Archive for July, 2011

Bruins prospects used to fighting… each other

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

WILMINGTON — Some of the forwards at this week’s Bruins development camp could end up fighting for a spot on the Stanley Cup champions’ opening night roster. For some of the OHL players in town, the fight is nothing new. They’ve already fought each other.

The Bruins have some experienced dancers in camp in 2011 third-round pick Anthony Camara and 2009 sixth-rounder Tyler Randell. The two one another, as they are from the same area in Ontario and work out together back home. Before they knew they’d be in the same organization, they also knew each other from another experience, and it did not involve gloves.

The two squared off back on Jan. 15, when Randell’s Kitchener Rangers were playing Camara’s Saginaw Spirit. They dropped the gloves in the Kitchener zone in a fast-paced, spirited (no pun intended) bout.

“That was a bit of a weird fight,” Randell recalled Thursday. “We squared off. One of my teammates ended up tripping him up, so finally we got together and went down pretty quick.”

Camara wasn’t the only in-house dance partner of Randell, as the 6-foot-1, 195-pound Randell fought a rather unlikely opponent on Nov. 15 in right-wing prospect and 2010 32nd overall pick Jared Knight. There are certainly no hard feelings between any of the three players, and Knight and Randell actually sit next to each other in the Wilmington dressing room. Having their conversation interrupted with a question about the time they fought was something they didn’t mind.

“It was my only fight of the year, and it was against a heavyweight like him,” Knight said, slapping Randell on the back.

Halfway through the third period of a game in which Kitchener was crushing Knight’s London Knights by a 7-1 score, Knight gave Randell a little something along the half wall, and when Randell came back seconds later, the gloves came off.

“It was [7-1]. I didn’t really realize it was him,” Knight recalled with a grin. “I gave him a cross-check to the face, I think. He didn’t like it, so I dropped my gloves, he dropped his gloves and it wasn’t a very long fight. ‘€¦ It was [7-1], and there was probably no reason to fight, but I did it.”

Any past bouts between prospects are long forgotten by now, and if anything, they’re a good conversation piece for the players. Knight and Randell said they chatted with one another from the penalty box after their fight, and on Tuesday they laughed about the lack of actual punches exchanged.

“We know our role, and we know what we have to do,” Randell, who got in 21 scraps in the OHL last year, said. “You could be great friends or you can hate each other, and you still do the same job on the ice. When you’re off the ice, it’s a whole different world.”

Dougie Hamilton ready to wait for NHL, but needs weight for NHL

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

WILMINGTON — Ninth overall pick Dougie Hamilton is the second blue-chip NHL draft prospect in as many years to highlight the Bruins’ annual development camp, as he was the star at Ristuccia Arena Thursday, a year after Tyler Seguin came in as the No. 2 overall pick last summer. Unlike Seguin a year ago, Hamilton is not expected to make the NHL roster this season, and figures to head back to Niagara of the OHL for a third season. The Bruins’ defensive group is already more than full, with Steven Kampfer and Matt Bartkowski a likely training camp battle for the seventh spot. Given where the Bruins sit in the NHL and their defensive situation, Hamilton doesn’t figure to be overwhelmed with trying to force his way in.

“I don’t think there’s really any pressure,” Hamilton said Thursday at Ristuccia. “I want to be an NHL player, and I’m working as hard as I can to make that happen. I think whatever the staff wants to do with me, and whatever’s best for my development, I’m happy with that. I just want to be a dominant player in the NHL one day. Whatever it’s going to take is what I want to do.”

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the draft came when the Islanders passed on Hamilton’s service with the fifth overall pick last month. Their selection of Hamilton’s Niagara teammate in center Ryan Strome allowed the defenseman to fall to nine, where the B’s scooped him up with Toronto’s pick.

While joining the Bruins figures to cost him a shot at the NHL next season, their success has proven that he’s joining a team who have used their youngsters the right way.

