|Paul Kariya serves as a reminder in Marc Savard situation||09.20.10 at 6:33 pm ET|
Those pundits who are quick to find the timing of the Bruins announcement that Marc Savard will be sidelined indefinitely while suffering from post-concussion syndrome somewhat dubious, should take note of a similar situation effecting skilled NHL veteran winger Paul Kariya.
Kariya had suffered serious concussions earlier in his career and while skating for the St. Louis Blues last season he was elbowed in the head by Buffalo’s Patrick Kaleta on Dec. 27.
Kariya missed six games after the December hit, but he returned to play out the remainder of the Blues schedule.
Yet, on Aug. 28 Kariya’s agent issued a shocking statement indicating that Kariya would miss the entire 2010-11 season due to post-concussion syndrome. Kariya is an unrestricted free agent and could hardly be seeking to help his market value by being held out for a full season.
Savard missed nearly two months of play after suffering a serious concussion resulting from a Matt Cooke blindside hit on March 8. Like Kariya, Savard returned to play, skating in all seven games of the Bruins second-round series with Philadelphia. But simply returning to game action does not necessarily mean that the effects of Savard’s concussion were fully resolved.
While there has been no suggestion that Savard could miss the entire season like Kariya, the full specter of post-concussion syndrome is not something to be taken lightly, or quickly ridiculed.
|Bruins continue to add forwards||06.26.10 at 2:15 pm ET|
LOS ANGELES _ There should be no shortage of talented forwards in the Bruins future.
Having already selected Tyler Seguin, the top ranked center in the draft, with the second overall pick Friday, the Bruins continued the trend in the second round of the draft Saturday.
With the 32nd overall pick in the draft, which was obtained from Toronto in the Phil Kessel trade, the B’s chose center/winger Jared Knight, who had 36 goals and 21 assists in 63 games with the London Knights of the OHL this season.
The B’s had a sense that Knight was flying under the scouting radar. Although he was ranked as the 82nd top prospect by the NHL scouting combine, Knight scored ten goals in 12 playoff games after he was diagnosed with diabetes and began taking insulin late in the season.
“I did have a slow start because of that,” said Knight . “I was diagnosed in November and it’s all taken care of. It’s all under control. I’m taking four shots a day. I’m eating better; I’ve got my diet under control. Everything is under control. Obviously hindered me a little bit at the start but once I got in under control my game really took off.”
GM Peter Chiarelli agreed that the diabetes issue is not a concern.
“He’s been completely treated for that, he lost a bunch of weight and that’s when he started flying under the radar at the start of the season, then he lit it up for a long time,” said Chiarelli at the conclusion of Saturday’s draft. ”He’s a shooter, this guys a shooter. He’s strong on the puck. This kid is a good player.”
Knight did not attend the draft. The 5-11, 186-pound right-shot center is the first player from Battle Creek, Michigan to be drafted in the NHL.
“I think, if you’re going to look at my play, I think [I’m] just a hard working player, a hard-nosed player who goes hard to the net, who’s not afraid to take the post off,” said Knight. “ I think I have a good skill set too and I think what really sets me apart is my work ethic and the way I work out there.”
Knight is also sold on Boston.
“I was down there a couple weeks ago and we tested there at their practice facility and we went around town,” said Knight. “We went to Ray Bourque’s restaurant. It’s just a great city. I watch the games, I love the Boston Bruins. They’re one of my favorite teams to watch. Their fans are just unreal. They’re really passionate fans and its something I’m really looking forward to.”
Spooner was the 39 ranked skater in the draft. A broken collarbone limited the 5-10, 172-pounder to playing just 47 games this season but he was not disappointed with the way things worked out at the draft.
“I was pretty nervous at first, but once I heard I went to Boston I was pretty happy,” said Spooner.”I couldn’t be any happier now.”
The first order of business will be for Spooner to bulk up.
“Obviously I’m a skill player, I’m going to work on that, but overall strength and getting a bit heavier, stuff like that,” said Spooner who has also played with wing on occasion.
“I’ve mostly played center, but when I played with Team Canada at times I played on the wing,” said Spooner. “So I guess I can do either.”
|Chiarelli: Oilers wanted Bruins pick||06.25.10 at 11:40 pm ET|
LOS ANGELES — With the first round of the NHL draft completed Friday Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli indicated that the Edmonton Oilers were interested in obtaining the Bruins second pick in the draft, but not in working a potential swap that would have provided the B’s the Oilers top pick.
According to Chiarelli, Edmonton GM Steve Tambellini hoped to obtain the Bruins pick as a stand alone proposition.
“Talks were more centered around (the Oilers) trying to get the number two pick from us,” said Chiarelli. “He told me early on he was going to try and get it and he didn’t give up.”
The Oilers used the first pick to select Taylor Hall. The Bruins in turn used the second pick to draft Tyler Seguin.
For his part, Chiarelli is happy with the Bruins being able to draft Seguin.
“He’s a terrific player, he’s got a terrific skill set,” said Chiarelli. “He’s still growing. His improvement was tremendous over one year to the next. Very smart, terrific hockey sense.”
Chiarelli has also wasted little time suggesting Seguin will play in the NHL next season.
“I expect he will make the team,” he said. “But you never know. You remember some of the parallels in the past sort of his age and body type, a guy like (Steve) Stampkos took a while to get used to it, took him a while to get his confidence and strength. I would anticipate that line of improvement as he comes into the league.”
Rounds 2-7 of the draft continue Saturday.
|Seguin: Boston ‘is a hockey town’||06.25.10 at 8:37 pm ET|
LOS ANGELES — There is little doubt Tyler Seguin is excited about wearing the Black and Gold and the possibility of immediately playing in the NHL next season.
