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Bruins would be wise to pass on Kevin Shattenkirk this summer 05.11.17 at 6:59 pm ET
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Kevin Shattenkirk had one goal and six points in 13 playoff games this spring. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports)

Kevin Shattenkirk had one goal and six points in 13 playoff games this spring. (Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports)

Eliminated in round one, the Bruins have become spectators, or potential window-shoppers rather, of the remaining field still skating in the second round and beyond of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

And while there was and is shortage of pending free agents about to get paid in this year’s hunt for Lord Stanley, one player in particular stuck out when it came to a potential Boston landing spot, and that was Blues-turned-Capitals puck-moving defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

Linked to the Bruins prior to the deadline deal that sent him from the Blues to the Capitals, you had the feeling a lot (of millions and years) rode on Shattenkirk’s time with the Presidents’ Trophy winning Capitals. It was in D.C. where he recorded two goals and 14 points in 19 contests before a one-goal, six-point postseason run in Washington.

But if his stint with the Caps, which likely ended by way of Wednesday’s Game 7 defeat at the hands of the Penguins, taught you anything, it’s that the Bruins would be smart to sit out the upcoming Shattenkirk sweepstakes this July.

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NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announces 2018 Winter Classic details 05.09.17 at 9:09 pm ET
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The 2018 Winter Classic will be played at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

The 2018 Winter Classic will be played at Citi Field. (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)

Believe it or not, the NHL is going back outdoors next season, and they’re going to do it without the Chicago Blackhawks.

In New York for Game 6 between the Rangers and Senators, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced to NBC Sports that the 2018 Winter Classic will be played at Citi Field in Flushing, N.Y., the home of the New York Mets, between the Rangers and Sabres.

The announcement is not a shock to most, as Newsday had this scoop back in March, and this will become the second Winter Classic for both the Rangers and Sabres. The Sabres were the home team in the first Winter Classic, played at Ralph Wilson Stadium back in 2008, and the Rangers last skated in the Winter Classic back in their 2012 head-to-head with the Flyers at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

Two rather bizarre notes about this game. One: This game will not feature the Islanders, who are considered the local favorites of that area (and have considered that neighborhood as a potential location for their next arena). Two: This will count as a home game for the Sabres, as the Rangers are contractually obligated to play all their home games at Madison Square Garden.

The Bruins have participated in the event twice, and have been the home team both times, with the 2010 Winter Classic held at Fenway Park and the 2016 Winter Classic played at Gillette Stadium.

This will be the 10th Winter Classic in NHL history, and the TV ratings for the Winter Classic has dropped in three straight years.

Bruins center Patrice Bergeron, goalie Tuukka Rask undergo successful surgeries 05.09.17 at 6:38 pm ET
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Both Patrice Bergeron and Tuukka Rask underwent surgery this week. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

Both Patrice Bergeron and Tuukka Rask underwent surgery this week. (Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports)

After playing the waiting game and seeing how each player reacted to some rest and recovery, the Bruins have confirmed that two of their best successfully went under the knife this week.

Patrice Bergeron, who missed the first three games of the season before he played the rest of the season with a sports hernia, underwent successful surgery on Monday. The procedure was performed by Dr. Brian Busconi and Dr. Demetrius Litwin. 

Bergeron finished the regular season with 21 goals and 53 points in 79 games, added two goals and four points in six postseason games, and earned yet another nomination as a Selke Trophy finalist.

Meanwhile, it was today that Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask underwent successful right groin surgery by Dr. Peter Asnis.

The 30-year-old Rask missed a total of four games this season because of a lower-body injury (three in October and one in March), but still managed to win a career-high 37 games and eight shutouts.

Both Bergeron and Rask are expected to be ready for the start of next season.

Can Matt Beleskey get back on track with the Bruins? 05.08.17 at 8:00 pm ET
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Matt Beleskey had three goals and eight points in 49 games this season. (Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports)

Matt Beleskey had three goals and eight points in 49 games this season. (Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports)

Bruins winger Matt Beleskey is not one to shy away from criticism, and he didn’t when he cleaned his locker out after what was a dud of a sequel in Boston and probably his worst season of his entire career.

It was in 49 games this season that Beleskey scored just three times and totaled five assists, along with a minus-10 rating and over two-minute drop in time on ice per contest.

“That’s not who I am. That’s not what I signed to do here,” Beleskey, who recorded 15 goals and 37 points in his first year with the Black and Gold before those aforementioned (subpar) totals, admitted.