“I think it just shows how well the staff does with their players,” he said. “If a team doesn’t have good prospects coming up and good players in their system, I guess they’re not doing something right. Boston’s obviously doing something right, and it’s good to be a part of that, and it’s going to be a fun couple of years to develop and become an NHL player.”

Coming off a 58-point season for the IceDogs, the most important for the 6-foot-5 defenseman figures to be weight. Weighing in the 190-pound range, the Toronto native clearly needs to bulk up before he can become the top-pairing blueliner he is projected to one day be.

“For sure [I need to gain weight],” Hamilton said. “I’ve gained a lot of weight this summer, and over the last couple of years I’ve grown so much. It’s kind of been hard to fill out and fill into my body. [There are] some uncoordinated points because of the growth, but right now I’m just trying to stay strong. I guess you don’t really need to be that big if you’re still strong. It would definitely be nice to put on some weight.”

Hamilton says that his target weight is somewhere in the neighborhood of 210-220 pounds.

“It’s kind of cool for me thinking about that,” Hamilton added, “just because it would allow me to a lot more dominant out there.”

Dominance is what the Bruins should one day expect from Hamilton. Though he does not yet look the part of a top defenseman, the lanky and bright-eyed teenager (he turned 18 last month) compares himself to Rob Blake, a comparison with which B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli agrees.

For now, Hamilton and the other newcomers to development camp are there to meet one another and make a good impression on the organization.

“[He’s] a big boy, moves really well for a kid that’€™s 6-foot-4,” B’s assistant GM Don Sweeney said Thursday. “I like his overall approach to the game. He looks like he wants to get up ice and is conscientious about his one-on-one play. It’€™s a small sample size, obviously, but based on all of our games we watched him play, he’€™s a well-rounded player that has a lot of room for continued development so we’€™re really excited to have him.”

Bruins development camp underway

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

WILMINGTON — Welcome back to Ristuccia Arena, where the Bruins are holding their annual development camp. All parties, including 2011 ninth overall pick Dougie Hamilton, are in attendance for a skate that commenced at 1:15 p.m. The youngsters underwent fitness testing earlier in the day.

One scary moment came when 2010 second-round pick Jared Knight collided with goalie Michael Hutchinson during a drill. Knight was fine, but Hutchinson remained down before leaving the ice. [UPDATE:] Assistant general manager Don Sweeney said after the skate that Hutchinson was “fine.”

The camp is set to run through Monday. Check back for more, as the players will meet with the media following the on-ice session.

Following the Cup: Where the Bruins will bring the trophy

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

In case you lived under a rock during the playoffs or missed Patrice Bergeron’s chant prior to the team’s parade, the Bruins got the Cup. Now it’s just a matter of where they bring it.

The Hockey Hall of Fame has done updates on the location of the Cup twice a week, with the most recent one coming Tuesday in the form of a post on Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs, who had the Cup over the weekend and has since passed it along to Doug Houda. The assistant coach brought the Cup to Montana.

The players will also get time with the historic trophy, sharing it with friends and family. Per the Canadian Press, here’s where some of the Bruins will bring the Cup:

Nathan Horton: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Tomas Kaberle: Kladno, Czech Republic
David Krejci: Sternberk, Czech Republic
Zdeno Chara: Trencin, Slovakia
Tuukka Rask: Savonlinna, Finland
Shawn Thornton: Oshawa, Ontario
Daniel Paille: Welland, Ontario
Rich Peverley: Guelph, Ontario
Gregory Campbell: Tillsonburg, Ontario
Tyler Seguin: Brampton, Ontario
Marc Savard: Peterborough, Ontario
Chris Kelly: Ottawa, Ontario
Patrice Bergeron: Quebec City, Quebec
Mark Recchi: Kamloops, British Columbia
Milan Lucic: Vancouver, British Columbia
Shane Hnidy: Neepawa, Manitoba
Johnny Boychuk: Edmonton, Alberta
Adam McQuaid: Prince Edward Island
Brad Marchand: Nova Scotia
Michael Ryder: Newfoundland
Tim Thomas: Flint, Mich.

