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Summer months bring several Bruins-related events

06.08.09 at 5:58 pm ET
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Some fun, non salary-cap, Black and Gold-related stuff coming up with ‘The Tradition’ at the TD Banknorth Garden on June 24 honoring Jack Parker, Jerry York, Ken Hodge, Curt Schilling, Troy Brown, Sam Jones and Nancy Kerrigan among others, and WEEI’s own Dale Arnold and Michael Holley co-hosting the event. There’ll be more on ”The Tradition’ at this blog in the coming days, but the summer months also usher in a full schedule for the Boston Bruins Foundation.

Here’s the first of those philanthropic events, a July 22 Boston Harbor Sunset Cruise with many B’s alums in attendence to help raise money for the Bruins’ Pan-Mass Challenge Bike Team’s efforts. More on that later, but here’s the B’s release on an excellent event:

The Boston Bruins Foundation and Bay State Cruise Lines have partnered to host the “Boston Harbor Sunset Cruise” on Wednesday, July 22, to help raise money for the 2009 Boston Bruins Foundation Pan-Massachusetts Challenge Bike Team. Bruins fans will set sail aboard the M/V Provincetown II cruise ship from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. departing from the World Trade Center Pier (200 Seaport Boulevard, Boston, MA 02110).

While onboard, Bruins fans will be able to experience Boston and its beauty while enjoying dancing and the fun-filled music of New England performer Jim Plunkett.  The cruise will also provide fans with the opportunity to interact with Bruins alumni including the Director of Development of the Boston Bruins Foundation Bob Sweeney, Rick Middleton, Shawn McEachern, Lyndon Byers and Gary Doak.

The Boston Harbor Sunset Cruise will be a fun-filled evening providing Bruins fans the chance to head home with one-of-a-kind sports memorabilia, raffle and silent auction items.  Tickets to the event go on sale on Monday, June 8, 2009 and can be purchased at Tickets will cost $25 for the general public and $20 for season ticket holders. The event is 21+ and valid identification will be needed at the door.

All of the proceeds from the Boston Bruins Foundation “Boston Harbor Sunset Cruise” will benefit the Boston Bruins Foundation Bike team riding in the Pan-Mass Challenge this August. The 2009 Boston Bruins Foundation team will follow the two-day, 190-mile route runs from Sturbridge to Provincetown. The Boston Bruins Foundation has participated in the Pan-Mass Challenge for the past four years and raised over $450,000.

About the Boston Bruins Foundation
The Boston Bruins Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation whose mission is to assist charitable organizations that demonstrate a strong commitment to enhancing the quality of life for children throughout New England.

Since its inception in July 2003 by the Jacobs Family, it has raised more than $4 million dollars through a series of fundraising events. The Foundation, which provides grants to organizations that meet the standards of its mission, concentrates on athletics, academics, health, and community outreach programs that assist in helping enrich the lives of children throughout New England.

David Krejci undergoes succesful hip surgery in NYC

06.04.09 at 5:44 pm ET
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The Boston Bruins announced that B’s center David Krejci underwent successful surgery on his hip to remove an impingement that had bothered Krejci for the balance of the season. The surgery was performed by Dr. Bryan Kelly, the same surgeon that performed hip surgery for Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell, at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City.

Krejci is expected to miss 4-6 months with the injury, which could cut into as a much as month of the NHL season in 2009-10. Krejci is expected to remain in Boston for most of the summer as he recovers from the surgery and works to rehab the injury.

Krejci established career highs in goals, assists and points this past season with 22-51=73 totals. His 73 points ranked second on the team to Marc Savard and he was one of three Bruins who played all 82 regular season games and 11 postseason games, along with Savard and Mark Stuart.

 His 51 assists ranked also second on the team and he led the entire NHL with a plus/minus rating of +37.  In 2009, Krejci also received the Bruins Seventh Player Award, given to the player who performs above and beyond expectations.

He appeared in all 11 postseason contests for the Bruins and contributed two goals and six assists.

Read More: Bryan Kelly, David Krejci, mike lowell,

Krejci and Chiarelli discuss the center’s three-year deal

06.03.09 at 5:42 pm ET
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One day after the Bruins released information about resigning 23-year-old center David Krejci to a three-year deal, the player — on the eve of his first major surgery as a professional athlete — and General Manager Peter Chiarelli held an afternoon conference call to discuss the pact.

The Bruins GM knew that he had something good in the offensively gifted pivot when he sent him down to Providence during the 2007-08 season to work on some specific things — after making the big club out of camp — and saw him improve into a better two-way asset for the NHL team.

