|Bruins GM Don Sweeney admits team rode Tuukka Rask too hard during season||04.27.17 at 3:48 pm ET|
Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask’s season had its peaks and valleys.
Rask would be the first to tell you that.
“Pretty steady,” Rask said of his season. “I had ups and downs but for the most part I did my job and just tried to give us a chance to win every night, and for the most part I accomplished it.”
But it was the Bruins, out of necessity for the most part, that created those valleys when they overworked the all-world Rask. And Bruins general manager Don Sweeney has finally admitted such as a truth.
|Notre Dame’s Anders Bjork still undecided on going pro, but Bruins would love to have him||04.27.17 at 12:09 pm ET|
Anders Bjork is a wanted man and it’s not hard to see why.
Bjork was a breakout sensation in his junior season with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, with 21 goals and 52 points in 39 games. That production made Bjork an All-American, and led to his nomination as one of the 10 finalists for the 2017 Hobey Baker Award, and helped guide Notre Dame to a Frozen Four appearance. He will also skate for Team USA at the 2017 World Championships beginning next week.
And the Bruins, the team that drafted Bjork with the 146th overall pick at the 2014 NHL Draft, remain in contact with the 20-year-old.
“We’ve had discussions and we will continue to have discussions,” Bruins general manager Don Sweeney said at his year-end press conference at TD Garden on Thursday morning.
But the ball remains in Bjork’s court.
|Report: Jarome Iginla buys $4.5 million home in Boston area||04.26.17 at 7:22 pm ET|
Any and every hockey fan knows Jarome Iginla’s story by now.
The future Hall of Famer is still searching for the first Stanley Cup of his illustrious career. Iginla, who had an awakening of sorts with six goals and nine points in a 19-game trade deadline run with the Kings to close out an otherwise forgettable season split between Colorado and Los Angeles and without postseason play, is also a free agent this summer and has expressed some interest in possibly returning for another shot at winning it all.
And according to the Boston Business Journal, the 39-year-old has just shelled out $4.5 million for a newly-built home in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood of Brookline.
Like C+C Music Factory once said, Things That Make You Go Hmmm…
Iginla, as you can recall, skated for the Bruins back in 2013-14, and scored 30 goals and 61 points in 78 games on a one-year contract that was loaded with games played and performance bonuses that made the Bruins straight-up incapable of re-signing him the following season (the base salary was under $2 million and he made nearly double that in bonus money).
It’s also worth noting that Iginla absolutely wanted to return to the Bruins, too, but with the Bruins unable to give him long-term security without paying him peanuts, the 6-foot-1 sniper packed his bags to Colorado, where he spent the last three seasons before that aforementioned trade to the Kings last deadline.
Iginla also played some of the best hockey of his career with David Krejci, who has at times publicly bellyached about how the Bruins also move on from linemates he’s familiar with or has consistency with, as his pivot.
With all that in mind, it would be foolish to consider buying a home to be the surefire way of assuming that Iginla is going to return for one last go with the Black and Gold. Loui Eriksson once bought a house and then left as a free agent six months later.
And the Bruins are not exactly considered Cup favorites heading into next year, or at least not to the level that the soon-to-be 40-year-old Iginla would probably prefer if next year would truly be considered his final run at winning a Stanley Cup.
But at least he doesn’t have to shop for a new house if he does indeed return to the Bruins, right?
|Charlie McAvoy will play for Team USA at World Championships||04.26.17 at 3:58 pm ET|
Charlie McAvoy has played a ton of hockey this year. And although the Bruins were eliminated last Sunday, the 19-year-old is not done yet, as he will reportedly join Team USA for the 2017 World Championships.
It’s an invite that comes on the heels of an impressive NHL debut, as McAvoy seamlessly transitioned into the pro game and stepped into the playoffs as the B’s No. 2 defenseman, with three assists in six games.
“I had a quiet confidence in myself, but before you experience something like that you really don’t know how you’re going to fare and I think it was a credit to my teammates,” McAvoy said when asked of his NHL debut. “When you play with someone like Zdeno Chara, he puts you in a position every shift you’re out there to look good and be successful and I was out there with a lot of great players playing hockey and they made that transition as seamless as possible for myself, and like I said I’m just very thankful to have had that opportunity.
“It was definitely a whirlwind. Played in a couple different jerseys this year and been so very fortunate in every one of those experiences and I’m so thankful for all of them. And each particular thing had its own lesson and its own experience that I can use to help my hockey career and to help me grow and become a better player.”
He will be joined on Team USA by Bruins prospect Anders Bjork.
McAvoy’s jump to the Worlds will make Team USA the fifth team that he’s played for this season between Boston University, Team USA at the World Junior Championships, the P-Bruins, and the Big B’s.
|Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid doesn’t want to be drafted by Vegas Golden Knights||04.26.17 at 3:12 pm ET|
The Bruins, along with every other team in the league, are going to lose somebody to the Vegas Golden Knights come June’s expansion draft.
