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Bruins considering moving Gregory Campbell to wing so Ryan Spooner or Alexander Khokhlachev can play 07.13.14 at 1:36 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins learned this season that Carl Soderberg was too good at center to play out of position on the wing, so they moved their third-line center, Chris Kelly, to left wing and saw that trio with Loui Eriksson become a superb third line.

Now, with young Providence centers Ryan Spooner and Alexander Khokhlachev seemingly ready for the NHL, Gregory Campbell could be making the move to wing.

General manager Peter Chiarelli said Sunday that the team has discussed moving Campbell out of his natural center position to allow one of the young centers to play in the NHL.

The team has been hesitant to move Spooner or Khokhlachev to the wing because they feel the players are better suited for the middle.

“œWhen you move someone to the wing it’€™s the board work, and that’€™s what’€™s really tough,” Chiarelli said. ‘€œIt’€™s almost like pick your poison a little bit with the young guys, but those two players both have really good sticks and they’€™re smart, so body position and timing, getting pucks out of the boards, that’€™s the trickiest part when you move from center to wing, and then standing start.”

Campbell is tougher than both Spooner and Khokhlachev, so he’s more of a sure thing to be able to handle the board work and required battling that comes with playing on the wing.

Such a move would certainly be very Bruins of the Bruins. Claude Julien loves having multiple centers on a line, as it gives him multiple players who can effectively take draws and give the Bruins possession. It’s part of the reason Rich Peverley, a center who was used primarily at wing in his Bruins career, was such a valuable asset in his Boston days.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: Alexander Khokhlachev, Gregory Campbell, Ryan Spooner,
Bruins wrap development camp, Peter Chiarelli won’t rule out David Pastrnak pushing for roster spot 07.13.14 at 1:06 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — The Bruins completed their five-day development camp Sunday, with general manager Peter Chiarelli counting 2014 first-round pick David Pastrnak and 2013 second-round pick Linus Arnesson among the bright spots.

“I was pleased with Pastrnak,”€ Chiarelli said. “€œThere’€™s only been a couple players that have shown that at these camps over the years. He’€™s still got a little bit of a ways to go, but I’€™m very happy with Pastrnak.”

Pastrnak is a right-shot right wing, which the Bruins currently don’€™t have on their roster. Asked whether he felt Pastrnak could be a longshot candidate to make the Bruins’€™ roster, Chiarelli noted that Pastrnak still needs to fill out physically, but didn’€™t rule it out.

“€œYou never know,” Chiarelli. “I don’€™t want to place too much of a burden on this kid’€™s shoulders, but he was good. The hesitation that you have is that he’€™s 170, 173 pounds. He’€™s wiry strong, but you never know. Speed, skill, sense is all there. It would be nice, but we’€™ll see.

“€œHe’€™s young. To throw someone [in] at that age, at that weight, but there’€™s been guys that have done it.”€

As for Arnesson, Chiarelli clarified that the Swedish defenseman will not turn pro this year. Due to transfer rules, Arnesson would be ineligible to play in the AHL this season if he went pro (only the NHL), so he will play in Sweden next season. It is in his contract that he will attend Bruins’€™ camp and then go back to his Swedish club.

Under the Swedish transfer agreement, Pastrnak, who is Czech but plays in Sweden, can be signed by July 15 in order to attend camp without the Bruins having to pay more money to the federation.

For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.

Read More: David Pastrnak, Linus Arnesson,
David Pastrnak finding his footing with Bruins 07.12.14 at 10:56 pm ET
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WILMINGTON –€” The only piece of equipment David Pastrnak brought with him to Bruins’€™ development camp were his skates. As Bruce Cassidy joked after Saturday’€™s session, he might need new ones.

The Bruins’€™ first-round pick is clearly one of the best skaters on the ice at the annual camp held mostly for B’€™s prospects who have yet to turn pro, but, almost like a cartoon character running too fast, Pastrnak has been falling down all over the place.

“I don’€™t know what that is,” an amused Cassidy said Saturday. “I think he’€™s almost too fast for himself sometimes. I don’€™t know if his skates are a little worn … maybe he was due for a new pair in August and he’€™s getting by on the old ones.”€

Added Cassidy: “His feet are so fast, so I assume that there’€™s something up, it’€™s either the ice gets a little slushy for him or maybe the top end of his steel is worn off there.”

