|Report: Niklas Svedberg signs with KHL team||05.10.15 at 7:24 pm ET|
According to reports out of Russia, Bruins backup goaltender Niklas Svedberg has signed with Salavat Yulaev of the KHL.
— Igor Eronko (@IgorEronko) May 10, 2015
Svedberg was with the Bruins for three seasons after coming over from Sweden. He won the AHL’s top goaltender honors by receiving the Baz Bastian Memorial Award in 2012-13, his first season with the B’s. Svedberg spent another season in Providence before becoming Tuukka Rask‘s backup this season.
The Bruins showed minimal faith in him, however, and he struggled to make routine saves at times when he did get into games. The result was a season in which he played just 18 games NHL games, the lowest for a Bruins backup goalie in in an 82-game season in years.
“The number of games weren’t what I expected,” Svedberg said at the team’s breakup day. ‘I was hoping to play more, and I think I was playing good this year. So certainly I was hoping for more games. The kind of position we were in, there was a lot of pressure here on the team, so Tuukka played a lot of games and he also played very well. It’s the way it is. It was kind of frustrating. You want to play more, but that’s the way it is.”
The Bruins have options to back up Rask going forward. Malcolm Subban remains in Providence, but the team could also bring back 26-year-old Jeremy Smith, who played 39 games for Providence this season, or sign another veteran goaltender. Zane McIntyre, a Hobey Baker finalist, could factor into the Bruins’ plans down the road.
|Don Sweeney has been Bruins’ acting GM this offseason||05.09.15 at 1:52 pm ET|
The Bruins don’t have a general manager yet, but the signs continue to point toward Don Sweeney eventually getting the gig.
In fact, indications are that Sweeney is doing the heavy lifting in the Bruins’ front office as they begin the offseason. Sweeney has been the team’s acting GM recently, a source familiar with the situation told WEEI.com Saturday.
That’s not an official title, nor is it a certainty that it will become one, but it does indicate who is making the calls for the B’s as they look to improve their team from this season’s disappointing finish.
The Bruins have been without an official GM since firing Peter Chiarelli on April 15. Sweeney has picked up Chiarelli’s responsibilities for now, though everything funnels through team president Cam Neely.
This comes following a Boston Herald report that Sweeney had a lengthy meeting with Claude Julien on Friday. The Herald’s Stephen Harris deduced from that development that Sweeney could plan on keeping Julien around as head coach if and when Sweeney gets the GM job.
It is unknown where the Bruins are in the interview process as they seek Chiarelli’s replacement. ESPN’s Joe McDonald reported on May 3 that the team was entering its second round of interviews and that Sweeney remained in the mix. Jeff Gorton, a potential candidate, has not yet been allowed to interview with the Bruins, as Rangers GM Glen Sather won’t let teams talk to his assistant GM until New York is eliminated from the playoffs. The Capitals hold a 3-2 series lead over the Rangers in the second round, but Sather hinted to the New York Post earlier in the week that he still might not let teams talk to Gorton this offseason at all.
Sweeney has been in the Bruins’ hockey operations department since 2006 and was named one of Chiarelli’s assistant general managers prior to their Stanley Cup-winning 2010-11 season. Prior to his time in Boston’s front office, Sweeney enjoyed a lengthy NHL career in which he played 1,052 regular-season games and 103 playoff games for the Bruins before playing his final season with the Stars.
The fact that he’s acting as the team’s GM for now shouldn’t come as a major surprise. Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe wrote the day that Chiarelli was fired that Sweeney would get the job. Furthermore, Sweeney is one of two Bruins assistant GMs and is longer-tenured in that role than Scott Bradley, who was named one of Chiarelli’s assistants last offseason.
|Report: Rangers not yet giving Bruins permission to speak to Jeff Gorton||05.04.15 at 3:11 pm ET|
Rangers general manager Glen Sather told the New York Post’s Larry Brooks Monday that he has not given the Bruins permission to speak to former B’s interim GM and current Rangers assistant GM Jeff Gorton. Sather noted that he won’t give permission while the Rangers are in the playoffs and still might not after that.
“I haven’t given permission to anybody to speak to anyone and I won’t as long as we’re playing,” Sather told Brooks Monday. “And there’s a question whether I would, anyway, after it’s over.”
Gorton worked with the Bruins from 1992-2007, taking over as GM in March of 2006 until Peter Chiarelli was allowed to officially become GM on July 15 of that year. The Bruins had hired Chiarelli in May of 2006, but his non-compete clause in his Senators contract prevented an immediate move.
The Bruins did extremely well under Gorton during the brief transition. Technically, Gorton signed Zdeno Chara and Marc Savard, traded Andrew Raycroft for Tuukka Rask, and drafted Phil Kessel, Milan Lucic and Brad Marchand.
The Bruins fired Gorton the next offseason. They are now interested in bringing him back, with the Boston Herald reporting last month that the team had reached out to Gorton. ESPN’s Joe McDonald reported Sunday night that the B’s have come up with a short list of four finalists to replace Chiarelli, and it’s safe to say that Gorton is in that group.
It is not uncommon for potential interviews or hirings to be held up until a team’s season is over. The Canucks, for example, did not hire then-assistant GM Jim Benning away from the Bruins until a week after Boston was eliminated last season.
While Gorton is a serious candidate for the Bruins’ GM job, Bruins assistant general manager Don Sweeney remains a favorite to replace Chiarelli.
The Rangers, meanwhile, have incentive to keep Gorton. Sather is 71 years old, with Brooks writing that the current GM could either step down or take a higher position with the Rangers at some point, which would open up the general manager job for Gorton in New York.
|Providence Bruins headed for Game 5 of first-round series with Hartford||04.28.15 at 9:24 pm ET|
PROVIDENCE — The Providence Bruins’ first-round series with the Hartford Wolf Pack will come down to a decisive Game 5, as the Baby B’s suffered a 2-1 Game 4 loss at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center Tuesday to leave the series knotted at two games apiece.