Minutes after being selected by the Bruins with the second pick in the NHL draft Seguin soaked in the moment and acknowledged his goal is to make the team this season.
“It feels amazing, I can’t really describe it,” said Sequin, a native of Brampton, Ontario who netted 48 goals while adding 58 assists playing junior hockey for the Plymouth Whalers last season. “It’s not winning the Stanley Cup but its one of the best feelings I’ve had so far in my life.”
With the highly anticipated draft process complete and his future team set, Seguin is ready to concentrate fully on his training regime.
“It definitely feels great just to be able to sit back and look down at my (Bruins) jersey” said Seguin. “I’ll try to have a fantastic off season so I’ll be able to earn a spot next year.
“The whole journey and this last week in LA has been a phenomenal experience,” he added. “Right now my main focus is to have an incredible offseason, put on some weight and keep improving in areas I need to.”
Although he is generally considered a center, Seguin can also play the wing.
“He’s a highly skilled player,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien on the draft floor Friday. “We know he can definitely bring some offense to our team.”
Seguin has shown to be a quick study in breaking down opposition defenses, he also has gotten a quick sense of Boston and what playing in New England could bring.
“From meeting with them and visiting Boston, you can just tell by the people that are there already that it’s just a phenomenal place to play,” said Seguin whose dad was a captain of the University of Vermont hockey team.”
“There is so much history there with the Bruins, and the fan base and atmosphere. It’s a hockey town.”
|Bruins land Tyler Seguin||06.25.10 at 7:26 pm ET|
LOS ANGELES — In a predictable move following Edmonton’s selection of Taylor Hall, the Bruins chose Plymouth Whalers center Tyler Seguin with the second overall pick in the NHL draft, a choice they received from the Maple Leafs in exchange for Phil Kessel.
Seguin was ranked as the top overall player in the draft by NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau but, by many accounts may have been a victim of playing for a bad team. While Hall made headlines the past two postseasons, Seguin’s Whalers never made it to the Memorial Cup in his two years in Plymouth.
A common player comparison for Seguin has been Red Wings Hall of Fame center Steve Yzerman. A 6-foot-1, 172-pound right-handed shot, Seguin is considered an elite goal-scorer and playmaker. He is known more for a finesse game than a hard-nosed style. Seguin’s father played college hockey at the University of Vermont in the 1980′s.
After compiling 67 points in his first season with the Whalers, Seguin scored 63 goals and added 58 assists for 106 points. He was awarded the Red Tilson trophy for most outstanding player in the OHL.
There had been talk that the Bruins and Oilers could have worked out a deal in order to secure whichever player the Bruins preferred. While the Bruins would never admit to preferring Hall even if they did, no deal was made.
|Oilers take Hall first||06.25.10 at 7:18 pm ET|
LOS ANGELES — The Edmonton Oilers have selected Windsor Spitfires left wing Taylor Hall with the first overall pick in the NHL draft, clearing the way for the Bruins to take Plymouth Whalers center Tyler Seguin second overall.
Hall, 18, was ranked second behind Seguin by the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau but had a better OHL resume, having played in the league for three seasons to Seguin’s two. In 57 games for the Spitfires this past season, Hall scored 40 goals and 66 assists for 106 points, which tied him with Seguin for the lead league in points.
Many point to the postseason as a big reason Hall was able to leapfrog Seguin on the Oilers’ draft board. In 19 games, Hall racked up 17 goals and 18 assists for 35 points. In addition to sweeping Seguin’s Whalers in the playoffs, Hall earned his second consecutive Memorial Cup MVP award by leading the Spitfires to a title. Hall also racked up 12 points (6 G, 6 A) in six games for Team Canada in the World Junior Championship.
|Neely: ‘We’re waiting like everyone else’||06.24.10 at 10:08 pm ET|
New Bruins president Cam Neely was taking care of business at the NHL Board of Governors meeting in Los Angeles on Thursday, but he now has to play a waiting game like everyone else.
While the Board of Governors approved a rule change providing a five-minute penalty for a blindside hit to the head — such as that which sidelined Bruins center Marc Savard this season — Neely emerged from Thursday’s meeting focused on Friday’s draft in which the Bruins have the second overall pick.
The Edmonton Oilers have the first pick in the draft, and with it the possibility of trading down if the player they would select is different than the player the Bruins want. Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin are considered locks to be selected with the top two picks, but so far, the Oilers have not indicated which player they prefer.
There has been much speculation the Oilers plan to take Hall and the Bruins would then choose Seguin, but nothing is definite at this point.
“Edmonton still hasn’t really said anything, so nothing is etched [in stone]. We’re still waiting like everyone else,” said Neely, who was named as the Bruins President on June 16.
Neely had attended Board of Governors meetings before, but was doing so his new capacity for the firs time on Thursday.
“A lot of the stuff I’ve been doing has not really changed that much,” said Neely. “Obviously, a little more responsibility now, which is OK. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Among his first duties at the Board of Governors meeting was assessing the blindside hit rule approved Thursday.
“The one concern that I have is that it’s still going to be a tough rule to call,” Neely said. “I don’t know if you’re going to get everyone happy. That’s the problem.”
In response to a question regarding the Matt Cooke hit on Savard, which caused Savard to incur a significant concussion, Neely said that the hit would be illegal under the new rule, which he generally favors.
“I think it’s going to be tough for the referee in that split second to really judge the call. Like all new rules, there’s going to be some questions,” he said. “At least there is an attempt to get [hits to the head] out of the game. “