Archive for September, 2012

Tyler Seguin: ‘My understanding is I could go to [AHL]’

Friday, September 14th, 2012

WILMINGTON — As players figure out where they might spend the NHL lockout, Tyler Seguin helped clear up his situation a bit by saying he believes he is eligible to play in the AHL this season.

Seguin is a veteran of 175 NHL games (including playoffs) and would seemingly have to go through waivers, but the third-year winger said (vaguely) that he thinks he can play in the AHL.

“My understanding is I could go to Providence,” he said. “I haven’t decided anything and we haven’t talked about anything. I haven’t talked to management since [signing] the contract, so nothing’s going in forward motion with that stuff. I’m just trying to wait it out and hopefully something happens here with the CBA.”

A source told WEEI.com that Seguin could not get to the AHL without clearing waivers because of how many games he’s played, though the possibility exists (as pointed out by Mike Loftus of the Patriot Ledger on Twitter) that waivers could be avoided if a situation arises in which Seguin could simply sign an AHL contract.

The rule regarding waivers states that players who signed their entry-level deals at age 18 (as Seguin did) would be exempt from waivers if they played less than 160 NHL games. Seguin, at the aforementioned 175 games, does not qualify.

Earlier in the week, Seguin said that he was considering either the AHL or potentially looking at Europe, something he reiterated Friday.

“You’ve got to be cautious and have some options,” he said. “Obviously I have mine, but for right now you want to play NHL hockey first. That’s what I’m hoping for.”

According to the Boston Globe’s Kevin Paul Dupont, Jordan Caron will play for Providence if there’s a lockout. Given that he has played 73 games at the NHL, he will be exempt from waivers. The B’s placed Garnet Exelby, Christian Hanson, Jamie Tardif, and Trent Whitfield on waivers this week in order to have them play in the AHL.

Players more educated, but no more confident after returning from New York

Friday, September 14th, 2012

WILMINGTON — Two-hundred-eighty-three players left this week’s NHLPA meetings in New York without any promising news about the start of the season, but they came away from the meetings a heck of a lot smarter.

It isn’t exactly easy to understand the nuts and bolts of the league’s labor dispute as the owners and NHLPA try to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement, so players who entered the meetings as confused as the next guy at least left them a bit educated.

“I was taking notes,” Tyler Seguin said on Friday. “Obviously there’s a lot of stuff I’m not going to understand. We do the meetings and obviously I’m not going to get into much detail, but then we split up into our teams and talk about it amongst ourselves and our questions. It was good. I learned a lot. Going into that, I don’t think I knew too much about HRR [hockey-related revenue] or anything like that and all the percentages and statistics, but I know a lot more about it now.”

Dennis Seidenberg said that while the meetings were beneficial given the unity the players showed and the things they learned, he doesn’t see any more reason for optimism now than he did before.

“The feeling is it hasn’t really changed much,” the defenseman said. “We were hoping that going to New York, we’d get some news in a positive way, but the main thing we did was get educated on what’s going on and what our proposal looks like and how we’re going forward from here. Other than that, not much has changed.”

Said Gregory Campbell: “I think it’s important to go to those meetings and definitely get the knowledge on what’s going on. As players, it’s really important to be informed. It’s one thing to hear it on the phone or hear it from somebody else, but to actually go there and really be informed — this is our livelihood, so we really have to make sure that we’re all on the same page.”

The owners are set to lock the players out at midnight on Saturday. A vote led by Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs yielded unanimous agreement for the move on Thursday.

“Going to New York was probably a good idea at this point in time, just because with this date looming, I guess it seems like the inevitable that there will be a lockout,” Campbell said. “We all have to be in the right frame of mind if and when this happens.”

Dennis Seidenberg knows one person who wants a lockout

Friday, September 14th, 2012

WILMINGTON — There aren’t many people rooting for an NHL lockout, but Yannic Seidenberg is one of them.

Seidenberg, the younger brother of Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, plays left wing for Adler Mennheim of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. His team has reached out to Dennis saying there’s a spot for him if he wants somewhere to play during the upcoming NHL lockout, and Dennis has indicated he would interested if it came to that.

“I was definitely happy that they were interested,” he said. “There’s an opportunity for me to go over once I decide to do that, but for now I’m just trying to hold tight and see where things are going.”

As if the team hasn’t pressed hard enough for him to go back to Germany to play, Yannic has been anxious to get his brother over there.

“Every day,” he said with a laugh. “He’s very excited. He keeps calling me every day and asking if I talked to them yet, to his team and got anything going, but I keep telling him I’m going to hold tight and see what’s going to happen here.”

Seidenberg spent the last lockout playing in the AHL for the Philadelphia Phantoms. While he doesn’t to see a work stoppage in the NHL, there’s a silver lining for him that doesn’t exist for most of the other players.

“The last time I played with him was like 10 or 11 years ago,” Seidenberg said of Yannic, “so it would be nice to get back there if you could take one positive out of this.”

