|David Backes respects Colin Kaepernick’s decision, but wouldn’t sit during national anthem||09.07.16 at 8:38 am ET|
Colin Kaepernick is not playing in the World Cup of Hockey for a couple of reasons. For one, he doesn’t play hockey. For another, the World Cup of Hockey is a sporting event, and Kaepernick doesn’t participate in sporting events these days because Blaine freaking Gabbert took his job.
Still, Kaepernick was a popular topic at Team USA’s training camp, where both the coach and its players were asked about Kaepernick’s recent peaceful protests in which he sat and kneeled during the national anthem. While coach John Tortorella had a rather harsh response, saying he would bench any player who sat during the national anthem, Bruins forward David Backes was a bit more sensible.
“I think as athletes we have a great platform and to use it to influence social change is within our right,” Backes told USA Today. “Whether you should do that during the anthem, which stands for our country and salutes those who have given their lives for our country, allowing athletes to play, is a matter of debate. I have my opinions on that.”
Backes is a strong advocate of rescuing pets, something he displayed when he brought some of Sochi’s stray dogs back from the 2014 Winter Olympics. The veteran forward also heads up Athletes for Animals, a foundation that aims to control the pet population by finding homes for animals to getting them spayed and neutered.
On the subject of the anthem itself, the Minnesota native was respectful of Kaepernick but said that he personally would never sit.
“He is going to do his thing, but I salute those who have stood for our country, who have died and given limbs and lives for us,” Backes said. “I will salute that flag every time it is raised.”
|Zach Senyshyn to miss rookie camp, will attend Bruins training camp||09.05.16 at 12:50 pm ET|
Zach Senyshyn was a notable absence from this summer’s development camp, and it now appears that the flashiest of Boston’s three 2015 first-round picks could miss training camp as well.
Senyshyn, who was held out of development camp due to mono, underwent an appendectomy on Sunday, the Bruins confirmed. Brad Coccimiglio of Sootoday.com wrote that Senyshyn will “likely miss much, if not all of the Bruins camp.” The B’s confirmed that Senyshyn will miss rookie camp which begins Sept. 15, but will attend the team’s main camp when it begins on Sept. 22. The team noted in Monday’s release that Senyshyn’s participation level is “undetermined at this time.”
The Bruins were highly criticized for selecting Senyshyn 15th overall last summer, as the right wing was projected to go in the second round. Senyshyn was expected to make a statistical leap after playing on lower lines in his drat year however, something he when he jumped from 26 goals in his draft year to 45 goals in 2015-16.
Though unfortunate, Senyshyn missing camp would not be particularly harmful to the 2016-17 Bruins, as Senyshyn would have been considered a major longshot to make the team. Because he is 19, Senyshyn would have to return to junior if he didn’t make the NHL anyway.
|David Krejci drops out of World Cup of Hockey||09.02.16 at 4:23 pm ET|
According to Czech television reporter Zdenek Matejovsky, David Krejci has dropped out of the World Cup of Hockey.
Injury will prevent David Krejci from the World Cup participation ! -Czech GM Martin Rucinsky just confirmed !
— Zdenek Matejovsky (@zedmat) September 2, 2016
Krejci, who has skated this week at Warrior Ice Arena with teammates, is coming off April hip surgery. He said Monday that he was in touch with the Czech team weekly and that the team was aware that he might not play.
“If you asked me a long time ago, then yes, but right now I just want to get to 100 percent,” Krejci said Monday. “If I’m ready, then that will be awesome, but if not, you have to do what you have to do to be 100 percent.”
Krejci expects to be ready for the start of the NHL season.
|Brad Marchand mum on contract negotiations with Bruins||09.01.16 at 1:41 pm ET|
BRIGHTON — Brad Marchand has made a stop in Boston before he heads to practices with Team Canada for the World Cup of Hockey. Thursday served as an opportunity to skate with some Bruins teammates at the new Warrior Ice Arena and face the inevitable questions about his contract status.
Marchand, 28, is entering the final year of a four-year, $18 million contract. If he doesn’t sign an extension, which he’s been eligible to do since July, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent next July 1.
“I know that everyone wants an update and everything, but I really can’t comment on what’s going on, but we are talking and hopefully we’ll figure something out,” Marchand said.
Marchand’s next deal would figure to command upwards of $6 million annually at the very least (and likely much more). One of the league’s best two-way forwards, Marchand is coming off a career year in which he led the Bruins with 37 goals in 2015-16.
Last month, B’s general manager Don Sweeney said the team considered Marchand a core player, but that it took “two sides” to come to an agreement. Marchand reiterated his preference Thursday to be a Bruin for the rest of his career.
“This is an incredible organization and one that I think we’re all very fortunate to be part of,” Marchand said. “It would be great to be able to be here my whole career, and you see how rare that is nowadays. It doesn’t happen often, so it would be an incredible thing, but a lot of things have to line up for that to happen, not only now but down the road, so we’ll play it year-by-year.”
|Bruins sign Dominic Moore, Alex Grant, Chris Casto, Brian Ferlin||08.30.16 at 7:36 pm ET|
The Bruins announced four signings Tuesday, inking 36-year-old forward Dominic Moore and depth defenseman Alex Grant to one-year contracts. The B’s also re-upped Chris Casto and Brian Ferlin, both of whom have spent their entire pro careers in the Boston organization, to one-year deals.