Seth Griffith scored his second goal in as many games as he fired a shot from the point past Yann Danis during a third-period man advantage, but it wasn’t enough on a night in which Providence squandered five of its six power plays.
Mat Bodie scored Hartford’s first goal, scoring off the rush in the second period following the expiration of Providence’s fourth power play of the game. Bodie’s shot, which came at 3:06 of the second, was just the fourth shot that Malcolm Subban faced on the night. Providence’s early power plays allowed them to outshoot Hartford, 8-2, in the first period. While that prevented Hartford from scoring early, it also left Providence’s goaltender cold.
“It’s pretty tough,” Subban said of not facing shots early. “You’re not really in the game and you’re trying to get in the game and they get a three-on-two. It’s kind of tough. Obviously the first goal, maybe if I’m in the game I make the save. It’s not that I can’t make it when I’m not in the game, it’s just it’s a really tough save to try to get into the game on.”
After a good chance for the Bruins during a late second-period power play, Joe Morrow took a cross-checking penalty to leave the sides playing four-on-four late in the period and give Hartford an abbreviated power play to open the third period. Less than a minute after that power play ended, Tyler Brown tipped a point shot past Subban to give Hartford a two-goal lead.
Minutes later, Providence forward Zach Phillips was assessed a double-minor for butt-ending, forcing the B’s to spend the next four minutes shorthanded. Providence survived the double-minor and eventually cashed on its next power play with Griffith’s goal with 7:06 remaining in regulation.
Providence was unable to find the equalizer in the final minutes, pulling Subban with about 90 seconds to play but failing to tie it.
“We’re going to put this behind us,” Providence coach Bruce Cassidy said after the game. “It wasn’t awful; it’s just we had the chance to finish the job and we didn’t. It’s that simple.”
David Pastrnak did not play in the game. He left Sunday’s Game 3 with a lower-body injury suffered on a hit from defenseman Dylan McIlrath. Pastrtnak’s status for Friday’s game is still unclear, Cassidy said.
Claude Julien was among those on hand, watching alongside assistant coach Doug Jarvis. Julien is still Boston’s head coach, but that could change once the Bruins hire their next general manager. Assistant GMs Don Sweeney and John Ferguson were also in attendance.
The Baby B’s finished the game with a 29-17 edge in shots on goal. Game 5 will be played Friday in Hartford.
|Milan Lucic’s father dies unexpectedly||04.25.15 at 3:29 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Saturday that Dobro Lucic, father of forward Milan Lucic, died unexpectedly this week.
“I learned on Wednesday, April 22 that my father passed away unexpectedly in Vancouver,” Lucic said in a statement. “My family and I am very grateful for the outpouring of support from the hockey community, friends and fans from around the world. We kindly ask everyone to respect our privacy during this difficult and sad time.”
Bruins president Cam Neely also issued a statement on the passing of Lucic’s father.
“On behalf of the Jacobs family and the entire Boston Bruins organization I would like to express our deepest condolences to Milan and his family on the passing of his father, Dobro,” Neely said. “Our thoughts will be with the Lucic family during this time, and we will be here to offer them support in any way that we can.”
|Peter Chiarelli joins Oilers as president of hockey operations and general manager||04.24.15 at 5:00 pm ET|
Former Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was named president of hockey operations and general manager of the Oilers Friday.
Chiarelli enters a team with a number of highly skilled young forwards in Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, Jordan Eberle and Leon Draisaitl. Generational talent Connor McDavid will be added to that group with the first overall pick in June’s draft.
As such, Chiarelli was asked early in the press conference about the Bruins’ 2013 trade of Tyler Seguin to Dallas. Since the trade, Seguin has blossomed into one of the league’s best scorers.
“That was a trade that had underlying reasons hat I won’t get into, but he’s a terrific player, he was our leading scorer and that’s what I’ll say about that one’ Chiarelli responded.
“In this business, you can’t be afraid to make trades. The way that the parity is developing, the way that the cap is closing in, the margins are really small. Those are ways to improve your team. I’m not afraid of doing it, but it has to be the right moment.
“There are some very good young players on this team. Doesn’t mean I’m going to trade any of them, but those are deals that you have to be willing to make. They have to be well-measured. You have to be well-informed.
“That deal, obviously he’s a very good player and there were reasons for doing it.”
Chiarelli said earlier in the press conference that he feels he can get more out of Edmonton’s young players.
“They play fast,” Chiarelli said. “I’d like to see them play a little harder.”
|Reports: Oilers to announce hiring of Peter Chiarelli Friday||04.23.15 at 10:52 pm ET|
According to multiple reports out of Canada, the Oilers will announce the hiring of former Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli in a press conference Friday.
It is unknown what exactly Chiarelli’s title with the team will be, but Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada reported Thursday night that it will be something along the lines of president of hockey operations. Sportsnet’s Mark Spector reported Thursday that the Oilers will have a meeting Friday morning to notify staff of Chiarelli’s new position.
Hearing the same thing as @JasonGregor — that EDM will have a media conference tomorrow to announce the hiring of Peter Chiarelli.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 24, 2015
Not sure of structure of the new front office, but it is believed Chiarelli will be President of Hockey Operations (or something like that).
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 24, 2015
Oilers staff meeting tmw morning in EDM, where staff will be apprised of Chiarellli hiring and structure, prior to press conference.
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) April 24, 2015
The Bruins have the right to draft pick compensation if another team hires Chiarelli. They could waive that right to ensure that Chiarelli takes another job, thereby getting the money owed to him over the rest of his Bruins contract off Boston’s books.