There was little sulking or complaining from Krejci, and he instead kept working at the things that served as his ticket to the NHL. Krejci’s hard work paid off this winter with a 73-point season, an NHL-best +36 and now a guaranteed $11.25 million contract that will take care of the center and his family forever. The three-year deal also leaves the door open for an even bigger pay day at 26 years old should he continue to refine his elite-level hockey skills and make the jump to superstar.

“The contract was done with great pleasure. During my time here in Boston — and even before that when I saw him play in Gatineau — I saw a very skilled player,” said Chiarelli. “What impressed me the most about him was that he was always willing to work on the areas of his game, and he continues to work on the areas of his game and feels like he could always be a better player.

“He had a breakout year statistically, but also in other areas of the ice. David will be the first tell you that he still feels he can get better and take his game to another level. We’re very happy to have him under contract. He’s a very good person, and I’m very impressed with the way he’s improved and his very professional work ethic.”

The Czech Republic native was understandably excited to get the deal done, and had the enthusiasm you would expect upon learning that you’re a multi-millionaire at 23 years-old.

“It was a great year for me. I had so much fun with the guys,” said Krejci. “So many good people with me during the season, and I’m so happy to be a Bruin for the next few years. I just wanted to thank the organization and Peter for getting a deal done.

“I just turned 23 and I believe the best age of hockey is close to 30. I believe as I get older I’ll be getting better in very area of my game: shot, skating, getting stronger. Every year I’m getting bigger, stronger and faster and becoming a better player.”

–Bruins center David Krejci confirmed that he will undergo surgery on his bothersome right hip Thursday, and will then spend the next 4-6 months recovering from the labrum surgery. Krejci signed a three-year, $11.25 million contract with the Black and Gold on Tuesday afternoon, and is hopeful that he won’t miss too much time at the beginning of next year’s NHL season. Six months would obviously put him out into the beginning of December — a significant chunk of the Bruins schedule for next season.

“The surgery is (Thursday). The recovery time is 4-6 months, so it could happen that I’ll be ready for the first game, or I could miss the first month,” said Krejci.

–Chiarelli was hesitant to color in many details about the negotiations with Krejci’s fellow RFAs (Phil Kessel, Matt Hunwick, Byron Bitz) that still remained unsigned, and said that the organization wasn’t hell-bent on getting things done before a July 1 deadline when RFAs can begin collecting offer sheets from other teams. Chiarelli continues to stand ready to match an offer sheet should an important member of the team get a potential offer sheet from another team.

“Every negotiation is different and every person’s family has different needs,” said Chiarelli. “We’ll see how the rest of the negotiations unfold. (Kessel and Krejci) are both very valued members of our team. (Getting all three signed by July 1) isn’t insignificant, but it’s just one of the factors involved here.

“It’s something where you have to gauge the negotiations as they are, and if someone wants to lead the negotations until July 1 then we’re prepared to do that. We’re going to match (any offer sheets). It’s one of the factors. There are other tools that we have as a team. We can elect arbitration on certain players. I don’t want to be rushed or hurried by the July 1 (deadline). I recognize that there’s a threat of offer sheets. While there may be some I’m prepared to match in our cases, we’re prepared beyond matching to do the maneuvers that we have to do.”

When asked about calls from club interested in trading for Krejci or Kessel, Chiarelli had this to say:

“I’ve made it clear over time as to how I value those players, so the frequency of calls isn’t that high. (Other GMs) are aware of how highly I value (Krejci and Kessel).”

–Phil Kessel is starting his rehab from shoulder surgery on Friday, and Chiarelli said he talked with him on the phone about some amatuer players that he’s played against in anticipation of the NHL draft at the end of the month in Montreal. Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference is also still “on the fence” about surgery for his groin and hernia, and Chiarelli is expecting an update in the next couple of days.

David Krejci signs three-year, $11.25 million deal with Boston Bruins

06.02.09 at 4:52 pm ET
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The Boston Bruins have announced that 23-year-old center David Krejci and the team have come to an agreement on a multi-year extension that will pay him $11.25 million on Tuesday afternoon. According to, the three-year deal will pay Krejci an average of $3.75 million per year, and pays out $3.5 million, $3.75 million and $4 million over the next three seasons. 

Krejci was set to become a restricted free agent on July 1 after enjoying a breakout 73-point season for the Black and Gold and leading the NHL with a +/- of +36 last season. Both Krejci and Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli are scheduled for a Wednesday conference call to discuss the contract, but terms of the deal weren’t immediately disclosed. Krejci was part of an important restricted free agent class along with fellow RFA Phil Kessel, and the young Bruins sniper remains unsigned at this point.

