|Andrew Ference happy to share Cup with Boston, surprised by Kevin Bieksa’s comments||06.18.11 at 5:39 pm ET|
The city of Boston has waited 39 years. The fans win.
To be able to bring the Cup to Boston has been special for Ference and his teammates, who feel they can identify with fans now more than ever. It’s what they have in common, Ference feels, that makes the city’s celebration of the Cup even more special.
“I just feel like everybody feels like we do,” Ference said Saturday. “We’ve waited our whole lives to win it, and put in a lot of work and dedication and we finally get to raise the Cup, but all the hockey fans here have put in their hard work, too, supporting the teams and waiting so long. It’s amazing how many people come up and introduce themselves as season ticket-holders for x-number of years. That’s hard work. That’s support and that’s incredible dedication to the sport and to the team. Of course they’re as excited as we are, so it’s amazing.”
Ference, who took the Cup through Boston in a stroller, earlier in the week, said it was total blur when he raised the trophy for the first time.
“It really happened so quick, and even the whole time on the ice is just kind of a blur and busy. You’re in disbelief. It was great on the ice, but it was more fun almost in the locker room after to real savor it. On the ice, you’re really just hoping for a good picture so you can put it on the wall.”
LAY OFF THE JACKET
Ference said Saturday that his team drew no motivation from the lack of respect it received during the Stanley Cup finals, but did not that he was surprised that players such as Kevin Bieksa bad-mouthed them to the media.
Bieksa, of course, made fun of the 1980’s jacket that Ference bought on eBay for $35 — a hideous sight to any eyes — that one player wears after each game to denote the team’s most valuable player. Bieksa called the tradition childish, asking, “Don’t Pee Wee teams have that?”
“It just surprised me that he would say that publicly,” Ference said Saturday. “How does that benefit them? I don’t know. Even if you think it, you can chirp us all you want in your own locker room. Publicly, it’s just more surprising. I didn’t care, it doesn’t hurt our feelings. We love it and what it represents. Yeah, just to say some things publicly were surprising because it does absolutely no good for your own team.”
The Bruins got the last laugh, of course, as the Stanley Cup ended up wearing the jacket as the team celebrated in the visitors room at Rogers Arena Wednesday.
NOT ALL VANCOUVER FANS ARE BAD
Aside from a chorus of boos for commissioner Gary Bettman, the Canucks fans were respectful of the Bruins when they won the Cup, cheering as Zdeno Chara lifted the historic trophy, and getting louder for the likes of Tim Thomas and Vancouver native Milan Lucic. The Green Men, who famously harass opponents, even held a “Congrats Milan” sign. Ference said he and the Bruins appreciated how they were treated by the fans, and that the riots that ensued don’t typify all those who root for the Canucks.
“As much as bad stuff happened from some people there, there’s still some great, great hockey fans that respect the game,” Ference said. “You don’t want to taint everybody from what a few people messed up after the game.”
|With playing days over, Mark Recchi hopes to find a way to manage||06.18.11 at 4:18 pm ET|
Recchi did offer a peek into where is mind is as he wraps his playing days, however.
“I’d like to stay in the game,” Recchi said. “We’ll see where that takes me. I’ll take a little time off. I’d like to stay in the game somewhat. I like more the management side. I like the building process, building a team. We’ll see where it takes [me].”
Recchi, who said he likes to “figure out the pieces of the puzzle,” said that Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has done a fine job of that since coming to Boston in 2006.
“The pieces are all set there again,” Recchi said of the team’s future. “The way Peter set this organization up is incredible. They’ve got the No. 9 pick this year. They just keep stockpiling. It’s set up — the franchise — to be real successful for a long time. He did an incredible job.”
For Recchi to go from the ice to a front office would be nothing out of the ordinary, as many current NHL general managers are former players. While Chiarelli never reached the NHL as a player, president Cam Neely used his role as a means of winning his first Stanley Cup after a Hall-of-Fame playing career with the Canucks and Bruins.
