|Zdeno Chara: Dougie Hamilton ‘way better than I was at his age’||01.13.13 at 3:24 pm ET|
Following the Bruins’ first day of training camp in front of approximately 1,000 fans at TD Garden, B’s captain Zdeno Chara sang the praises of fellow defenseman Dougie Hamilton. The 19-year-old, who was named the most outstanding defenseman in the OHL, is expected to make the team this year after being drafted ninth overall in the 2011 draft.
“You don’t see very often guys being so humble and almost shy come around and be so good,” Chara said of Hamilton. “We all can see he’s very talented and willing to learn, so it’s exciting for all of us to have a guy like that around and try to help him out as much as you can and see him growing as a person.”
Hamilton has long looked up to Chara, as he is also a taller blueliner (Hamilton stands at 6-foot-5, while Chara is the tallest player in the history of the NHL at 6-foot-9). Asked if he saw some of his younger self in Hamilton, Chara said that he wasn’t as advanced at 19 as Hamilton is now.
“He’s way better. He’s way better than I was, I can tell you right now,” Chara said. “He’s way better than I was at his age.”
Hamilton, whose Twitter avatar is a picture of him standing on the ice with Chara, lit up when told of the captain’s praise.
“That’s awesome,” Hamilton said. “Just watching him out there, you can see how good he is. I don’t get to watch that much NHL hockey because we’re always playing. But you go out there and watch him and he’s pretty sick. If I can learn from him and try to get better and just watch him, he’s going to help me out a lot. I’m really looking forward to that.”
For complete Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Peter Chiarelli: Tim Thomas wants to play next season||01.13.13 at 11:14 am ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli provided a minor update on the status of goaltender Tim Thomas, who is not playing this year despite being under contract for this season.
Thomas, a two-time Vezina winner and the recipient of the 2011 Conn Smythe, is spending the year in Colorado with his family and will be suspended by the team when he does not show up by 10 a.m. on Monday, but Chiarelli said that the 38-year-old has told him that he does intend to play next season.
“Tim’s not going to show up, and he’s told us that he’s not playing for the year and wants to play next year,” Chiarelli said. “As late as last week he’s told me that through his agent, so we’ll end up suspending him and we want to do it in a non-adverserial way. I’ll talk to the agent and we’ll agree to some sort of set of facts and remedies and that will be it.”
With Tuukka Rask taking over as the No. 1 goaltender, it would appear that Thomas’ time with the B’s is done. There had been talk that the B’s could send Thomas, who has one year left on his contract with a $3 million salary and $5 million cap hit, to a team that needs to get to the salary floor. Chiarelli doesn’t see that scenario playing out, but he could still trade Thomas eventually.
“He will be on our cap unless I trade him,” Chiarelli said. “With the floor as it is — $44 million — there’s probably not the opportunity to move him to a team that needs to get to the floor, so it’s a bit of a standstill. He’s on our cap.”
Chiarelli said the Bruins have the ability to require Thomas to give them another year under the same terms of his contract, but that it’s “too early to tell” whether the B’s will do that. It would seem unlikely that they would do that and keep him, as the Bruins’ cap situation for next season (just under $7 million in space without Rask signed) is tight as it is, leaving them no room for Thomas’ $5 million cap hit.
|Peter Chiarelli says Adam McQuaid should play in season-opener||01.13.13 at 10:56 am ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Sunday morning that he expects defenseman Adam McQuaid, who is recovering from blood clot surgery, to play in next Saturday’s season opener against the Rangers.
McQuaid, who underwent the surgery for a blood clot under his collarbone in October, has been skating with teammates as he’s gotten his strength back. Judging by how he looked on the ice in informal practices at Boston University, he had appeared to have lost weight.
“He’s ready to play. He’s cleared to play now,” Chiarelli said. “I don’t know what level of contact he can take — I haven’t talked to our docs yet — but I think he’s completely ready to play.”
Asked whether he’ll be in the lineup next Saturday, Chiarelli replied, “I would assume so, unless he stinks out there.”
|NHL schedules released, Bruins to play Rangers in two of first three||01.12.13 at 10:51 pm ET|
Following the signing of the memorandum of understanding reflecting the terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, NHL schedules were released on Saturday night. As was reported by Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe earlier in the week, the B’s will open the season on Jan. 19 against the Rangers at TD Garden.
The B’s will continue their homestand by hosting the Jets on Monday, Jan. 21 before hitting the road to face the Rangers in New York.