A couple of Bruins are missing there, so it’s far from a complete list. Check back for more updates on the many stops the Cup will take this summer.

Bruins development camp preview

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

With the Bruins’ development camp set to begin Thursday, it will be interesting to see whether the hype from winning the Stanley Cup will match the turnout the B’s got from fans eager to get a glimpse of Tyler Seguin last year. The final day of last year’s camp drew 1,200 fans, who packed into Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, filling the rink.

While the two biggest names — Seguin and top prospect Joe Colborne, the latter of whom was sent to Toronto in the Tomas Kaberle trade — will not be in attendance, there will be no shortage of players to watch as the camp opens. Here’s the list of players set to attend, and a look at a few noteworthy ones.

Forwards: Anthony Camara, Craig Cunningham, Alexander Fallstrom, Brian Ferlin, Justin Florek, Josh Jooris, Jared Knight, Alexander Khokhlachev, Brett Olson, Tyler Randell, Eric Robinson, Ben Sexton, Ryan Spooner

Defensemen: Ryan Button, Marc Cantin, Tommy Cross, Dougie Hamilton, Robby O’€™Gara, Steven Spinell, Zach Trotman, David Warsofsky

Goaltenders: Zane Gothberg, Mike Hutchinson, Lars Volden

All six members of the Bruins’ 2011 draft class will be in attendance in Hamilton, Khokhlachev, Camara, Ferlin, O’Gara and Volden. For a recap of the Bruins’ draft, click here.

Here are five players to watch over the five-day camp:

NEWCOMERS

Dougie Hamilton, defenseman

Draft: First round (ninth overall) of 2011 draft

Why he’s worth watching: The fact that the Bruins have seven NHL defensemen signed and ready to go for the coming season provides proof that general manager Peter Chiarelli wasn’t kidding when he said he didn’t expect Hamilton to make the team this year, but Hamilton is easily the Bruins’ top defensive prospect. The lanky defenseman doesn’t have the pizazz that Seguin, a flashy forward, had in last year’s camp, but he carried a legitimate top-five grade heading into the draft and figures to be top-pairing defenseman when he reaches the NHL. He’ll undoubtedly be the biggest name among the players in attendance this week.

Alexander Khokhlachev, forward

Draft: Second round (40th overall) of 2011 draft

Why he’s worth watching: Khokhlachev might be the most intriguing player in attendance, as it was hard to pin down a certain range where he could commonly be found in mock drafts. Some had the Russian forward potentially being a first-rounder, while others had him going low in the second round. His scoring touch is what people ogle over, and he had a four-point game against Kitchener last season, his first in the OHL. He finished the regular season with 34 goals.

FAMILIAR FACES

Ryan Spooner, center

Draft: Second round (45th overall) of 2010 draft

Why he’s worth watching: Spooner can consider himself the OHL big shot among the players in Wilmington this week, as he racked up 81 points between Peterborough and Kingston last season. He ended last year’s rookie games in style, scoring both goals (the second of which sealed the game in overtime) of the B’s 2-1 win in the second of two games vs. Islanders rookies.

Jared Knight, right wing

Draft: Second round (32nd overall) of 2010 draft

Why he’s worth watching: The choice with the second-rounder acquired in the Phil Kessel deal, Knight had a career-high 70 points in the regular season for London (OHL) last year. A native of Michigan, Knight finished last season with Providence, playing three games for the Baby B’s and picking up two assists.

Tommy Cross

Draft: Second round (35th overall) of 2007 draft

Why he’s worth watching: Until the B’s drafted Hamilton ninth overall with the Maple Leafs‘ first-rounder last month, Cross was actually the highest selected defenseman of the Chiarelli era in Boston. Knee issues (he suffered a baseball injury that hurt his draft stock) have plagued the Boston College blueliner him since the Bruins selected him. Cross scored the game-winning goal in overtime over Boston University in the Beanpot semifinal game last year.

