little more serious. It’s been fun though. I get to do a lot of stuff and see a lot of the things in Boston.”
|09.15.10 at 10:40 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Michael Ryder, Blake Wheeler and Tim Thomas were among a fairly crowded group of veterans to take the ice Wednesday morning at Ristuccia Arena. Other vets in attendance included Nathan Horton, Milan Lucic, Shawn Thornton, and Tuukka Rask.
In other news, fans will get a taste of the future tonight at the Garden when Tyler Seguin, Joe Colborne and company will take on the Islanders youngsters in a rookie game. The puck drops at 7 there, so stick with the Big Bad Blog for as the Bruins top prospects get their first sample of the Garden ice.
|09.14.10 at 7:08 pm ET|
According to multiple reports, the Bruins have invited 29-year old enforcer Brian McGrattan to training camp for a tryout. McGrattan has played for the Senators, Coyotes, and Flames in his NHL career after being drafted by the Kings. In parts of five seasons, he’s racked up 395 penalty minutes.
McGrattan’s career-high in penalty minutes came in 2005-06, when he picked up 141 in 60 games. Last season, his first in Calgary, he played in 34 games, totaling four points and 36 penalty minutes.
Here’s one Bruins fans might remember from that 2005 season.
|09.14.10 at 5:46 pm ET|
|09.14.10 at 1:45 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli had some nice things to say about that other center prospect in Joe Colborne, commending him on his improvements from rookie development camp earlier in the summer. Colborne on the other hand, has made no lie about how excited he is to skate at the Garden on Wednesday and Thursday for a pair of games against the Islanders rookies. Here’s the video of the two.