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Morris reacts to Coyotes trade 03.03.10 at 11:54 am ET
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WILMINGTON — Derek Morris has confirmed that he has indeed been traded to the Phoenix Coyotes this morning by Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli. Morris said that he had a no-trade clause in his contract that he would only waive to rejoin the Coyotes where he played last season and owns a house. The Bruins acquired a conditional draft pick from Phoenix and freed up the remainder of Morris’s $3.3 million dollar contract he signed with the team last season.

“It has been a process over the last few days and I came here this morning and I got a call this morning from the office, from [Chiarelli] that is was going to be done and it is all done now,” Morris said.

Morris was contacted over the weekend about waiving his no-trade clause that would send him to Phoenix but the discussions were a back and forth to the point where Morris was told as early as yesterday that he would be staying in Boston.

“Yeah, I was. I was told that I wasn’t going to be traded,” Morris said. “But, you will have to ask [Chiarelli] those questions. I am obviously disappointed to leave Boston, you know? My kids are playing hockey in Charlestown and there are good people there. Once you get to Boston you realize why people stick around Boston. The people in this place are down rooted, good, wholesome people so I am disappointed to leave this place.”

At the same time, Morris does not mind going back to the American Southwest for the rest of the season.

“Yeah, the weather is nice. I am really excited to go back to Phoenix. They’ve got an amazing coach there,” Morris said. “Once this all is all done with I will be excited too.”

Morris said that he hopes the Bruins make the playoffs and would love to see a Boston/Phoenix Stanley Cup. Forgoing that unlikely scenario, Morris said he hopes Boston can win. He said the Bruins group of players is a special mix and he will miss his teammates.

“You just take to these guys,” Morris said. “These are a really good group of guys in here that really get along and really enjoy each other and like each other a lot. It was a fun locker room to come into and a tough one to leave … Obviously it is shock a little bit. You never expect to be traded and you don’t expect. Obviously disappointed more than anything.”

Morris said that he would love to be with the Coyotes tomorrow in Colorado but does not know what his immediate plans are.

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Chiarelli has options on deadline day 03.03.10 at 10:14 am ET
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The big day has finally arrived.

Wednesday is the NHL trade deadline with all moves to be completed by 3 p.m. this afternoon. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. at TD Garden to discuss the moves the Bruins did, or did not, make to improve the team down the stretch looking for a third consecutive playoff birth.

All the blood that has been squeezed from the Chiarelli stone this past week has been “we are looking for a top-nine forward with a scoring bent” with the caveat that market prices are prohibitive at this point. Outside of the upper echelon teams (Chicago, Washington, San Jose) the rest of the league is tightly packed making this year a sellers market as there are a plethora of buyers. The six through 12 seeds in each conference are separated by nine points heading after Tuesday’s games.

With 65 points, the Bruins currently have a tenuous hold on the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference (tied in points with the Rangers, one behind the Canadiens, four behind the Flyers). Injuries and inconsistency have been the name of the game in Boston. Chiarelli and coach Claude Julien have been holding onto the fact that several Bruins have not performed to expectations this year and that a turnaround by them (David Krejci, Blake Wheeler, Milan Lucic, Michael Ryder, Dennis Wideman to name the primary candidates) will do a lot to turn the team around.

Yet, here we are, 61 games in with 65 points to show for it. To expect a sudden turnaround by all these players would be foolish at best, damning to the front office’s reputation at worst. Some of them may go on a hot streak down the stretch but of those five names, two, maybe three can realistically rise to their expectations. The question then becomes; what tact do the Bruins take at the deadline and is the price really worth it?

The smart money at this point says that Chiarelli will not make a major move. By major, a top-nine forward along the lines of Raffi Torres, Teemu Selanne, Ray Whitney, Keith Tkachuk or Paul Kariya (to name a few on the rumor mill). Do not expect to see Marian Hossa or Ilya Kovalchuk or their ilk walk through the door. If those type of players were on the market, which they are not, it is doubtful that Chiarelli would spend what it would take to bring them in anyway. So far he has been guarding his horde of draft picks, either waiting for the best deal to come along or to really restock the Providence Bruins and Reading Royals for years to come. Protecting the first round picks is understandable, laudable even, considering the Bruins have two each in the next two drafts. Yet, with five second round picks between 2010 and 2011, it is hard to argue that Chiarelli could not flip one of them relatively painlessly for Whitney or Torres. That would be a high price but the sellers control the market.