It’s expected that Kessel is going to command/demand more dollars than Krejci after finishing among the top 12 in the NHL in terms of goals scored (36) this season. The $3.75 million that Krejci will average over the next three seasons is likely to be the dirt cellar floor of the Kessel negotiations, and the gifted young sniper — capable of breaking games open with his skating speed and snap shot but also prone to disappearing for long stretches of time, particularly when the going gets rough on the ice — is thought to be looking for something much closer to $5 million a year than $3.75 million per season.

With Matt Hunwick and Byron Bitz still also looking for contracts and roughly $10 million to spend on all four restricted free agents plus any roster upgrades, the chances of Kessel getting his payday in Boston don’t appear to be all that likely. It still appears to be Boston’s best to flip Kessel — or somebody else with a high price tag and good value on the trade market — to another NHL spot for a top 2 defenseman of the puck-moving variety.

Both Krejci and Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli will discuss the deal during a Wednesday conference call at 4:30 p.m. The skillful young center was also originally scheduled to undergo his hip surgery this week as well, so there should be more information about his medical status during the conference call. Check back with the Big Bad Blog for more details in the coming days.

Read More: Boston Bruins, David Krejci, Peter Chiarelli,

Chara named a finalist for Messier Leadership Award

06.02.09 at 10:27 am ET
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Boston’€™s Zdeno Chara, Pittsburgh’€™s Sidney Crosby and Calgary’€™s Jarome Iginla are the three finalists for the 2008-09 Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award presented by Bridgestone, the National Hockey League announced today. The 6-foot-9 Bruins defenseman is also a 2008-09 finalist for the Norris Trophy given to the best defensmean in the NHL for last season. 

The Messier award recognizes an individual as a superior leader in hockey and as a contributing member of society. It honors an individual who leads by positive example through on-ice performance, motivation of team members and a dedication to community activities and charitable causes.

Mark Messier solicits suggestions from club and League personnel and NHL fans in compiling a list of potential candidates. However, the selection of the three finalists and the ultimate winner is Messier’€™s alone.  The winner will be announced Thursday, June 18, during the 2009 NHL Awards that will be broadcast live from the Pearl Concert Theater inside the Palms Hotel Las Vegas on VERSUS in the United States and on CBC in Canada.

Messier, a six-time Stanley Cup champion and 16-time NHL ® All-Star in his 25 NHL seasons, is widely viewed as one of the greatest sports leaders of all time. Among his numerous hockey and humanitarian honors, the naming of the Mark Messier Skyway at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey for his 15 years of dedication and commitment to help raise millions of dollars to benefit children with cancer and other serious blood disorders is one of the most special.

Since Chara was named captain of the Bruins before the 2006-07 season, the Black & Gold have gone from missing the playoffs in his first year, to winning 41 games and qualifying for the 2008 postseason in 2007-2008,
to capturing the best regular season record in the Eastern Conference by going 53-19-10 this past season. He has been named a finalist for the Norris Trophy as the league’€™s top defenseman for the second straight year and his goal totals in his three seasons with the Bruins have gone from 11 to 17 to 19.

In addition to his on-ice achievements, Chara has been extremely active off the ice as well. Last offseason, he visited Tanzania and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro to focus attention on Right to Play, the international charitable organization that uses sport and play to enhance child development in areas of disadvantage. Chara also raised $24,000 for Right to Play by winning the Hardest Shot competition at 2009 NHL All-Star Weekend after getting his competitors, the competitors’€™ respective NHL clubs, the NHL and the NHLPA to contribute to a pot to go to the victor’€™s charity of choice. Chara won the competition with a record-setting 105.4 MPH blast.

Report: Jacques Martin named new coach of Canadiens

06.01.09 at 12:15 pm ET
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According to an report, the Montreal Canadiens have hired Florida Panthers GM Jacques Martin as their new head coach and will hold a Monday afternoon press conference to make the announcement. The former coach of the St. Louis Blues, Ottawa Senators and Florida Panthers still had three years left on his GM deal with the Panthers, but multiple sources are reporting Martin’s hiring by the Habs.

The Habs had a coaching opening after GM Bob Gainey fired Guy Carbonneau midway through the 2008-09 hockey season. Gainey took the coaching reigns after Carbonneau’s departure, but the Montreal GM was expected to return solely to his front office duties for next season.

Read More: Bob Gainey, Jacques Martin, Montreal Canadiens,

Stanley Cup memories from an assortment of Bruins

06.01.09 at 11:47 am ET
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While the Bruins players obviously would have rather been reminiscing while amidst a seven-game Stanley Cup Finals series against the Detroit Red Wings, most of the B’€™s skaters were huge hockey fans growing up in Canada, Europe or the United States.