Pastrnak, a skilled right wing from the Czech Republic who plays in Sweden, attributes the difficulty staying on his feet to a lack of ice time in recent months due to a back injury suffered last season and the offseason. By his estimation, he’€™s only been on the ice for three weeks out of the last four months.

“€œIt’€™s not an excuse,” he added. “I can’€™t forget [how to skate]. It will go away. I’€™m starting to feel better and better.”

Even with the rustiness ‘€” either literally or figuratively ‘€” Pastrnak has been impressive. Cassidy compared him in this camp to Tyler Seguin in the 2010 development camp and Alexander Semin from when the former Capitals head coach first had Semin in camp.

That isn’€™t to say that Pastrnak’€™s NHL-ready or close to it. It’€™s a rarity for players outside the first couple of picks to make the NHL the season after they’€™re drafted, so don’€™t count on Pastrnak to snag a job in Boston. Still, he was non-committal on where he thinks he’€™ll play next season.

“I’€™m just trying to enjoy every day,”€ Pastrnak said. “€œI’€™m not trying to think about what will happen after one month. You don’€™t know what will happen in one month. Nobody knows that, so I just try to live every second and every minute like I can. I’€™m not trying to think about tomorrow, what happens tomorrow, because you never know what will happen tomorrow.”

Read More: David Pastrnak,
Bruce Cassidy hopes for Bruins’ NHL gig, but planning for Providence return 07.10.14 at 7:50 pm ET
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When assistant coach Geoff Ward left the Bruins last month for a head-coaching gig in Germany, Providence coach Bruce Cassidy seemed a good candidate to replace him.

He’€™s been an effective coach at the AHL level and has developed a number of NHL players for Boston, most notably playing a big role in the organization’€™s knack for churning out NHL defensemen. Cassidy, who has already interviewed for the position, made clear Thursday at development camp that he wants the NHL gig.

“Do I want to be [in Boston]? I want to be in the NHL every year,”€ Cassidy said with a smile. “Simple as I can say.”

Despite his hopes, Cassidy’€™s tone and words in a press conference following Thursday’€™s development camp session suggested an expectation on his part that he might be back in Providence next year.

“That’€™s where I am now,”€ Cassidy explained. “€œSo whatever happens down the road with the vacancy here will happen, but I’m always preparing for Providence.”€

Peter Chiarelli said last week that though Cassidy may be a strong candidate, the team needs to weigh whether he is more valuable on the NHL staff or keeping the Providence-Boston pipeline strong.

“Claude and I have spoken with him and we have to decide that,” Chiarelli said last week. “We’€™ve got probably four or five other names and Claude is meeting with some of them over development camp. Bruce has been very instrumental in these young kids coming up and playing, so we have to decide that. I almost feel like he is part of our staff right now, there is so much interaction between Don Sweeney and him or myself and him and even Claude talks to him.

“Sometimes that position’€™s more valuable in certain instances than an assistant coaching position. Both are quite valuable and I just feel strongly about Bruce and I have had that discussion with him so we’€™ll see where that one goes but I know Claude has already talked to him and has had a good interview with him.”

Read More: Bruce Cassidy,
Giant defenseman Oleg Yevenko hopes to make most of development camp invitation with Bruins 07.09.14 at 10:57 pm ET
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There is a great big European defenseman on the ice at Bruins development camp.

His name is Oleg Yevenko, he stands 6-foot-7 and 230 pounds and he’s from Belarus. He’s 23 years old and isn’t a member of an NHL organization; he’s in town on an invitation from the B’s (he was in the Devils prospect camp last year and the Islanders prospect camp two years ago). He plays his college hockey at UMass, where he’ll be a senior in the fall. He also played for Belarus in the IIHF World Championship back in May.

And, like many giant players before him, the question is obvious: Can he skate?

It’s a question that was applied to the 6-foot-9 Zdeno Chara for years, and the answer wasn’t always yes. With hard work came the skating, and Chara, a third-round pick of the Islanders, became Chara.

“He’s definitely the example,” Yevenko said Wednesday of Chara. “He’s one of the best defensemen in the league at the moment. He uses his size very, very well and there’s a lot to learn from that guy.”

Yevenko strives for a future in the NHL, something that led him to North America at the age of 18.

A hockey player since he was 8 years old, Yevenko got a tryout with the Fargo Force of the USHL and made the team. If that team sounds familiar, it’s because that’s where Bruins goaltending prospect Zane Gothberg played before heading to the University of North Dakota.