Here’s the schedule of events, courtesy of the Bruins:

Thursday, July 7 (Wilmington, MA)
-Fitness testing at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, 9:30 a.m. ET (closed to public/closed to media)
-On-ice practice, Ristuccia Arena, 1:15 p.m. ET
-Media availability will take place after on-ice practice ends

Friday, July 8 (Wilmington, MA)
-On-ice workout, Ristuccia Arena, 10:00 a.m. ET
-On-ice practice, Ristuccia Arena, 11:30 a.m. ET
-Media availability will take place after on-ice practice ends

Saturday, July 9 (Wilmington, MA)
-On-ice practice, Ristuccia Arena, 10:30 a.m. ET
-On-ice workout, Ristuccia Arena, 11:45 a.m. ET
-Media availability will take place after on-ice workout ends
-Off-ice workout at 1:30 p.m. ET (closed to public/closed to media)

Sunday, July 10 (Wilmington, MA)
-On-ice practice, Ristuccia Arena, 10:00 a.m. ET
-On-ice scrimmage, Ristuccia Arena, 11:15 a.m. ET
-Media availability will take place after scrimmage ends
-Off-ice workout at 1:00 p.m. ET (closed to public/closed to media)

Monday, July 11 (Wilmington, MA)
-On-ice workout, Ristuccia Arena, 10:00 a.m. ET
-On-ice scrimmage, Ristuccia Arena, 11:00 a.m. ET
-Media availability will take place after scrimmage ends
-Off-ice workout at 12:30 p.m. ET (closed to public/closed to media)

Bobby Orr on M&M: Tomas Kaberle let criticism get to him in Boston

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Bruins legend Bobby Orr joined Mut & Merloni live from the Pinehills Golf Club for a charity golf event benefiting Mark Herzlich‘s foundation. Orr discussed the Bruins’ Stanley Cup run and offered updates on a couple of players his agency represents. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

‘€œThe Bruins have given us a lot to cheer about and talk about,” Orr said. “The heart that that team showed this year was incredible. Again, [Tim] Thomas shows that you cannot win without goaltending. This guy was incredible. If you look at that team everyone did something, someone came up one night and the next night it was someone else.’€

Orr was asked about the Stanley Cup and its whereabouts. Orr noted how it is much different from when it was back when he won titles with the Bruins in 1970 and ’72.

‘€œWe didn’€™t get it like they do today,” he said. “We had it for the parade and that was it. I think it is wonderful. The Stanley Cup will be all over the world. I think it’€™s the only trophy in sports that it’€™s ‘€˜The’€™ trophy, the others every year there is a new one. This is it. To have it all over the world, and let the kids touch it and see it. It is wonderful.’€

Orr gave an injury update on forward Nathan Horton: ‘€œHe’€™s fine,” Orr said of his client. “We really won’t know until he starts working out that will be the true test. I talked to him a few days ago and he feels great. He loves Boston, he was so excited to be in Boston. ‘€¦ We really won’t know until he starts working out. He has to let things settle down. He also hurt his shoulder in the Montreal series and probably shouldn’€™t have been playing, so he is trying to heal the shoulder and the concussion.’€

On Tuesday the Bruins lost defenseman Tomas Kaberle to the Hurricanes but acquired defenseman Joe Corvo from Carolina in exchange for a fourth-round pick in 2012. Orr said that Corvo is a good player who can shoot the puck.

(more…)

Video: Adam McQuaid races with royalty

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

While Bruins fans spent the fourth of July eating hamburgers and watching fireworks, B’s defenseman and Prince Edward Island native Adam McQuaid did something that would make more than just mullet aficionados jealous.

With the royal couple in McQuaid’s neck of the woods for a dragon boat race on Dalvay Lake, the Boston blueliner rowed in Kate Middleton‘s boat, which was bested by that of Prince William.

“Even though I lost the race,” McQuaid told The Guardian, “some people might argue I won because I got to be in her boat.”

McQuaid can be seen rowing at 0:27 and 1:10 of the following video, and at 1:33, he even stops to chat with Middleton for a moment. You know the 24-year-old has had a good few months when the only thing he’s lost is a boat race in which he hung out with royalty.