|Anton Khudobin: Focus is on Bruins, not KHL||01.11.13 at 11:17 am ET|
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.”
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|David Krejci, Anton Khudobin return||01.11.13 at 9:31 am ET|
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.
|Anton Khudobin would consider going back to KHL next season||01.10.13 at 5:47 pm ET|
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.
|Aaron Johnson eager to help Bruins however he can||01.10.13 at 5:36 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — While Nathan Horton, Rich Peverley and Daniel Paille were the most notable additions to Thursday’s informal practice at Ristuccia Arena, there was one more new guy in attendance. An actual new guy.
Defenseman Aaron Johnson, who was signed to a two-way contract in the offseason after spending last season in Columbus, made his Ristuccia debut on Thursday, a day after going out to dinner with Shawn Thornton and a number of other Bruins teammates.
Johnson, 29, was signed to be a depth guy for the B’s, but if Adam McQuaid (who is still recovering from blood clot surgery but has been on the ice in recent weeks) is unable to go at the start of the season, Johnson could be in the rotation for the B’s.
In 56 games for the Blue Jackets last season, Johnson had three goals and 13 assists for 16 points and a very Blue Jackets-esque minus-12 rating. He said the Bruins weren’t the only option for him this offseason, but choosing them proved to be an easy decision.
“There was a number of teams, but I just think the experience here and the fact that they won a Stanley Cup and still have a lot of those guys, I think it’s a great opportunity,” he said. “I’m just trying to come in and help as much as possible.
“I think the history speaks for itself here,” he added. “As soon as they came on the list, it was pretty much close the door and sign the contract because when a team like this comes along, you want to jump in and be a part of it.”
|Rich Peverley loved Finland, but was ‘as pissed off as anyone’ during lockout||01.10.13 at 4:42 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Forward Rich Peverley was among the newcomers to informal practice Thursday, as he, Nathan Horton, Daniel Paille and newcomer Aaron Johnson joined the likes of Shawn Thornton, Andrew Ference, Zdeno Chara and Tuukka Rask, among others.
Peverley spent the lockout in Finland playing for JyP HT Jyvaskyla of the SM-liiga. There, he played with Habs forward Lars Eller, as well as former Predators teammate Ramzi Abid.
In 29 SM-liiga games, Peverley scored nine goals and added 14 assists for 23 points in 29 games (he also had an eyebrow-raising 47 penalty minutes, according to HockeyDB. Assuming it isn’t a misprint, that means he had more penalty minutes in 29 games over in Finland than he did in a full 82-game season with the Thrashers, as he had 36 all of 2009-10).
“I had a great time,” Peverley said of the experience. “Luckily I was with a great group of guys and some guys I had played with in the past. That eased the transition. I’m really happy I did it and looking back, I would have done the same thing [again].”
As for the lockout itself, Peverley said he feels sorry for the fans, but nobody should think the players were happy to miss time, either.
“I’m a fan too and I was as pissed off as anyone,” he said. “‘¦ We’ve got great fans here, and hopefully in other places around the league, they’ll understand what happened and will come back and support us.”
Peverley figures to have a new linemate in the upcoming season. The Bruins used a combination of Benoit Pouliot, Jordan Caron and Brian Rolston on the other wing with Peverley and Chris Kelly, but both Pouliot and Rolston are gone, while Caron is dealing with an upper-body injury. One possible candidate to take the job for the time being is Chris Bourque, who has eight goals and 20 assists for 28 points in 32 games for Providence this season, is among the candidates to start the season on that wing.
|Tyler Seguin: Swiss story ‘100 percent untrue’||01.10.13 at 12:15 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — This is as much of a story as the infamous Amstel Light saga, so we’ll make this quick: Tyler Seguin is pretty offended by a Swiss report that came out this week saying he was a hoarder and spent his time in Switzerland living in his own filth.
Swiss tabloid Blick wrote a story citing the company hired to clean Seguin’s apartment and reported that the 20-year-old’s floor was littered with money, soda bottles, garbage and dirty linen, while rotten bananas weren’t hard to find either. Deadspin picked up the story, and from there things took off.
Seguin denied the report on Twitter on Wednesday and elaborated after skating with Bruins teammates at Ristuccia Arena on Thursday.
“I was blown away with everything. It was very unprofessional,” Seguin said of the report. “I don’t want to talk about it too much, but everything there was 100 percent untrue. I don’t know if it was because I was one of the only guys on the team to ask for a cleaning service, but it was just something that I’ve always had. I didn’t see the big deal in it [since I was] traveling and such. I was very disappointed in that. It was very unprofessional of them.”
The report stated that Seguin was “not versed in appliances” and tried to washing his clothes in the dryer. That would appear to be half-true, as Seguin said he did his laundry in Biel teammate Patrick Kane‘s apartment a floor below him, but this tweet from November explains the dryer situation.
One complete inaccuracy in the report was the suggestion that it was Seguin’s first time living by himself. Seguin spent his entire rookie season with the Bruins living in his own apartment.
|Nathan Horton ‘definitely’ could have started season in October||01.10.13 at 11:56 am ET|
WILMINGTON — After skating with his teammates for the first time since suffering a concussion last January, Bruins forward Nathan Horton he is 100-percent healthy and ready to go about business as usual throughout the upcoming training camp and 48-game season. His teammates certainly like what they saw on Thursday.
“He’s huge, eh?” Tyler Seguin quipped when asked about the power forward.
Indeed, the Bruins missed Horton’s services since he suffered his second concussion in as many seasons on a Jan. 22 hit from Flyers forward Tom Sestito. Teamed with Milan Lucic, Horton helped give the Bruins first line a bruising duo with a scoring threat, but head injuries have cost him time in the Bruins’ lineup.
Horton began skating by himself after suffering the concussion on the Sestito hit but had a setback and was eventually shut down before the playoffs last season. He said after Thursday’s informal practice with teammates that things have gone smoothly since.
“Near the end of the [season] I was starting to feel better, but all summer I never had any issues with all my running and skating,” Horton said. “I never had a setback, and I feel great. I’m pretty happy about that. It’s a tough thing to go through, but it’s in the past now and I’m looking forward to getting back and being around the guys yet and having some fun.”
Horton spent the lockout skating and working out in Florida. He chose against pursuing European options during the work stoppage, though he said he would have been healthy to start the season in October had it began on time.
“Oh definitely,” Horton said. “I was 100 percent back then. It seems so long ago, but more time obviously helped me. I was fine back then [though].”
A free agent at season’s end, Horton also suffered a concussion in Game 3 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals on a hit from Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome. He had played an integral role in the Bruins’ run to the finals up until that hit, as he scored two game-winning goals in overtime in the first round against the Canadiens (including the series-clincher in Game 7) and scored one of the biggest goals in team history by tallying the only score in the Bruins’ 1-0 victory in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Lightning.
That postseason remains Horton’s only taste of the playoffs, as he never saw the postseason in Florida and missed last year’s first-round exit against the Capitals, something that weighed on him.
“I got one shot of it [in 2011],” he said when asked about missing last season’s playoffs. “You get one taste and you just want to keep going. I didn’t get to do that and it’s pretty disappointing. It was a tough year for me, and I’m just happy to be back. I want to start off right here and keep moving forward.”
Despite now having a history of head injuries, Horton said he isn’t planning on changing his approach at all.
“The truth is I really haven’t even thought about it,” he said. “I’m not even worried about my head, I’m not worried about being in contact or getting in a fight or anything like that. It’s really in the back of my [mind]. I’m looking to the future and I haven’t thought about it. I feel better than I have in a long, long time and that’s it. I’m just happy that I feel good and it’s not even on my mind.”