At the same time, the Bruins have to worry about money. So far, Chiarelli has been penny wise and pound foolish. The pennies have been spent in the last couple of days reorganizing the minor league system with the Steve Kampfer and Cody Wild trades. Do not expect to see either of them in Boston soon, if ever. The pounds that Chiarelli spent were mostly last summer, giving Tim Thomas his four-year $20 million contract looks like a big mistake and the extensions to Krejci and Lucic may have been premature. It all adds up to next to nothing for the Bruins to spend under the cap so a contract from the NHL roster would have to go the other way or players like Vladimir Sobotka, Johnny Boychuk would have to be stowed in Providence to free up their nominal salaries.

In the realm of sanity (a small bubble at any trade deadline), Chiarelli probably knows that no matter what he does at the deadline, the Bruins are probably not going to jump any higher than the sixth seed in the conference. Thus, why rush to make a transaction now when the market is so prohibitive to making a value deal? Chiarelli could happily sit on his picks, wait for the season to end and the draft to come and make a splash in the summer. The ways the Bruins are currently constructed, he is going to have to rock the boat eventually.

Whether he decides to do that before 3 p.m. today remains to be seen. Chiarelli is set to hold a press conference at TD Garden at 4 p.m. to discuss the decisions he made and the moves he did or did not make.

Read More: Peter Chiarelli,
Canadiens halt Bruins win streak 03.02.10 at 9:31 pm ET
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Summary — The Bruins and Canadiens got the stretch run started in earnest Tuesday night at TD Garden with a three period tango that Montreal won 4-1. Tuukka Rask got a career-high seventh consecutive start for Boston and but lost for the first time in five games with 29 saves. Carey Price was the goaltender of record for the Canadiens and stopped 23 pucks for the win. The Bruins have now lost 10 straight at home (0-7-3) with their last victory in Boston coming at Fenway Park for the Winter Classic Jan.1.

The Bruins entered the third period with a 1-0 advantage before Montreal came back with two goals to take the lead and seal the victory. The game-winner was scored by Maxim LaPierre on a rebound that he swept up in the crease to beat Rask.

Boston opened the scoring in the first period on the power play when Zdeno Chara hit a blast from the point that got tangled in the crease with Marco Sturm, Price and Habs defenseman Josh Gorges. As Gorges pushed Sturm over Price, Sturm dislodged the puck and swept it into the goal to send the Bruins into the second period with a 1-0 lead.

The Habs came at the Bruins with some momentum midway through the second period but Rask was able to put the clamps down on any Montreal scoring chances including two point-blank chances by Maxim LaPierre to preserve the shutout going into the third period.

The Bruins had shutout the Canadiens for 129:55 of gameplay before former Bruin Geln Metropolit tied the game up when he beat Rask with a wrist shot from the slot on the rush at 2:40 in the third period. Metropolit has haunted his former team with four goals in five games against Boston this year.

Bruins’ center Patrice Bergeron did not play with a groin strain and will be day-to-day.

Three Stars

Carey Price — The much maligned Montreal goaltender started the Candiens’ stretch run off on a good foot by holding the Bruins to one goal to pick up his 13th win of the year.

Maxim LaPierre — The Canadiens’ center is rumored to be on the trading block and played a spirited game. He was rewarded with his sixth goal of the year in the third period that (proved to be the game winner) (put Montreal uo 2-1).

Marco Sturm — The German Olympic team may not have made a splash but Sturm continues to make waves for the Bruins. His first period power play goal was his 19th of the year which leads the team.

Turning Point — Michael Ryder took a holding penalty at 4:10 in the third that gave the Canadiens momentum to score the go-ahead goal by LaPierre at 7:24. Rask killed the penalty for the Bruins with a series of solid saves but could not hold them all back as he bobbled a shot by Travis Moen at the baseline that LaPierre cleaned up in the crease.

