|Milan Lucic’s father dies unexpectedly||04.25.15 at 3:29 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Saturday that Dobro Lucic, father of forward Milan Lucic, died unexpectedly this week.
“I learned on Wednesday, April 22 that my father passed away unexpectedly in Vancouver,” Lucic said in a statement. “My family and I am very grateful for the outpouring of support from the hockey community, friends and fans from around the world. We kindly ask everyone to respect our privacy during this difficult and sad time.”
Bruins president Cam Neely also issued a statement on the passing of Lucic’s father.
“On behalf of the Jacobs family and the entire Boston Bruins organization I would like to express our deepest condolences to Milan and his family on the passing of his father, Dobro,” Neely said. “Our thoughts will be with the Lucic family during this time, and we will be here to offer them support in any way that we can.”
|Peter Chiarelli joins Oilers as president of hockey operations and general manager||04.24.15 at 5:00 pm ET|
Former Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli was named president of hockey operations and general manager of the Oilers Friday.
Chiarelli enters a team with a number of highly skilled young forwards in Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Nail Yakupov, Jordan Eberle and Leon Draisaitl. Generational talent Connor McDavid will be added to that group with the first overall pick in June’s draft.
As such, Chiarelli was asked early in the press conference about the Bruins’ 2013 trade of Tyler Seguin to Dallas. Since the trade, Seguin has blossomed into one of the league’s best scorers.
“That was a trade that had underlying reasons hat I won’t get into, but he’s a terrific player, he was our leading scorer and that’s what I’ll say about that one’ Chiarelli responded.
“In this business, you can’t be afraid to make trades. The way that the parity is developing, the way that the cap is closing in, the margins are really small. Those are ways to improve your team. I’m not afraid of doing it, but it has to be the right moment.
“There are some very good young players on this team. Doesn’t mean I’m going to trade any of them, but those are deals that you have to be willing to make. They have to be well-measured. You have to be well-informed.
“That deal, obviously he’s a very good player and there were reasons for doing it.”
Chiarelli said earlier in the press conference that he feels he can get more out of Edmonton’s young players.
“They play fast,” Chiarelli said. “I’d like to see them play a little harder.”
|Reports: Oilers to announce hiring of Peter Chiarelli Friday||04.23.15 at 10:52 pm ET|
According to multiple reports out of Canada, the Oilers will announce the hiring of former Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli in a press conference Friday.
It is unknown what exactly Chiarelli’s title with the team will be, but Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada reported Thursday night that it will be something along the lines of president of hockey operations. Sportsnet’s Mark Spector reported Thursday that the Oilers will have a meeting Friday morning to notify staff of Chiarelli’s new position.
Hearing the same thing as @JasonGregor — that EDM will have a media conference tomorrow to announce the hiring of Peter Chiarelli.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 24, 2015
Not sure of structure of the new front office, but it is believed Chiarelli will be President of Hockey Operations (or something like that).
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) April 24, 2015
Oilers staff meeting tmw morning in EDM, where staff will be apprised of Chiarellli hiring and structure, prior to press conference.
— Mark Spector (@SportsnetSpec) April 24, 2015
The Bruins have the right to draft pick compensation if another team hires Chiarelli. They could waive that right to ensure that Chiarelli takes another job, thereby getting the money owed to him over the rest of his Bruins contract off Boston’s books.
|Patrice Bergeron gives Claude Julien endorsement||04.23.15 at 1:58 pm ET|
Patrice Bergeron was made available to the media Thursday to discuss his Selke candidacy, but he was well aware that the Bruins have bigger things to worry about than awards this summer.
Bergeron gave Claude Julien a vote of confidence, saying that he enjoys playing for the longtime Bruins coach. Julien is currently in limbo, as the B’s recently fired general manager Peter Chiarelli and said that the next GM will decide whether Julien stays or goes. Julien has been Boston’s coach for the last eight years.
“By all means, I like Claude; I like playing for Claude,” Bergeron said. “We’ll see what happens with that.”
Bergeron said he sent Chiarelli a text last week expressing his gratitude for all Chiarelli had done for him. Chiarelli is reportedly in talks with the Oilers about joining their front office.
It is unknown who will replace Chiarelli, though the Bruins have some internal candidates in Don Sweeney and John Furguson. Bergeron said he’s confidently Neely will make the right decision.
“I’m not concerned. I’m a player. It’s definitely out of my control, but I have full confidence and support in what upper-management, the decision they’ll make,” Bergeron said. “[Nine] years ago now, they hired Peter and no one knew what was going to happen and we won a Stanley Cup. I’m definitely going to leave it in their hands again and I’m sure they’re going to make the right decision one more time.”
|Patrice Bergeron won’t play in World Championships||04.23.15 at 1:15 pm ET|
Bruins center Patrice Bergeron said Thursday that he will not participate in the upcoming IIHF World Championships in the Czech Republic.