“This is going to be a big summer for me with sticking around here. I’m going to train here with all of the facilities and everything available to me here. I think this will be a great summer here in Boston, and I’m looking forward to next season.”

Beleskey, who was signed by the Bruins after a white-hot postseason run with the Ducks back in 2015 piqued first-year general manager Don Sweeney’s interest in the hard-hitting winger, continued that painful ineffectiveness in the postseason and closed his season parked on the bench for the entire third period and overtime frame of the club’s season-ending Game 6 loss to the Senators. (No, seriously, Beleskey didn’t take a single shift in the final 26 minutes plus of that game.)

It was a somewhat fitting end to a year Beleskey would rather forget.

And one that he promises won’t happen again.

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Report: Bruins talking to at least 3 different teams about Ryan Spooner trade 05.04.17 at 4:17 pm ET
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The Bruins are fielding offers on Ryan Spooner. (Gregory Fisher/USA Today Sports)

The Bruins are fielding offers on Ryan Spooner. (Gregory Fisher/USA Today Sports)

An arbitration-eligible restricted free agent this summer, Ryan Spooner may very well be done in Boston, with his name reappearing on the trade block, according to a Thursday report from The Hockey News.

But that should not be a shock.

The Bruins scratched Spooner for the final two games of their six-game playoff run in April. The second scratch was quite indicative of just how far Spooner had fallen out of favor with the B’s coaching staff, too, as the club lost center David Krejci (who is probably the closest comparable on the B’s roster at least when we talk about centers with offensive creativity in their passing game) to injury, but did not put Spooner back in action, instead opting for winger Matt Beleskey.

It was the whimpering end to a season that saw the 25-year-old put up just 11 goals, 39 points, and 145 shots in 78 games, along with two assists and a minus-2 rating in four postseason contests.

Still, there’s an interest in Spooner from at least three NHL teams.

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Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy shares his playoff thoughts with D&H 05.03.17 at 6:42 pm ET
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Bruce Cassidy thinks the Penguins and Ducks are the two best teams remaining in the playoffs. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Bruce Cassidy thinks the Penguins and Ducks are the two best teams remaining in the playoffs. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy admitted that it took him a little bit to get over the sting that came with the club’s first-round exit to the Senators.

But Cassidy is back to enjoying the Stanley Cup Playoffs for what they are, and offered his take on the remaining field to WEEI’s Dale and Holley with Rich Keefe during a Wednesday interview.

“Well, I would have said Pittsburgh about 48 hours, but they took some serious hits,” Cassidy said when asked who the best team remaining is. “I don’t know how bad [Sidney] Crosby is, [Conor] Sheary, [Matt] Murray I thought might have been back by now, [Kris] Letang we know is out, so if they can get through those injuries, wow, that’s a full load.”

The Penguins have been without Letang and Murray for the entire postseason, and it was in Game 3 that they lost both Crosby and Sheary, as both suffered concussions in a losing effort to the Capitals.

“Obviously Washington [is better] on paper, but they’ve had a tough time,” Cassidy noted. “They haven’t been able to do it in April and May. Doesn’t mean they won’t do it this year, so in the East I’d say Pittsburgh.”

Out in the West, Cassidy seems to think that it’s the winner of the Oilers-Ducks series that will prevail.

“Always like Anaheim. I thought they had a good mix,” Cassidy said of the Ducks, who currently trail their second-round series against the Oilers two games to one. “They’re in a bit of trouble with Edmonton. I think Edmonton is a little underrated, but [the Ducks and Penguins] would be my top two teams.”

The Penguins won the Stanley Cup last season, while the Ducks have not lifted Lord Stanley since 2007.

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy tells D&H that he believes team can go deeper next season 05.03.17 at 5:51 pm ET
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Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. (Greg M. Cooper/USA Today Sports)

Over a week after being named the club’s full-time head coach, Bruins bench boss Bruce Cassidy joined WEEI’s Dale and Holley with Keefe to discuss his team, and also laid out some future plans for a group whose run was cut short in round one.

The plans for Cassidy, whose team went 18-8-1 with him behind the bench to close out the regular season, include going even farther in the Stanley Cup Playoffs by this time next year.

“I do, I do,” Cassidy said when asked if he believes this roster, which with the exception of a few minor moves here and there, is expected to remain the same heading into this upcoming season. “Because I think some of these younger kids are a year older.”

For Cassidy’s Bruins, that increased experience goes beyond the forward group that includes David Pastrnak, Frank Vatrano, and bottom-six roleplayers such as Noel Acciari and Sean Kuraly, too.

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