Unable to protect everybody (and expected to go with the seven forward-three defensemen-one goaltender protection plan), it’s likely that the Bruins will lose one of Matt Beleskey, Jimmy Hayes, Ryan Spooner, or Riley Nash up front or one of Kevan Miller, Colin Miller, Joe Morrow, or Adam McQuaid from their point. They’re not the only options for the Golden Knights to take, but they’re the most likely, especially when you look at the guys the B’s have on that backend.
With Zdeno Chara and Torey Krug set to make up two-thirds of the protected defensemen for the B’s, the last spot will come down to one of those four defenders, and you can’t help but feel that the unprotected one of Kevan Miller or McQuaid will be picked by Vegas.
“Well, I hope not,” McQuaid, who played in a career-high 77 games this year, said when asked about the potential of leaving the Bruins via the expansion draft. “I never thought of it that way, to be honest with you.
“The reality of the situation is they’re picking somebody from every team, so, I hope that’s not the case for me. I’ve won back here and I’ve always said how much I love it back here and I can’t imagine playing for another team.”
A career-long Bruin — McQuaid’s 424 career games rank as the 57th-most in franchise history — McQuaid has experienced almost everything one can during his eight-year run in Boston. He’s been to two Stanley Cup Finals, including a victory in 2011, and has grown from Providence to Boston and into a bonafide leader for a B’s blue line that’s changed an awful lot over that span. He’s also set to enter the third year of a four-year deal that comes with an affordable $2.75 million cap hit.
But those exact reasons are why a team like Vegas might want the 30-year-old McQuaid in the first place.
“It’s totally out of my control, but hopefully, it’s not the case,” McQuaid said.
The expansion draft will be held June 18 to 20, and the team will be announced on June 21.
|Bruins center Patrice Bergeron played entire season with sports hernia||04.25.17 at 7:48 pm ET|
Bruins center Patrice Bergeron has long shown a willingness to play through almost anything. He did it in the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against the Blackhawks, where he suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung but kept playing, he did it again last year when he played through a considerable ankle injury to finish his season.
And this season was no different, according to Bergeron.
“We’re going to go through physicals today, but I’ve been going through a sports hernia all year,” Bergeron said on the club’s break-up day today at Warrior Ice Arena. “With the schedule it was definitely something that was nagging and was there for most of the year. But the breaks in the second half definitely helped make it feel a lot better.”
Bergeron did miss the first three games of the season because of this injury, which at the time was dubbed a lower-body ailment, and it would appear that the injury happened somewhere between the 2016 World Cup of Hockey and the end of the B’s training camp. In fact, it likely happened in the club’s final practice before the season began, as Bergeron hobbled off the ice at Warrior and did not reappear until his season debut on Oct. 20.
The injury obviously limited the 31-year-old Bergeron in a number of ways — he had just 12 points through the first 36 games of the year, and experienced a 11-goal and 15-point dip from his 2016 numbers — but No. 37 was still proud of the way that he and his team battled to return to the postseason for the first time since 2014.
“We’ve shown a lot of character, we’ve battled,” Bergeron said. “It’s been three years now that we’ve been really battling to get into the playoffs, and this year we came through, and it definitely gives us a lot of confidence looking forward, as well.”
Bergeron, a Selke Trophy finalist, is unsure if the injury will require surgery this offseason.
|Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo confirms he missed postseason with a concussion||04.25.17 at 6:26 pm ET|
Both the Bruins and first-year pro Brandon Carlo knew that they were better safe than sorry with the health of the 20-year-old defenseman.
Knocked out of action on the final day of the regular season on a hit from Capitals winger Alexander Ovechkin, Carlo confirmed what it was that ailed him and ultimately kept him out of all six of the B’s first-round playoff tilts against the Senators this month.
“I was diagnosed with a concussion and just going through the protocol with that I was trying to be safe with it,” Carlo, who skated in all 82 regular season games this year, admitted. “There’s a point where you kinda have to worry about the next 20 years rather than this year.”
Carlo did, however, give it a go at various times during the series, as he skated on his own during many of the club’s optional days or early practices, but confirmed that he was never quite symptom free.
“It was really disappointing. I really wanted to be out there, and it was hard to watch,” Carlo said of his recovery attempts. “But at the same time, I feel like the guys handled it very well and the guys who came up and filled those positions played very well.”
Although he was not well enough to play before the season’s end on Sunday, Carlo did feel part of this playoff run even from just being with the team on a daily basis, and noted that he has continued to improve in the last few days, mentioning that he was feeling pretty good though he was still getting past ‘a couple of little things’ along the way.
The Colorado Springs, Colo. native also said that this is not the first concussion of his career.
“One little one [before], this one was a little bit different,” Carlo said of his concussion history.
“I’m just trying to make sure I’m being smart with it.”
The 6-foot-5 finished his first season with six goals, 16 points, 88 shots on goal, and a plus-9 rating. His 20:48 of time on ice per game also ranked third among Bruins skaters and was the sixth-highest among NHL rookie defensemen.