Speaking of the Hall, it’s safe to say that is also in Recchi’s future. The 43-year-old finished his career with 577 goals and 956 assists for 1533 points. His 1652 regular season games place him fourth all time, behind only Gordie Howe (1,767), Mark Messier (1,756) and Ron Francis (1,731). He is 25th all-time with 61 playoff goals.
|Marc Savard says short-term memory issues are ‘terrible’||06.18.11 at 2:44 pm ET|
Bruins center Marc Savard was able to make it to Boston from his Peterborough, Ontario home to celebrate the team’s Stanley Cup victory with his teammates at Saturday’s rolling rally. That’s the good news for Savard, who is still suffering from post-concussion syndrome after being concussed twice over the past two seasons.
Savard, who has six more years on his contract, did not indicate whether he plans to retire or try to make a return next season, saying he did not want to take to become the story on a day in which the city was celebrating the city’s first Cup in 39 years.
“It’s really the furthest thing from my mind right now to be honest with you,” the two-time All-Star said Saturday of potentially returning in the fall. “I just want to enjoy it here and let the boys take the spotlight here because they earned it.”
As for his current status, he said he has seen some improvements since his most recent concussion, suffered in January in a game against the Avalanche, but did note that his short-term memory problems have been “terrible.”
“I’m feeling better. I mean I still have my days here and there,” Savard said. “But it’s been tough, that’s for sure, especially watching and stuff like that.”
Savard did not make the trip to Vancouver to watch Game 7 of the finals. Plane rides can be bad for people with concussions, and though Nathan Horton, who also had a concussion, travelled, one would imagine Savard’s symptoms were worse.
“It was a long flight and stuff like that. So I just stayed at home,” Savard said. “It was a weird feeling, I was kind of around for a couple of games at home, I didn’t really want to just stick my nose in it, I know the boys earned it. So I didn’t want to take any of the spotlight or anything away from anybody that worked so hard.”
General manager Peter Chiarelli said Friday that he will petition to have both Savard and Steven Kampfer’s names on the Stanley Cup. Savard played only 25 games of the required 41 games (or one Stanley Cup finals game), while Kampfer played in 38.
“That’s special,” Savard said of potentially being on the Cup. “Like I said, Peter has been fantastic with me ever since I came here in day one. And he was one of the reasons I did come. So I mean, words can’t explain it right now. It’s been a long road that’s for sure.”
|Peter Chiarelli happy he didn’t trade Tim Thomas||06.17.11 at 1:19 pm ET|
Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas was a popular guy last offseason, as he was brought up in trade rumors, some of which were falsely reported. Though the goalie was never going to Philadelphia in exchange for Simon Gagne, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Friday at TD Garden that he did have talks with other teams about Thomas, who was coming off hip surgery, had lost his starting job to Tuukka Rask and at the time had three years of a $5 million annual cap hit left on his deal.
“At the time there was kind of a mutually agreement between myself and Tim and Bill Zito, Tim’s agent, just to explore it and on the premise that Tim does not want to leave Boston,” Chiarelli said of trading Thomas. “And that’s really where it ended. It’s really where it ended. And there was some calls in that and they kept him in the loop at all times and he kept stressing he didn’t want to leave. I said ‘I know, let’s just look at this very briefly.’ And I know there are a lot of stories that flowed from it, but I can’t stress enough the fact that Tim never wanted to leave.
“I wouldn’t be doing my job if I at least didn’t look at some things, and I did. You go through those things, on a number of fronts on a number of fronts, on a number of players. You just field stuff, you look at them, you talk to other teams. And at the end of the day you make the decision yay or nay. And here it was nay. And it was an easy nay.”
Thomas ended up reclaiming the starting job, turning in a shutout in his first start of the season Oct. 10 in Prague against the Coyotes. He ended up allowing just three goals in six starts in October, and even after leveling out was still dominant throughout a season that will undoubtedly earn him his second Vezina trophy in Vegas next week. His .938 save percentage is the best for a goalie in a single season since the stat has been recorded.
Thomas was also named the Conn Smythe trophy winner after the Stanley Cup finals concluded. The award is given to the player most valuable to his team during the playoffs, and Thomas clearly proved that by allowing just eight goals in the seven-game series vs. the Canucks.
