|07.15.10 at 7:16 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli spoke very highly of all four players the Bruins were able to sign on Thursday. Gregory Campbell was given a two-year deal that helped both parties avoid arbitration, while defenseman Adam McQuaid received a two-way deal that allows him to go from Providence to Boston with a little more flexibility for the team regarding waivers. The Bruins also gave one-year deals to 22-year-old defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk and 24-year-old forward Jeff LoVecchio. Here are Chiarelli’s comments:
‘He’s a very versatile player, and if you look at his stats other than his goals and assists, he blocks a lot of shots, takes a lot of faceoffs, actually logs some good minutes.
‘With Gregory, it’s versatility, it’s grit, and he’s another guy that can play up and down the lineup.’
‘I think he’s close, but the way we structured the deal is that the first year is a two-way deal and the second year is a one-way deal, so we’re projected a little over the course of the term that he is going to need waivers, so that will be something that we’ll have to deal with at the time.
‘He showed a real good progression in Providence. I think [Providence Bruins head coach] Rob Murray and [assistant coach] Bruce Cassidy have done a good job with him down there. Even [former P-Bruins and current Islanders coach] Scott Gordon before that. He’s maturing as a player and he’s a big, strong kid and he’s shown a lot of compete. He showed me a lot of compete and he showed me a lot of progress in practice and when he was playing up here, so he’s close.
‘I think he has a chance to be a real regular in that five-to-six pair, and who knows? With this defenseman position, it’s a hard craft to learn now in these rules. He’s showing me he can learn it, which is very promising, so we have him as an NHL player in very short order, and he made progressions even from there.’
‘I think Andy had a real solid year last year. The year before I thought he had more downs than ups, but last year I thought he really figured out the game and he simplified it for his gain, so I saw a guy who’s turning the corner a bit. He’s still quite young, but he’s got good speed and good compete and he did play with us a little and I didn’t mind his game up with us. When I say he simplified, I think that’s important for a defenseman, and Adam [McQuaid] certainly had to go one way and he had to upgrade his skills a little bit, but he plays a simple game.
Andy tended to run a little bit and he had to dial it back, and he’s done that. To me that’s a sign of maturation and I thought he had a good year last year.
On being able to groom NHL-caliber defensemen:
Whenever we can turn these players and watch them develop and have them close to becoming meaningful players, it’s always good. That’s what you strive for. That’s what we strive for in developing these guys, and with Adam and Johnny Boychuk in Providence, even to a certain degree Mark Stuart ‘ when I was here, he was a bit in Providence ‘ we’re putting out some defensemen and it’s nice to see.
‘He really missed his first year pro and we were able to assess him last year, because he had the injury his first year pro. Last year, while it was really his second year pro it was his first year playing. He’s a big guy who can kill penalties and can skate. I really have to see more of him beyond just the one year. He’s shown us enough that we wanted to bring him back and we feel he has a chance to play some games and add to our depth.’
|07.15.10 at 5:42 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli spoke with members of the media in a conference call on Thursday and shed light on some of the issues regarding the Bruins and their financial situation heading into the 2010-2011 season. With the signing of Gregory Campbell to a two-year deal, the Bruins would now be estimated to have around half a million dollars remaining to sign Blake Wheeler and Tyler Seguin.
Wheeler made $2.8 million and is headed for an arbitration hearing on July 27. That, in addition to the $900,000 salary Seguin will almost certainly get, would suggest the Bruins need to make some sort of move, something Chiarelli didn’t deny.
“We’re tight at the cap and we’ll be able to put Blake in the mix and then we’ve got to sever cap space and we’ll see where we’ll go from there as it applies to the start of the year,” Chiarelli said.
Chiarelli added that the team has spoken to Seguin’s agent, Ian Pulver, and that the sides will “get going on that next week.” The impression was that the team will ideally get a deal done for Wheeler first before moving their attention to Seguin. As for what the team might do to get under the cap, Chiarelli noted that even if the Bruins do use Marco Sturm‘s long-term injury status for cap relief (Chiarelli said the team doesn’t expect Sturm back until mid-November), they would still have to make a move anyway to shed money before the winger returns.
With Tim Thomas trade rumors having died down a bit in recent weeks, Chiarelli said that there is “no update” on the situation and reiterated that Thomas wants to remain a Bruin and that the Bruins still want the goaltender.
As for the “secondary market” players — guys the Bruins would not put on the forefront in free agency but could potentially look to sign later in the offseason — that Chiarelli spoke about in the beginning of the offseason, which consisted of Steve Begin and Miroslav Satan, Chirarelli said that he has not “moved on from them yet.”
“I really haven’t dismissed anything,” Chiarelli said. “I think there’s still a lot left in the summer and we’ll see where things go, but after we get [Wheeler] [and Seguin, he later corrected himself to include] done, we’re going to be relatively quiet for the time being.”
This has been a big offseason for the Bruins, and a busy one at that. Rather than sitting back and letting the selection of Seguin be the team’s only major improvement, Chiarelli said early on in the offseason that the team would be active in the trade market more so than in free agency. The team then made a major trade with the Panthers, securing Nathan Horton and Campbell in exchange for Dennis Wideman and a pair of draft picks, including the 15th overall choice last month.
Still, the transaction sheet wouldn’t paint the Bruins as giants in the trade market since, unless anyone thinks the Vladimir Sobotka–David Warsofsky swap was a game-changer. Despite which moves were actually completed, Chiarelli insisted he remained in the thick of trade talks.