Key Play — Boston’s Marc Savard had a break away in the second period and attempted to dance in on Price but was harried by LaPierre from behind enough that Savard could not get a shot away. LaPierre was called for a slashing penalty that put the Bruins on the man-advantage but the Canadiens killed it and the Bruins  would not threaten again. Hence, a smart penalty by LaPierre gave the Canadiens a chance to come back and win the game.

Minor deals: Bruins active as deadline nears 03.02.10 at 5:40 pm ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has been busy on Tuesday as the NHL trade deadline nears at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. He added a pair of minor league defensemen to the Bruins organization by trading for the rights to Anaheim’s Steve Kampfer in the afternoon and adding Cody Wild from the Oilers’ organization in the evening. Boston is sending a conditional fourth round pick to the Ducks while Matt Marquardt goes to Edmonton.

From the press releases for each transaction:

The 21-year old Kampfer has skated in 37 games for the University of Michigan this season, recording two goals, 15 assists and 48 PIM. Over four seasons with the Wolverines, Kampfer has played in 139 games, registering 6-51=57 totals and 132 PIM.

The 5’€™11, 188-pound native of Ann Arbor, MI was selected by the Anaheim Ducks in the fourth round (93rd overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

The 22-year-old Wild has split this season between the Springfield Falcons of the American Hockey League and the Stockton Thunder of the East Coast Hockey League. Wild played 37 games with Springfield and recorded 14 assists and 24 PIM and skated in four games with Stockton, registering one assist and 4 PIM. In 109 career games with the Falcons, Wild had 5-30=35 totals and 74 PIM.  The 6’€™1’€ 205-pound native of North Providence, Rhode Island was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the fifth round (140th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.  He
appeared in 100 collegiate games in his three years at Providence College from 2005-08, with 16 goals and 41 assists.

The 22-year-old Marquardt has split this season between Providence (American Hockey League) and Reading (East Coast Hockey League), with 1-9=10 totals in 41 games for the P-Bruins and 1-2=3 totals in nine games with the Royals. The North Bay, Ontario native recorded 10 goals and 22 assists in 113 career games during his one-plus seasons with the P-Bruins. Marquardt was selected by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the seventh round (194th overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He was traded by Columbus to Boston on May 27, 2008 for Jonathan Sigalet.

Read More: Cody Wild, Matt Marquardt, Peter Chiarelli, Steve Kampfer
Bruins general manager Chiarelli speaks at practice 02.28.10 at 11:27 am ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli made an appearance at practice at Ristuccia Arena on Sunday and spoke about the trade deadline and what he expects going into the stretch run towards the playoffs. Here is the transcript from the interview.

On how much activity he expects when the roster freeze is lifted at 11:59 p.m. tonight:

It wouldn’t surprise me if there were a few deals tomorrow morning, tomorrow. My guess is that there will be the same number of deals that there always has been. We are in on a couple of deals but there has not been much traction over the course of the Olympic break, but we will see what happens next couple of days.

On how much talk there has been:

Definitely the talk has picked up. The fact that there is nothing pressing and you can’t do a deal, it is not idle chatter but it is more standard discussions. But, at the end of the day you can’t do a deal until tomorrow.

On what the Bruins are doing:

We are in on a couple of things and we will see where they go, otherwise we don’t have a lot of traction on these things.

On what the ideal pickup would be for the Bruins:

Well, obviously, you look at the statistics and it is our scoring. We want to get some type of top-nine forward that has an offensive bent to his game. There are not many out there.

On the type of deal the Bruins would probably end up with:

Yeah, it would probably be a rental. The nature of my discussions to this point, I wouldn’t necessarily name them as “hockey moves” but non-rentals. It is hard now because no one, well, one, there are only four or five teams that are sellers and two, no one amongst the buyers wants to do a significant hockey move right now because they are in a cluster and they don’t want to mix and do something significant to their team.

On trade prices:

Yeah, they are high and will remain high.