Thomas, 37, has two years with a $5 million cap hit left on his contract.
|Marc Savard to attend parade, Peter Chiarelli hopes to get Savard and Steven Kampfer on Stanley Cup||06.17.11 at 12:16 pm ET|
Bruins center Marc Savard, who suffered his second concussion in as many years this season and is dealing with post-concussion syndrome, will be at Saturday’s rolling rally in celebration of the team’s Stanley Cup victory, according to general manager Peter Chiarelli.
Given that Savard played in only 25 games before a clean hit from former teammate Matt Hunwick ended his season, the two-time All-Star does not qualify to have his name on the Stanley Cup. A player must play in either at least 41 regular-season games or one Stanley Cup finals game to have his name engraved on the trophy. There is a petitioning process, however, and Chiarelli plans on petitioning to get Savard and defenseman Steven Kampfer, who just missed the cutoff by playing in 38 regular-season games, on the Cup.
“I don’t know what the process is,” Chiarelli admitted. “I’ve given it a little bit of thought. Certainly those two deserve to be on it, so we’ll see what we can do to get them on it and go from there.”
|Peter Chiarelli says Nathan Horton was playing with separated shoulder||06.17.11 at 12:00 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said Friday at TD Garden that even before being severely concussed on a headshot from Vancouver’s Aaron Rome in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals, first-line winger Nathan Horton was playing hurt for the Bruins. Horton, who had three game-winning goals in the postseason, two of which clinched series, had been playing with a separated shoulder, according to the GM.
“Well I know Nathan, before he was hurt with his concussion was actually hurt. He had a serious separated shoulder,” Chiarelli said, adding that Horton was “hurt significantly.”
Horton had eight goals and nine assists for 17 points in the postseason, his first experience in the playoffs.
Chiarelli added that he considered the B’s lucky for their lack of injuries suffered by players.
“I think we’ll only have one, maybe two, surgeries and we’ll get that out there when I get all the information,” Chiarelli said. “But we’ve had our guys dinged up, and all teams do, like Vancouver did and Tampa did and Philly did. Montreal did. I think what I can say about the injury front is we were fortunate from that perspective. And again when you look back at past winners, I remember the one year Tampa won I think they had like twenty man-games lost due to injury the whole year in the playoffs. So you have to have an element of luck. And on that front we certainly did.”
|Recchi leaves his Mark on Bruins, ends historic career with Cup||06.16.11 at 5:33 am ET|
VANCOUVER — The Bruins knew their season was going to end Wednesday, and hours before Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals, word emerged that regardless of the result, it would be the last game of Mark Recchi‘s historic career.
It’s a storybook ending for a legendary player to end his career with one last championship, and one that is rarely realized. Players stick around a long time trying to get that last taste of victory, and now Recchi has it. He has won the Stanley Cup three times, each one with a different team, and now he’s done. The ultimate winner is leaving the game in fitting fashion.
‘It is amazing,” Recchi said after the Bruins’ 4-0 win over the Canucks. “Not too many people get that chance. I can’t thank these guys enough, the players and everything they did for me.’
What they did for him? Recchi taught the Bruins how to be winners. His skill certainly wasn’t where it was when he was a younger lad, but Recchi’s heart trumped all in the finals, as his line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand produced three of the Bruins’ four goals, with Bergeron scoring the other on the penalty kill.
“I talked to Recchi last night and I was feeling nervous and I asked him to give me some advice,” Bergeron recalled after the game. “He told me to relax and go out there and play the game and to do it for him. ‘¦ I’ve learned so much from him on and off the ice, it’s a great feeling that we’ve accomplished this as a team.”
The mark that Recchi has left on the Bruins is obvious, and while nobody can make a player like Marchand into a saint, the lessons Recchi taught the Bruins’ young winger will never be forgotten.
“The amount he’s pushed me and helped me grow as a player, I wouldn’t be here right now if it wasn’t for him,” Marchand said. “Everything that I learned from him on and off the ice, it’s unbelievable. It was such an honor to be a part of this, going through it with him and to have played with a guy that I watched growing up. [He’s] a hall-of-famer, one of the best guys to ever play the game. It’s truly an honor to have played on his team.”
The Bruins may have lost one of the game’s best winners, but they have a room full of those after Wednesday.
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