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NHL schedules released, Bruins to play Rangers in two of first three 01.12.13 at 10:51 pm ET
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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
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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
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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.

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David Krejci loved playing back home, but it was no NHL 01.11.13 at 12:07 pm ET
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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 Å 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.”

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Anton Khudobin: Focus is on Bruins, not KHL 01.11.13 at 11:17 am ET
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WILMINGTON — After skating with teammates for the first time since returning from Russia, Bruins backup goaltender Anton Khudobin said that despite recently saying he was interested in playing in the KHL next season, his focus is on the Bruins.

Khudobin, who played for Moscow Atlant of the KHL during the lockout, told Russian media outlet R-Sport that he will consider going back to the KHL when his deal with the Bruins ends after the upcoming season. He insisted Friday that he won’t let his upcoming choice distract him.

“I’m focused right now on this season here,” Khudobin said. “I’m not focused on anything else. We’ll see what’s going to happen after the season. It’s just normal. I’m in the last year of my contract, and you never know what’s going to be. Right now I’m just focused on this season and I want to get ready to play here.”

Khudobin, 26, said that he had previously been interested in playing in the KHL and that his experience during the lockout has helped him understand what playing in the league full-time would be like.

“It was a good experience,” he said. “I was thinking about [playing in] the KHL [in previous years], but I didn’t have a chance to play there. Now I’ve played and I know what to expect there.”

While Tuukka Rask is set to be the B’s No. 1 goaltender this year, a tightly compressed schedule of 48 games in a shorter period of time will mean that Khudobin will still likely get a lot of games this season.

“That’s the good thing for me,” Khudobin said. “It’s going to be lots of games and I have a good chance to play more than I would have in a full season. It’s going to be lots of games.”

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

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David Krejci, Anton Khudobin return 01.11.13 at 9:31 am ET
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WILMINGTON — David Krejci and Anton Khudobin were in town and skating with Bruins teammates Friday morning, leaving Dougie Hamilton as the only member of the projected opening-night roster not not practicing with the team this week. Hamilton can’t technically make the leap to the NHL until the new collective bargaining agreement is ratified Saturday. Tyler Seguin, who has been skating with fellow Bruins since returning from Switzerland, was absent Friday, as was Johnny Boychuk.

Krejci played for Pardubice HC of the Czech Extraliga during the lockout, scoring 16 goals and adding 11 assists in 24 games. Khudobin played in the KHL and said recently that he would consider going back after his contract with the Bruins expires.

Read More: Anton Khudobin, David Krejci, Tyler Seguin,
Anton Khudobin would consider going back to KHL next season 01.10.13 at 5:47 pm ET
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Zdeno Chara made it clear to the KHL that he wasn’t going to stay there past the lockout, but it appears that the KHL could be in goalie Anton Khudobin‘s long-term future.

According to R-Sport, Khudobin, who is under contract with the B’s through the season, has enjoyed playing for Moscow Atlant during the lockout so much that he told the Russian media outlet that he would consider making a full-time move to the KHL after he finishes this season with Boston.

Here’s what Khudobin said, and pardon the translation:

“In the summer my contract with Boston finishes, and the choice of which league to play is going to be a serious dilemma. I could definitely turn up in the KHL, why not?

“Here you get really good hockey, it’s a really decent league. The KHL is taking confident steps forward, and that’s something that’s really pleasing.”

Khudobin has yet to make an appearance with his Bruins teammates as they hold informal practices leading up to training camp. David Krejci and Dougie Hamilton are the only other two Bruins not yet skating with them (Hamilton can’t yet, as he can’t jump to the NHL until the players ratify the new collective bargaining agreement).

The Kazakh-born Khudobin figures to be Tuukka Rask‘s backup this season. He allowed one goal in his only game last season for the B’s, a 3-1 victory over the Senators on April 5.

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