The B’s will first face the Canadiens on Feb. 6 in Montreal and will not host the Habs until March 3. Boston’s longest road trip will take place in mid-to-late February, with the B’s visiting Buffalo, Winnipeg, Tampa, Florida and the Islanders from Feb. 15-26. They will play just two of their 11 February games at home.
The format of the schedule includes only in-conference games, with teams playing two of their divisional rivals four times each and the other two five times each. The B’s face will face the Sabres and Senators five times apiece and will play the Habs and Maple Leafs four times. They will face all other Eastern Conference teams three times.
The schedule figured to be more compressed, as the league had to fit 48 games into a shorter stretch of time. As a result, the Bruins will have seven sets of back-to-back games. They had 12 back-to-backs in all of last season.
Boston’s regular season will end on April 27, which is 20 days later than it ended last season.
Individual game tickets will go on sale Wednesday at 2 p.m. on the Bruins’ website and the their box office.
For the complete Bruins’ schedule, check out the Bruins’ official website.
|Lockout officially over as memorandum of understanding is signed||01.12.13 at 10:32 pm ET|
The NHL lockout officially ended on Saturday night, with the league and NHLPA signing a memorandum of understanding for the new collective bargaining agreement. The lockout lasted 119 days, though the sides agreed to a new CBA last Sunday, the 113th day of the work stoppage.
The memorandum of understanding essentially seals the agreement between the NHL and NHLPA while the CBA is finalized, allowing the league to proceed with the season without either side changing language in the deal.
Teams are now free to begin training camps, with the season set to begin on Jan. 19.
|Bruins press conference held up by memorandum of understanding||01.12.13 at 2:56 pm ET|
Because the memorandum of understanding regarding the new collective bargaining agreement had yet to be signed, the Bruins were forced to postpone and eventually cancel Saturday’s press conference with president Cam Neely and general manager Peter Chiarelli.
The MOU is essentially a place-holder for the language in the recently agreed-upon CBA, which would allow the season to get going while the CBA is finalized. It’s a minor technicality and shouldn’t cause any reason for concern. The B’s plan on having the press conference as soon as they can, likely Sunday.
|David Krejci loved playing back home, but it was no NHL||01.11.13 at 12:07 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins got another big name back on the ice Friday when center David Krejci, fresh off a stint with Pardubice HC, joined teammates at Ristuccia Arena.
Krejci, who hails from Ã ternberk of the former Czechoslovakia, said he enjoyed his time during the lockout. In addition to scoring scoring 16 goals with 11 assists for 27 points in 24 games, he got to spend Christmas and New Years with his family for the first time in 10 years, which meant a lot to the 26-year-old.
“It was nice, but other than that, I missed the NHL,” Krejci said. “When we’re kids, we all dream about playing in the NHL. Once we finally made it, we want to be in it. We don’t want to play somewhere else.”
At least Krejci got to see some familiar faces, as both Andrew Ference (Ceske Budejovice HC) and Tuukka Rask (Plzen HC) also played in the Czech Extraliga. Krejci scored on Rask when their teams played one another, but it was Rask who got the last laugh.
“I did score,” Krejci said. “But then the game went into a shootout and he stopped me, we were 1-1.”
Krejci was one of 12 Bruins to play in Europe during the lockout. He said he felt good after skating with teammates Friday, but admitted that time will tell whether he and others are ready for the physical challenge of the upcoming 48-game schedule.
“We’ll see,” he said of whether playing in the Extraliga was enough to keep him in NHL shape. “The game’s a little different there. There’s not as much hitting. It’s a bigger ice, so it’s definitely a little different, but we’ve got to wait and see whether I’m in good shape for the games or not. Personally I feel pretty good.”
Like everyone playing in Europe, Krejci thought at a couple of points that it was time to pack his bags and return to the NHL, only to find that talks for a new collective bargaining agreement had broken off. That was disappointing for him, but he can only imagine how disappointed fans are after the league lost nearly half a season to yet another work stoppage.
Krejci has been looking forward to stepping back onto the Garden ice since the B’s were eliminated in seven games by the Capitals last season. He just hopes that the lockout didn’t leave a bad taste in fans’ mouths and that the season-opener can be a good experience for everyone.
“I don’t really know what the fan’s [attitude] is about [toward] the situation and what’s going on with the lockout,” Krejci said. “I’m maybe a little nervous. I don’t know what to expect, but they’ve been great for so long. As long as I’ve been here, they’ve been great. They’ve been going to the games, so I hope they’re going to come and support us just like nothing happened.”