Archive for June, 2010

Chudinov re-ups with KHL team

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

One of the main knocks on Russian players in the NHL draft is the fear of the KHL. The Bruins have just realized that fear — kind of–  as their first seventh round pick, Maxim Chudinov, has re-signed with Severstal Cherepovets, his KHL team. The defenseman wasn’t expected to be in the short-term mix anyway, so his two-year deal ultimately shouldn’t impact the Bruins either way.

“When we knew that the Bruins drafted him, I phoned him and congratulated [him],” his agent said according to this report. “He was really glad that a NHL team showed interest in him. I hope he’ll get a spot with the Bruins in the next few years.”

Chudinov was the 195th overall pick. He had 13 points last season.

Could Leighton signing close door on Thomas?

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Though we’ve been hearing all along that the Tim Thomas-to-Philadelphia rumors have been overblown, maybe today’s news that the Flyers have re-signed Michael Leighton will make such chatter a little less believable — for now, at least.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported the Flyers gave Leighton a two-year deal for $3.1 million total, and while that isn’t a lot, McKenzie tweeted that, “Whatever happens with [Flyers] goaltending, the next guy in won’t be making more than $2M per year.” Evgeni Nabokov whom the Flyers recently traded for the rights of, is likely their No. 1 option, but all indications are he will test free agency on Thursday.

Brian Boucher is also under contract for next season and carries a cap hit of less than $1 million. Thomas is owed $5 million for each of the next three seasons.

Don’t expect much in free agency

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

The Bruins have been incredibly busy this offseason, hogging the transactions log with their re-signings (Shawn Thornton, Dennis Seidenberg, Johnny Boychuk, Mark Recchi), a major trade for Nathan Horton, and making the second overall pick in last week’s NHL draft.

In the process, they’ve tacked on more money to an already tight salary cap situation. The inflator clause to raise the cap to $59.4 million helped some, but when considering the raises to Seidenberg ($1 million) and Boychuk ($1.375 million), potential arbitration cases for Blake Wheeler and Mark Stuart, and a deal to be done for Tyler Seguin, it’s no wonder general manager Peter Chiarelli has been speaking like someone who doesn’t seem set on being a player when free agency opens on Thursday.

“We’re going to work the trade market,” Chiarelli said Tuesday. “We’re not going out and signing anyone unless 1. We have someone we really want and/or we have the cap space. Right now we don’t really have the cap space to go out and sign a big deal, but that could happen.

“We could make a trade and there could be cap space, but that doesn’t mean we have someone in mind. We’ve got a list. The list is small and in the event we do enter it, unlikely.”

Everyone has heard the rumors involving Marc Savard and Tim Thomas, but as is the team has just $5.40 million in cap space, with the aforementioned players (Wheeler, Stuart, Seguin), Daniel Paille, and Gregory Campbell still to be accounted for. It would appear that they would be pressed for cash even when trying to hold onto their own guys, let alone bring in outside help. They already moved Vladimir Sobotka rather than paying the restricted free agent, but could Wheeler be next?

Many speculated that Wheeler could have been moved to the Oilers in a deal that could have secured the Bruins Taylor Hall, but those rumors were debunked when the fact that the Oilers’ plan was to get both Hall and Seguin came to light last Friday.

If the Bruins try to shed one of their current players’ deals, they might not be able to do so without getting very little talent in return, which could be counterproductive to their chase for a Cup. With the exception of perhaps Savard, none of their bigger contracts are completely desirable for other teams to take on. If they move Thomas’ $5 million, they run a big risk with whichever player they try to sign with the freed money, as history suggests Tuukka Rask hasn’t been a No. 1 goalie long enough for the team to feel completely comfortable without another big-time netminder.

As for moving Savard, you’d have to think the Bruins have seen enough of a shakeup in their offense without potentially offsetting whatever upgrade it got with the addition of Horton. The “he’s not a Neely type of player” talk might quiet down once the two play together.

Chiarelli said Wednesday that the team could look for another defenseman and a third goaltender, both of which would likely be low-cost options (especially the latter). He hinted on Thursday when appearing on Dennis & Callahan that “you might see a couple trades,” but once again downplayed them doing much else.

The Bruins are by no means done when it comes to building the ’10-’11 team. They may even steal a some more headlines in the next few days. Just don’t expect them to be with free agent signings.

Chiarelli on D&C: team has ‘flexibility’ with Seguin

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Bruins General Manager Peter Chiarelli joined the Dennis & Callahan show Wednesday morning to discuss free agent moves, the future for Tim Thomas and Marc Savard, as well as his expectations for draft pick Tyler Seguin.

Said Chiarelli: “I don’t want to put too much pressure on Tyler, but he’s a terrific talent, and he should be ready to play and contribute at some point next year.”

Following is a transcript. To listen to the entire interview visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

What are we looking for in terms of free agent moves?

I don’t know if you’ll see us go after any premier, in fact I do know that we won’t go after any premier guys. We feel that we have added two premier players in Nathan Horton and Tyler Seguin in the last week or so. What you might see from us though is another trade or two. ‘€¦ These trades are around the free agency period, they happen because teams are deciding how to spend their money. I have had a couple of conversations with teams, you might see a couple trades on our part.

What’s the biggest impetus on your end when making a trade?