“I was active in the market even so after [getting Horton], but nothing really happened. It’s just quiet right now,” Chiarelli said. “Everything’s slow and I’ve talked to a few guys and everything is kind of grinded to a halt. I’m just kind of riding the market a bit and that’s why I say we’re going to be quiet for a while.”
|07.15.10 at 3:34 pm ET|
The Bruins announced on Thursday that they have signed center Gregory Campbell, who had filed for arbitration and had a hearing scheduled in Toronto for next Thursday, to a two-year contract. Campbell was acquired by the Bruins in the Nathan Horton trade with the Panthers last month. He totaled just 17 points in 60 games last season but scored 13 goals a season prior and is a presence on the penalty kill.
Defenseman Adam McQuaid was also given a two-year deal while defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk and forward Jeff LoVecchio were each given one-year pacts. The 23-year-old McQuaid played in 19 contest for the Bruins last season, scoring his first goal on February 7 against the Canadiens. He added 10 points in 32 games for the Providence Bruins. Bodnarchuk played in five games last season with the Bruins but did not show up on the scoring sheet, while LoVecchio, considered a strong defensive forward, picked up 24 points last season for Providence.
In signing Campbell, the team has avoided one of its cases of arbitration. The Bruins still need to agree to terms with winger Blake Wheeler, who made $2.8 million last season. Wheeler’s agent recently told WEEI.com that there has been “not much talk” between the two parties.
|07.14.10 at 7:27 pm ET|
The Boston Globe is reporting that the Bruins are close to avoiding arbitration in at least one case. Center Gregory Campbell, whom the Bruins added last month in the Nathan Horton trade with the Panthers, is inching close to signing a two-year deal, according to the report.
Kevin Paul Dupont writes that the deal is expected to bring Campbell an expected salary of between $1.1 million and $1.3 million, a raise from the $800,000 he earned last season. Should the Bruins give him such a deal, they’ll have nowhere near enough to sign Blake Wheeler, whose arbitration hearing is set for July 27, and second overall pick Tyler Seguin.
Campbell scored two goals and had 15 assists last season with the Panthers. He had 32 points the season before is considered a solid penalty killer. In parts of six seasons, all with Florida (though he played in just two games in 2003-2004), Campbell has totaled 85 points in 363 games.
Comcast Sportsnet first reported that the center and Bruins were close on a deal. Campbell is the son of NHL disciplinarian Colin Campbell, who received a great deal of attention last season for taking no action against Matt Cooke for his March 7 blindside hit to the head of Marc Savard.
|07.13.10 at 7:16 pm ET|
…Yikes. It appears that’s what NHL.com thinks. The league’s website put together a few videos of what it deemed the top fights of last season that it had on Tuesday, and it led off with the scuffle between Bruins tough guy Shawn Thornton and Matt Cooke of the Penguins in the ultra-disappointing March 18 3-0 loss at the Garden.
The game was one that Bruins fans had on their calander as the day the Bruins would exact revenge on Cooke and the Penguins for taking center Marc Savard out of the equation with this dirty hit to the head, one that was deemed legal by head NHL disciplinarian and now father of a Bruin Colin Campbell (Gregory Campbell is his son). Read the rest of this entry »
|07.13.10 at 4:21 pm ET|
Bruins winger Blake Wheeler‘s arbitration hearing has been set for July 27, agent Matt Keator told WEEI.com on Tuesday. Though the team has generally avoided such hearings at all costs, their current salary cap situation may prevent them from being able to give Wheeler a new deal prior to arbitration.
Asked by WEEI.com if any negotiations to re-up the 23-year-old have been complicated by the team’s lack of cap space [the team has only $1,687,229 available according to CapGeek.com] Keator said there has been “not much talk yet” between the two parties, so Wheeler’s camp is “not sure” of whether the Bruins are planning on making a roster move to accommodate a deal as he prepares to enter his third season. If the hearing takes place and the Bruins choose not to pay him what he is awarded in arbitration, Wheeler will become an unrestricted free agent.
The fifth overall pick in the 2004 NHL draft by the Phoenix Coyotes, Wheeler never signed on with Phoenix after playing his college hockey at the University of Minnesota and signed with the Bruins in the 2008 offseason. In two NHL seasons, both with the Bruins, Wheeler has totaled 39 goals and 44 assists for 83 points in 163 games. He earned $2.8 million last season.
Defenseman Mark Stuart was, like Wheeler, eligible for arbitration but chose against electing the process and last week signed a new deal for one year and $1.675 million. Center Gregory Campbell, who also filed for arbitration, has a hearing set for July 22, according to Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe.
|07.12.10 at 7:37 pm ET|
A group of current and former professional athletes including Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference and his wife, former snowboarder Krista Bradford Ference, are meeting Monday night and will visit the site of the BP oil disaster Monday, the Bruins announced Monday.
The group, which also includes Rangers great Mike Richter, NFL fullbacks Mike Alstott (formerly of the Buccaneers) and Ovie Mughelli (currently with the Falcons), NASCAR racer Leilani Munter, and Olympians Stacey Cook (skier), hammer thrower Loree Smith , and race-walker Gary Morgan, will view the damages and “demonstrate their support for Gulf Coast communities.”
Ference wrapped up his fourth season as a Bruin in 2009-2010 and in March signed a three-year extension. He has totaled 54 points in 183 games since being acquired in the ’06-’07 season from the Flames.
Ference has been known for being mindful of the environment since his time in Calgary. The Sierra Club, which is organizing the trip, is the country’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization. Ference will speak to the media following the experience, so check back for more as it comes.