Bruins players hold last pre-lockout practice

Friday, September 14th, 2012

WILMINGTON — Who knows when it will happen again, but Bruins players took the ice Friday at Ristuccia Arena for an informal practice. It figures to be their last time at their practice rink before the owners lock the players out on Saturday night.

B’s players (everyone was present with the exception of Nathan Horton, Chris Kelly and Brad Marchand) were joined by other local skaters, including defensemen Keith Yandle (Coyotes) and Ryan Whitney (Oilers). Ryan Bourque, son of Ray Bourque and younger brother of Chris Bourque, was also in attendance.

Some players will stick around locally and hold informal skates for the time being, while others (such as Dennis Seidenberg) will likely play elsewhere. Captain Zdeno Chara plans to stay in Boston for the time being, but he said Friday that as the two sides continue to negotiate, missing games helps nobody.

“Everybody [loses],” Chara said. “The players sacrifice, the owners sacrifice, the fans sacrifice. Everybody loses something. There’s no question about that.”

Added Chara: “We all want to play. We all love hockey. That’s our jobs, but at the same time we have to play under certain rules and it’s got to make sense.”

David Krejci wants Tim Thomas to return to Bruins

Monday, September 10th, 2012

BOLTON — The Tim Thomas subject is a rather touchy one when it comes to the Bruins. He told them after the season he’d be taking the year off, leaving them with a potential salary cap burden. Furthermore, his exit paved the way for Tuukka Rask to get his chance as a starting goaltender, so Thomas’ (former?) teammates have often gone on record of respecting his decision to not play this year while pointing out that they are confident in what Rask will do with his opportunity.

Bruins players have danced around the subject of what might happen if Thomas were to return after next season, but when David Krejci brought up the subject Monday at the team’s golf tournament in Bolton, the center made his opinion clear: He wants Thomas back with the Bruins.

Asked what his reaction was when he heard about Thomas’ decision, here’s what Krejci said:

“I was in shock a little bit just like everybody else I guess, but you’ve got to respect his personal life. If he wants to take a year off, then he should do what he feels is right for him and his family. I respect that, but I hope he’s going to come back because he’s, in my opinion, I think he left — I hope he’s going to come back. If not, I think he left too early because he’s still one of the best goalies in the league. It would be bad for everybody, for the league, for the fans, for himself and for us if he wouldn’t [resume] his career. I haven’t talked to him this summer, so I don’t really have much to talk about.”

Andrew Ference not optimistic about CBA negotiations

Monday, September 10th, 2012

BOLTON — Wearing an NHLPA hat with his golf attire, Bruins defenseman and former player rep Andrew Ference said prior to the team’s golf tournament Monday that he doesn’t see much reason for optimism that a new collective bargaining agreement will be reached before the current one expires this Saturday.

“I don’t know if optimistic’s the right word, not with the way things have been going so far,” Ference said. “It’s pretty tough to be optimistic. I think at the beginning of the summer there were a lot of great talks. Hopefully that can continue and we can see some progress. Obviously this next week or two is pretty big.”

Upwards of 200 NHL players are set to meet this week in New York, as will the league’s board of governors.

“Hopefully they’ll get some different viewpoints on the table and let some of the other people talk from around the league,” Ference said. “‘€¦ You’d hope that in the next two weeks there’s some movement and some reason for optimism”.

Tyler Seguin: Contract negotiations have ‘definitely picked up quite heavily’

Monday, September 10th, 2012

BOLTON — Speaking before the Bruins’ annual golf tournament at The International, Bruins right wing Tyler Seguin said that he hopes to sign a new contract before the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement (Saturday), and that he’s comfortable with where things stand in negotiations.

“There’s been discussions,” Seguin said. “It’s looking good, and I’m looking forward to hopefully playing in Boston for many years.”

The 20-year-old Seguin is set to enter the final year of his entry-level contract, and fellow 2010 draft stars Taylor Hall (seven years at $6 million per) and Jeff Skinner (six years, $5.75 million per) have already signed their next contracts.

Seguin, who led the Bruins with 29 goals last season, said that the sides started talking after the season and that negotiations have “definitely picked up quite heavily since then.” He added that negotiations have been “all positive” thus far and that there is enough interest on both sides to get a deal done.

“I want to stay here and start a life here,” Seguin said. “That’s what I’m looking for.”

It is unclear where Seguin would be able to play if the season were to be delayed by a lockout. With agents working the phones to make sure their clients have places to play this season, Seguin said he doesn’t know where he’ll play.

“I’m not sure,” he said. “I’m headed to New York for two days to see what’s going on and then talk to my agent a bit more. Obviously I want to be playing hockey, NHL first, and then I’ve thought about AHL, thought about going overseas, but nothing I can confirm on right now.”

Seguin said that his left hand is at 100 percent after getting offseason surgery to repair a tendon. He’s been on the ice and is back in Boston after training with esteemed strength coach Matt Nichol in Toronto.