It goes back to the end of the year when we said we wanted to change part of the composition of the team; I’m all ears. I’ve got a lot of discussions going on a number of different fronts. I don’t want to change things too much, I’ve already changed them a little bit. I don’t quite think I’m done yet, so that may mean a defensemen, that may mean a forward. I know getting Tyler Seguin we have more centers now; he can play the wing, his first year in juniors he played wing the whole year. We’ve got a lot of options. ‘€¦ There’s a couple of things we’re looking at, and if they come true I think they’ll be good for the team.

What are the odds of you trading Tim Thomas?

First, let me say that Tim Thomas does not want to be traded. Second, I know that he wants to be the number one goalie on the Bruins. Having said that. ‘€¦ If we keep all things as is, we’ll be tight but we’ll be fine. The [salary] cap went up to [$59.6 million], with the union electing the escalator. There’s a performance cushion that the union elected also, so we’re fine that way. Again, looking at all these options, I said last week about Tim, if something comes up I’ll discuss with Tim and his family. We’re not overtly looking; there are teams looking for goalies so we’ll see how that unfolds. (more…)

Seguin, Horton toss out first pitches

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

BOSTON — Wrapping up the third and final stop of Tyler Seguin and Nathan Horton’s introductory tour of Boston, the two new Bruins threw out ceremonial first pitches prior the Rays/Red Sox game Tuesday night. Click here for the slideshow or click the picture below for more.

Seguin on Dale & Holley: ‘No idea’ where I would be drafted

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Tyler Seguin, the recent No. 2 overall draft pick by the Boston Bruins, joined Dale & Holley on Tuesday afternoon to talk about his relationship with Taylor Hall, how he’€™s improved his game, and what position he prefers to play.

‘€œMy improvement level has always been really good,’€ Seguin said. ‘€œI just think it’€™s the little things, the sacrifices off the ice, the commitment that you need to go to the next level. I’€™ve had my family and supporting cast to teach me along the way and I think I’€™ve just been maturing as a player and a person off the ice and I really just want to stay as consistent here as I can throughout.’€

Seguin also spoke about his idol growing up and comparisons in his game to Steve Yzerman.

Below is the transcript of the interview. Visit the Dale & Holley audio on demand page to hear the interview.

Did you know on draft night that you were going to be the No. 2 pick?

No, I had absolutely no idea. It was definitely a very exciting day for my family and I, and we kind of took it all in. It was phenomenal being there in Los Angeles and the hospitality they gave us. I had no idea where I was going but I was very excited when it was announced.

What’€™s your relationship like with Taylor Hall?

Well I met him a couple times just through the events at the draft here. Whether it was the top prospect game or the world junior camp, stuff like that. At the end of the year, we kind of got together to go to Philadelphia for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup playoffs and I guess we bonded a bit more. At the draft we had a lot of events together as well. In the end, we were rivals and I guess we had more of a healthy competition on the ice. That’€™s as far as it’€™s gone, and now that it’€™s all said and done, I doubt we’re going to keep contact. (more…)

Busy day continues as Seguin and Horton take to the streets

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

BOSTON — Street hockey, that is. After meeting the press at the Garden less than four hours earlier, new Bruins Tyler Seguin and Nathan Horton played some outdoor puck with local youths at Puopolo Park in the North End.

“It’s not too bad,” Seguin said of a day that has already seen an airplane and two media events. “The flight this morning was an hour long and then the press conference, then this. I think when Fenway Park kind of hits I think it’s going to be a long day, but it should be lots of fun.”

Seguin and Horton continued the fun by teaming with the local youths as part of the Bruins Street Brigade. The two seemed to enjoy the entire event (with the exception of Seguin getting hit with multiple balls that he jokingly wrote off as “blocked shots”).

“Back in Plymouth in the OHL we always tried to give back to the fans for all the support they’d given us, and this is a nice event to start off my experience here in Boston,” Seguin said. “Just to meet some of the fans and play a little hockey.”

The event got off to an interesting start, as the first two shots Tyler Seguin took as a member of the Boston Bruins were saved by an 11 year-old named Chris. Seguin continued to take warmup shots with the kids while advising them on basics, such as how to curve a stick.

Once the game kicked off, it was fairly apparent Seguin and Horton appear to have developed quite the rapport as they spend the entire day together. After Horton’s team scored their fourth goal, former Bruin Tommy Songin shouted , “Horton with the assist!” Seguin immediately responded with “Horton with his first point of the game! He finally decides to get out there and do something.”

Based on what Horton told the media before the game, he could have taken offense. Asked if he played street hockey as a child, he responded, “All the time.”

“That’s the thing to do when you’re little: play street hockey and play it all day long,” Horton said. “I did it all the time and still continue to play.”

Meanwhile, Seguin, who didn’t shy away from talking to his fans (he even sarcastically called a kid out for cherry-picking), used the game to shake the rust off for developmental camp,  which will take place July 6-10.

“I haven’t played hockey in about two weeks, so this is getting me ready for next week’s development camp,” Seguin said.

There were a few laughable points of the event, with perhaps none being funnier than the awkward encounter that occured when a youth told Seguin that acquaintance and OHL/draft stock rival Taylor Hall “is not even that good.” Seguin didn’t respond but smirked as he looked down.

On the contrary, however, Horton and Seguin actually contributed quite a bit to the game, with Seguin adding a valuable defensive presence to the black team (a.k.a the “Bruins) and Horton setting up  gold team (“Better Bruins”) youngsters. The Bruins won the game, as a local named Huey notched a hat trick and recieved a Bruins gift bag from Seguin and Horton for his hard work.