The Bruins will become Moore’s 10 team, tying him with Lee Stempniak as the most travelled active player in the league. A graduate of Harvard, Moore lived in Cambridge with his wife Katie, who died in 2013 of liver cancer. He was awarded the Masterton Trophy after returning to the NHL a season later with the Rangers.
Last season, Moore scored six goals and added nine assists for 15 points in 80 games for the Rangers. His best season came in 2010-11 with the Lightning, when he scored 18 goals and had 14 assists for 32 points in 77 games.
Moore’s contract, which carries a $900,000 cap hit, is the only one-way deal of the four, with Grant, Casto and Ferlin all receiving two-way deals. Ferlin’s deals worth $725,000 at the NHL level, Casto’s is worth $650,000 in the NHL and Grant’s is worth $600,000 in the NHL.
Grant, 27, played in five games for the Coyotes last season but spent most of the season with the Springfield Falcons of the AHL. The 6-foot-3, 209-pound defender had 42 points for the Falcons in 69 games.
An undrafted signing of the Bruins after two years at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Casto has played three seasons for P-Bruins. Last season, he skated in 68 games, scoring seven goals and adding 16 assists for 23 points.
Limited last season by a concussion, the 24-year-old Ferlin played in just 23 games for Providence last season, scoring six goals with eight assists for 14 points. He played in seven NHL games in 2014-15, registering one assist.
Ferlin was drafted by the Bruins in the fourth round of the 2011 draft. The Cornell product is entering his third professional season.
|Charlie Jacobs says David Backes is Bruins’ third-line center||08.30.16 at 1:16 pm ET|
The Bruins’ signing of David Backes was met with multiple questions, with “Why?” being the most popular. After all, signing Backes meant giving the money they could have given to Loui Eriksson to an older player who isn’t expected to age as well.
The second question was, “What position is he going to play?” A longtime center in St. Louis, the 32-year-old Backes played right wing for the Blues in the postseason and would be a reliable presence on Boston’s top line with center Patrice Bergeron and left wing Brad Marchand. Both the Bruins and Backes have preached flexibility, leaving it unknown what Boston’s plans are for their $30 million man.
On Tuesday, the CEO may have spilled the beans. Participating in the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund radio telethon, Charlie Jacobs used the Bruins’ depth at center — naming Backes and not incumbent third-line pivot Ryan Spooner — as a primary reason as to why he feels the Bruins will be improved this season.
“We’ve got Bergeron, [David] Krejci and Backes as our first three centers. Think about that,” Jacobs said. “I don’t know if there’s a team in the Eastern Conference that is [as] three-deep at center.”
Furthermore, Jacobs said that Backes’ presence will allow the Bruins, who finished fifth in goals scored last season thanks in part to Eriksson’s 30, to boast one of the best offenses in the league.
“This may be a stretch, but think about what Pittsburgh had down the middle, and they supplemented it with just about a rookie on just about every line with the exception of the HBK line and went on to win the Cup last year,” Jacobs said.
A source told WEEI.com Tuesday that the Bruins have not told Spooner that he’ll be playing wing in the coming season. Spooner is entering the final season of a two-year deal with a $950,000 cap hit and will be a restricted free agent after the season.
If Backes and Spooner are to play on the same line, it’s possible that the Bruins could resurrect the split of center responsibilities they did in recent seasons with Chris Kelly and Carl Soderberg (and, briefly, Kelly and Spooner). In such a scenario, the more defensively savvy player (in this case Backes) would support down low in the defensive zone, while the more offensive player (Spooner) would run things in the offensive zone.
|David Krejci might miss World Cup of Hockey, Torey Krug aims to be ready for season||08.29.16 at 7:04 pm ET|
Both David Krejci and Torey Krug intend to be ready for the start of the regular season after offseason surgery. That’s better news for the Bruins than it is for, say, the Czech national team.
Krejci, who had surgery for a right hip impingement in April, has not officially bailed on the World Cup of Hockey, but his participation does not seem likely. After skating with five teammates at Warrior Ice Arena Monday, the veteran center said that he has been in touch with the national team weekly and that they’re not banking on him being there.
“If you asked me a long time ago, then yes, but right now I just want to get to 100 percent,” Krejci said of whether he’ll play in the tournament. “If I’m ready, then that will be awesome, but if not, you have to do what you have to do to be 100 percent.”
Added Krejci: “I’m in contact with the national team coach and we talk pretty much every week. They’re asking about my update, and we kind of know what’s going on. I’m sure they have some backup plan if it’s not going to work out, but we’ll see what happens.”
The sides plan to talk again later in the week, with Krejci saying the team hasn’t given him a date by which he must decide.
Krejci got back on the ice Aug. 17 and has worked his way up from doing light circles to more intensive skating. He wasn’t on the ice particularly long Monday (no longer than 20 minutes), but he noted that this week will consist of ramping up the volume of time spent on the ice.
As for Krug, the 25-year-old says that he is medically on track after having right shoulder surgery. After skating with teammates Monday, he noted that he is not yet taking one-timers.
“I’m trying to avoid doing too many crazy things out there,” Krug said. “[I’ll] take it slow and day-by-day. We still have plenty of time until camp, so as it ramps up here I’ll probably do that individually as well.”
Krug said that he “knew for a while” during the season that he was going to need the surgery he eventually received, even though he played in 81 of Boston’s 82 games. The defenseman said that the torn labrum bugged him at various points of the season.
Despite being hampered by the injury, Krug put up a career-best 44 points last season.