|Adam McQuaid: ‘I feel like I’m pretty close’||01.13.13 at 3:40 pm ET|
The Bruins expect Adam McQuaid to be ready to go for the season-opener as he recovers from blood clot surgery, and the physical blueliner said after Sunday’s practice that he is still continuing to improve as he gets his strength back.
“I feel like I’m pretty close,” McQuaid said. “It’s a different situation, right? But I still feel like every day is honestly getting better and it’s coming pretty quick. We have a little bit of time here, and hopefully another week or so will go a long ways and we’ll see from there. I’d love more than anything to be able to play, but we’ll see.
“I feel like I’m moving pretty good,” he added. “Obviously the strength side of it will just be something I’ll continue to work on, just upper-body strength, but again, that’s something that can come pretty quick.”
McQuaid got surgery in October for a blood clot under his collarbone after his right arm swelled considerably. Though he was locked out at that point due to CBA negations between the NHL and NHLPA, McQuaid was still able to consult Bruins’ doctors on his own without bending rules.
“The physical signs were there. My arm got really swollen, and there was no denying that something was going on, so it was a no-brainer to go get checked out,” he explained. “When I kind of had an idea of what was going on, I got in contact with some of the team doctors just on my own, on behalf of myself. Luckily enough, they worked with me just on a personal level and not with the team. I was pretty fortunate to have those guys watching over everything that was going on.”
As for Peter Chiarelli‘s declaration that McQuaid will play next Saturday against the Rangers, McQuaid said he hopes his general manager is right. After all, McQuaid was in Providence for the 2010 opener and was sick when the B’s opened against the Flyers last season.
“I’m hoping [I can play],” he said. “I haven’t had the opportunity to start a season opener with this team, so I’m hoping that this is going to be the year.”
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|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.”
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|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.