What about prices with so few sellers on the market?

It allows those sellers to enter the market at high prices and that is what has happened. That is not a surprise, that is the way that the market has been set.

On what he saw on the four-game road trip before the break:

I thought it was tremendous for the four games. Much like I saw towards the tail end of the losing streak, I saw a lot of good things. I thought we got a little sloppy at the end of the winning streak but I was impressed with the way they won four in a row. That is tough to do. I thought they pulled it together and obviously the results speak volumes in those four games. I like the way they pulled it together knowing there was a break coming. To me that speaks to the synergy of the team too.

On whether the last several games before the break changed his desire to make a move at the deadline:

Well, on its face we need some more goal scoring. But, I also know that if I don’t get it, I know that these guys are better than they are. I would demand that from them and expect it from them. What I saw in maybe the last five or six games, including that four-game winning streak, was more chances, more willingness to go to the net and do all those little things that you have to do. That is quite promising.

On the expected performance of the Olympic players, especially David Krejci:

Well, I am sure it was refreshing to David to go out and not just do well but exceptionally well. It was a change and, as a matter of fact, David has been playing well the last couple of weeks. So, it does not surprise me that he has gone out there and played well. Then I saw his games and he played very well. These guys are going, the guys that are playing yesterday and today, they are going to be tired. You know, so you are going to see that at the start, they are going to be tired.

On how hard it is to evaluate the team during the Olympic break with the thought of trades in mind:

Well, it is hard. But, we have to take a broader viewpoint. You don’t just base it on your last game. The harder thing was talking about your team, talking about your needs with other GMs knowing you can’t do anything. But everyone faces that.

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Remembering the other gold medal ‘Miracle’ 02.28.10 at 8:26 am ET
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Exactly 50 years ago, on Feb. 28, 1960, the U.S. Olympic hockey team did something that nobody thought it ever could of done.

It won the gold medal.

The setting was Squaw Valley, Calif., and the world was a much different place than it is today. The Olympics were coming into the modern age. Instant replay was used for the first time, television was becoming ubiquitous and computerized record-keeping was taking its first steps.

The world was changing, but some things never truly change. In 1960, the Canadians were good at hockey. So were the Soviets. The countries were destined to battle for the gold medal, damn all other comers.

Heading into the Olympic tournament, the pundits did not give the United States a chance. The media thought the Americans would struggle for fourth place and get steam rolled by the Harry Sinden led Canadian team.

‘€œYou could count, on one hand, the number of times that the United States beat Canada in the Olympics,’€ 1960 coach Jack Riley said when interviewed for the documentary ‘€œForgotten Miracle’€ last June.

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Bruins breakdown: The big boppers 02.27.10 at 7:59 pm ET
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The compliment to the puck moving defensemen are the boys who patrol the blue line and deliver more bruises than points. Size is an important quality to have in a NHL defender corps and in that department Mark Stuart and Johnny Boychuk deliver.

Stuart — The 2003 Bruins first round draft pick has been a model of consistency since breaking into the NHL full time in the 2007-08 season. He has played in all 82 games two years in a row and delivered solid, though not spectacular numbers.

Stuart falls into line with what late first round picks are usually supposed to do — become steady professionals and productive members of their teams. He spent three years at Colorado College picking up polish before making his Bruins debut in the 2005-06 season and after a two seasons spent on the highway between Providence and Boston finally cracked in as a regular.

Stuart is solid and at this point in his career could probably fit into any defensive second pair in the league. That was not the case until recently though as last year it was hard to judge whether he was a third defenseman or rather a fourth or fifth. At times he played like each. Before breaking his finger when he caught his finger in Wayne Simmonds jersey on Jan. 31, he was playing much more like a third defenseman than ever before in his career.

“I thought he was playing some of his best hockey,” coach Claude Juliens said of Stuart on Saturday. “Whether it was coincidence or whether we moved him up and given him more minutes. We really wanted to see how he would react to that and he did a great job of it and we needed that at the time. It was unfortunate, I thought he was playing some of his best hockey the last three or four games before he got injured.”

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