With the Bruins roster ranging in age from 41-year-old Mark Recchi to soon-to-be 21-year-old Milan Lucic, each played on the Spoked B roster has a different, favorite Stanley Cup memory etched in their mind when it comes time for the playoff journey to the Cup.

Things change, obviously, when players grow to adulthood, the NHL turns into a business and it becomes increasingly difficult to watch pro hockey as a fan once their own Cup dreams have been dashed in the playoffs ‘€“ but here’€™s a sampling of favorite Stanley Cup playoff memories from a host of Bruins players dotted across the current roster.

Most of them seem to be centered around hitting a post in a crushing defeat or glorious overtime game-winners, but somehow Shawn Thornton managed to combine a difficult hockey moment with a hockey media conspiracy theory. Here go the Bruins with their Stanley Cup memories:

Marc Savard ‘€“ I think I liked Gretzky’€™s hat trick in Toronto (in Game 7 in 1993) when he was playing with LA against the Leafs. And I liked the Doug Gilmour wraparound goal (in double-OT in 1993) on (Curtis) Joseph because I was a Leafs guy. I liked anything Gretz did because he was my idol.

Chuck Kobasew ‘€“ It had to be 1994 with the New York Rangers. I was a diehard Vancouver Canucks fan growing up, so that was a big one for me. I think it was Game 7 when they hit the post in the third period ‘€“ I think it was Trevor Linden there ‘€“ that was a crushing moment’€¦that one sticks out in my mind.

Tim Thomas ‘€“ You know what? I don’€™t have a huge one until the Red Wings won their first one again (in 1997). I grew up watching the Red Wings, but I was always watching the IHL team growing up (in Flint) so I had Turner Cup memories rather than Stanley Cup memories growing up. It was the Flint Generals and Steve Penney and Rick Knickle were the goalies, and then Steve Penney ended up being the goalie in Montreal. Didn’€™t Steve Penney end up beating Boston in a series at some point?

Patrice Bergeron ‘€“ The one that hurt most was definitely 1996 when Colorado won it and they had just left Quebec City, you know? They had a great team the year before in 1995 and they lost in the first round, and they won the next year in Colorado. I guess I was happy at the same time because it was still the Nordiques, and (Colorado) kind of became my second favorite team because they were still kind of the Nordiques.

One more year and that was it. We knew (a Stanley Cup) was coming, but we didn’€™t know when. It would have been better if it wasn’€™t such a good team because we knew (the Cup) was coming. It happened when we were on the verge of winning when they left.

Shawn Thornton ‘€“ I don’€™t have any (Stanley Cup memories) because I was a Leafs fan and they never got close. I have a memory of Wayne Gretzky clipping Dougie Gilmour (in 1993) and there was no penalty call and then he scored. That was the one that I remember and it isn’€™t a great one.

Whether it was a penalty or not, I was a young kid and I got caught in the Toronto media trap and I was bitching just like everybody else. I haven’€™t seen the game since then so I don’€™t even know it was a penalty or not. I think I went to the Skydome to watch that game with my folks and there was a big crowd there and everybody was up in arms. Obviously I couldn’€™t get tickets to Maple Leaf Gardens because they cost too much (money). 

Blake Wheeler ‘€“ The one I really remember is the Steve Yzerman goal against St. Louis (in double-overtime of Game 7 in 1996). I don’€™t even know why it’€™s the one that sticks out in my mind, but I was pretty young and it was a school night and my mom let me stay up late to watch it.

Detroit was always my team growing up, so it was a pretty big thrill and a big highlight when I was watching that one. We didn’€™t have a team in Minnesota for a while and my dad was from Michigan, so we were fans of all the Detroit teams. It was the time (of game), who shot it and the way it went and everything involved ‘€“ it was overtime ‘€“ it was really exciting.

Milan Lucic ‘€“ I was young back in 1994 when the Canucks made it all the way to the Finals. That was good. I remember it was (Gelinas or Lafayette), I don’€™t remember who it was, but he hit the post that sent it into overtime in Game 7 and it was kind of a bummer for us in Vancouver.

Another thing I remember most was watching the Flames make their run when they beat Vancouver in the first round and then everybody in Western Canada jumped on their bandwagon. They were a team that worked hard and played hard every night, and they played 26 out of a possible 28 games and obviously the fell a little bit short. If you ask the guys around here (from that team) they’€™re still bitter about it. That’€™s another playoff series when you look at a team that really worked around, and you can take a lot from them.

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