Gothberg’s been watching Yevenko for years, from the not-so-pretty to the better-than-not-so-pretty.

“He’s a huge body, man. I remember him coming to camp in Fargo,” Gothberg said. “He could barely move his boots and stuff; had a tough time skating. Now, he’s come a heck of a long way. He’s got good feet for a big man. It’s obviously something he [still] could work on, but that’s with anything in everybody; you’ve always got something to work on.”

Yevenko takes a lot of penalties and was suspended multiple times in his three years in the USHL. He views his size as a big part of that, which is reminiscent of the difficulty Dougie Hamilton – albeit a much younger Dougie Hamilton – had in junior hockey being physical without being called for infractions.

“Every decent or big collision, normally you get called,” Yevenko said. “That’s one of the things that happened during the last year, too. You get called a lot, sometimes get suspended. It kind of influences your game to a certain degree. Maybe on a conscious level, you’re just more careful when you come in a corner because you don’t want to put your team in a bad position.”

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Read More: Oleg Yevenko, Zdeno Chara,
Jonathan Toews contract puts Patrice Bergeron’s deal in perspective 07.09.14 at 3:45 pm ET
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On Wednesday, the Blackhawks finally delivered the mega-contracts to their mega-stars that the hockey world had seen coming for a mega-long time. Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane got, as they say, paid.

The numbers were the same for each: Eight years and $84 million, with the deals carrying annual cap hits of $10.5 million.

That’€™s a boatload of money, but great players in their prime get paid boatloads of money. Both contracts should be met with initial shock at the dollars followed by an understanding that the cap goes up over the years and that we’re talking about two of the best players in the league.

The Bruins don’€™t have a player like Kane, and not many teams do. However, Toews and Patrice Bergeron have spent the last few years (and figure to spend many more) battling one another for the Selke Trophy as the league’€™s top two-way forward.

Last summer, Bergeron got a mega-extension of his own: Eight years worth $52 million with an annual cap hit of $6.5 million.

Now, there are obvious differences between Bergeron and Toews, with the biggest one that Toews is a better player, particularly offensively — that one’€™s kind of the biggie here.

They’€™re also different ages. Bergeron will turn 29 years old later this month, while Toews turned 26 in April.

Still, considering the two players are compared to one another each year in the Selke race (Toews edged Bergeron in the 2013 season, Bergeron won for the second time in three years this past season), it’€™s worth comparing the two contracts. The immediate takeaway from Toews’€™ deal is that, at $4 million against the cap less each year, Peter Chiarelli got Bergeron, perhaps for the rest of his career, at a pretty sweet rate.

Last season, the players put up similar offensive numbers, with Toews’€™ 68 points over 76 games edging Bergeron’€™s 62 points over 80, but Bergeron put up 30 goals while Toews netted 28. Bergeron’€™s faceoff numbers (third in faceoff percentage; Toews was fifth) and superior advanced stats (he finished third in the league among players with 25 or more games in Corsi Rel; Toews was 22nd) made him the Selke winner in the eyes of the Pro Hockey Writers Association.

It should be expected that Toews will regularly outproduce Bergeron offensively, while Bergeron figures to remain the better defensive player. They aren’€™t the same player, but they’€™re closer than their contracts suggest. Neither deal has begun yet (Bergeron’€™s starts this coming season, Toews’€™ the year after that), but count Bergeron’€™s as another savvy signing for Chiarelli.

Read More: Jonathan Toews, Patrice Bergeron, Peter Chiarelli,
Bruins open development camp 07.09.14 at 2:30 pm ET
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WILMINGTON –€” The Bruins opened development camp Wednesday at Ristuccia Arena, with prospects taking the ice to get better acquainted with the organization.

Malcolm Subban was the last player in attendance to get on the ice, as he was dealing with cramps. Wednesday marked the first time 2014 first-round pick David Pastrnak hit the ice in a Bruins’€™ sweater, though general manager Don Sweeney shared that Pastrnak had only brought his skates to the camp and thus had to use all new equipment.

Fourth-round pick Danton Heinen is not at the camp because he is currently enrolled in college classes at the University of Denver. Players enrolled in college courses are not allowed to be excused for professional camps. Matt Grzelcyk will miss Thursday’€™s session because he has class at Boston University.

The development camp will continue through Sunday at Ristuccia.

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