|Andrew Ference will play in Czech Republic if there isn’t a CBA next month||09.20.12 at 12:36 am ET|
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference announced on Twitter Wednesday night that he will go overseas to play for HC Ceske Budejovice of the Czech Extraliga on Oct. 7 if a new collective bargaining agreement between players and the owners is not reached. Ference played in the Extraliga during the 2004-05 season, which was cancelled due to a lockout that spanned the season.
Tweeted Ference: “Going back to my old team, Ceske Budejovice, on Oct 7 barring any CBA. I’ll buy any Bostonian a Budvar [Budweiser] if I see you there.”
Ference would become the second Bruin to join the Extraliga for the lockout. Bruins center David Krejci is reportedly set to leave this weekend to play for HC Pardubice. Dennis Seidenberg may also head to Germany to play for Adler Mannheim of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga.
The owners locked the players out over the weekend after the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement expired. The NHL announced the cancellation of all preseason games on Wednesday.
|Milan Lucic latest to sign extension before lockout||09.15.12 at 10:19 am ET|
The Bruins announced Saturday morning that they have agreed to a three-year contract extension with left wing Milan Lucic. The deal carries a $6 million cap hit annually, which will make him the team’s highest-paid forward.
The deal comes days after the team locked up fellow forwards Brad Marchand (four years at a $4.5 million average annual value) and Tyler Seguin ($5.75 million AAV). Once the lockout begins at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, teams will not be able to sign players.
Lucic is entering the final season of a three-year deal worth $4.083 million annually and was set to become a restricted free agent after the season. The 24-year-old was third on the team in goals last season with 26. He had his first 30-goal season in the 2010-11 season.
|Dougie Hamilton’s OHL coach: ‘Once the lockout ends, he will join the Bruins’||09.14.12 at 6:11 pm ET|
Friday’s news that the Bruins had assigned Dougie Hamilton back to his OHL team meant that the Bruins had to be pretty darn sure that they’d be able to get him back once the lockout ended.
While the CHL/NHL transfer agreement expired this summer, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said last week that he was confident that teams would be able to assign junior-eligible players to their junior teams and recall at least one of them to the NHL once a new CBA was reached, and that Hamilton would be that player for the B’s. Following Hamilton’s assignment, Niagara IceDogs coach and general manager Marty Williamson told WEEI.com that it’s everyone’s understanding that Hamilton will be a Bruin as soon as the lockout ends.
“Absolutely,” Williamson said. “There’s no way our league’s going to stop these guys from going [to the NHL]. I know 100 percent they’re behind it that as soon as the lockout ends, that he will join the Bruins.”
Hamilton, who would have attended this week’s Bruins rookie camp (the camp, which was slated to begin Friday was cancelled due to CBA uncertainty), has been practicing with the IceDogs for nearly two weeks, according to Williamson. Now that he’s officially been assigned to the OHL, he will play in his first game next Thursday.
The ninth overall pick in the 2011 draft, Hamilton had 72 points last season in 50 regular-season games.
|Bruins assign Dougie Hamilton to OHL, Jordan Caron among players headed to AHL||09.14.12 at 5:36 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Friday that they have sent 23 players to Providence, a list that is led by winger Jordan Caron. In addition to announcing the players assigned to Providence, the team also assigned defenseman Dougie Hamilton and goalie Malcolm Subban to their OHL teams.
While the transfer agreement between the NHL and CHL has expired, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said last week that he believes teams would be able to have junior-eligible players start a locked out season in junior and then come to the NHL when a new collective bargaining agreement is in place. The team intends to do that with Hamilton, who had 72 points in 50 regular-season games last season.
With the Bruins’ rookie camp cancelled and the NHL picture unclear, Hamilton joined up with his former-turned-current team this month, IceDogs coach Marty Williamson told WEEI.com Friday.
“He’s been practicing with us for the last two weeks almost,” Williamson said following the announcement. “He’s been here practicing but hasn’t played any exhibition games. Now that they’ve made the announcement, he’ll start Thursday with us and play his first game.”
The following players were sent to Providence: Matt Bartkowski, Ryan Button, Carter Camper, Jordan Caron, Colby Cohen, Tommy Cross, Craig Cunningham, Justin Florek, Michael Hutchinson, Jared Knight, Torey Krug, Kevan Miller, Adam Morrison, Tyler Randell, Max Sauve, Ryan Spooner, Niklas Svedberg, Zach Trotman and David Warsofsky. Veterans Garnet Exelby, Christian Hanson, Jamie Tardif and Trent Whitfield will also report to Providence after clearing waivers.
One notable absence from that list is forward Tyler Seguin. The 20-year-old has played in 175 NHL games (including playoffs) and is thus not exempt from the waiver process in order to send him to the AHL. However, it is Seguin’s understanding that there is a scenario in which he could play in the AHL this season.
|Tyler Seguin: ‘My understanding is I could go to [AHL]’||09.14.12 at 2:18 pm ET|
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||09.14.12 at 2:12 pm ET|
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||09.14.12 at 1:07 pm ET|
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.”