Bergeron said that then-Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli, who has had a hand in management of Team Canada over the years, told him that the team was trending younger for next month’s tournament. This won’t damage Bergeron’s trophy case too badly, as he’s already a member of the Triple Gold club as a World Championship, Olympic and Stanley Cup champion.
Bergeron won the World Championship with Team Canada in 2004. The Czech Republic was the host country for the tournament that year as well.
The 29-year-old center will join Zdeno Chara and David Krejci as B’s players who will sit out the tournament. Torey Krug was named to Team USA when the initial roster announcement was made last week.
|On his birthday, here’s a fun Claude Julien arrest story from his younger days||04.23.15 at 10:21 am ET|
Editor’s note: We had planned on running this story between the end of the regular season and the playoffs, but the end of the Bruins’ season has changed many, many things. We figured his 55th birthday would be a good day to tell the story and lighten the mood.
— Jen (@NHLhistorygirl) November 2, 2014
Sitting in a New Brunswick jail cell, a veteran professional hockey player tried to calm down his partners in crime.
Goaltender Ron Tugnutt, who was in his first professional season with the Fredericton Express, thought it was a joke. So too did the other handful of players. Tugnutt responded with an answer that could today cost someone their press pass.
“Yeah, OK, Claude,” Tugnutt shot back, mocking Julien.
Earlier in the night, Julien his teammates were hiding in bushes with baseball bats when they were stopped by the police, roughed up and thrown in jail. Tugnutt wanted to doubt the validity of the group’s arrest.
Any hope that it was a joke went away at around 2 a.m. That’s when head coach Ron Lapointe walked in.
“All of a sudden my face went, ‘Oh Jesus,’” Tugnutt recalled.
“He goes, ‘This is an embarrassment. We’re going to pack your equipment up. We’re sending you guys home.’ Right then and there I said, ‘OK, it’s 2 in the morning and my head coach is there.’ I said, ‘Oh. My. God.’
“I said, ‘This is really happening.’ Then it became a reality.”
After leaving the police station, Julien, Tugnutt, their small group of teammates and Lapointe went straight to the rink, where the players started to gather their belongings.
“We’re packing up our equipment and all of a sudden we hear a bunch of laughs,” Tugnutt said, “and it’s all the veterans in the shower coming out laughing that they got us.”
That’s right. There was once a time here on planet Earth when a group of adults wanted to pull off an exceptionally elaborate practical joke — one that involved the police — and deemed Claude Julien the man for the job.
To his credit, Julien pulled it off. He invited the players on what he called a “snipe hunt,” which Wikipedia defines as a practical joke that involves “experienced people making fun of credulous newcomers by giving them an impossible or imaginary task.” Tugnutt and company took the bait.
“We were out in a bush with bats and nets,” Tugnutt said. “Apparently we were going out there to catch some of these ‘snipe birds.’ I was a kid from Toronto and I was like, ‘Yeah, whatever. I’ve never heard of these things.”’
A kid from the city was the perfect player to fall for such a prank, but the work that Julien and his teammates put in was enough to fool anyone.
“The police would be waiting for us. They knew exactly where those rookies would be, which area,” Julien recalled late in the season with a smile. “It was all pre-planned. They’d get arrested and be brought to jail. I would kind of be in that group so it wouldn’t look too suspicious.
“As they would be in the cell, [the police] would come and get me to tell me I had a phone call to make to get a lawyer for all of us. I would go out there and we’d kind of have a good giggle at their expense.”
The ‘snipe hunt’ doesn’t happen anymore. Why? Because while teams like a good laugh and bonding experience, they don’t like injuries.
“It was a good gig that we had for years in Fredericton,” Julien said. “I think it ended up in a situation long after we were gone where I think Marc Lamothe got really upset, punched a wall and ended up breaking his wrist. That was the end of that gig.”
Clearly, Julien’s teammates didn’t know him well, as they should have known something was up when he suggested they use bats instead of baseball gloves. If Julien’s detractors have taught us anything, it’s that Julien hates home runs and wants to win every game, 0-0.*
*Reminder: Julien’s Bruins finished top-five in the NHL in scoring in three of the four years prior to this season.
|Patrice Bergeron, Jonathan Toews, Anze Kopitar named Selke finalists||04.22.15 at 7:10 pm ET|
Patrice Bergeron is a Selke finalist for the fourth season in a row, as he has joined Jonathan Toews and Anze Kopitar as a top-three vote-getter for the award.
Bergeron has won the Selke, which is given to the game’s best defensive forward, in two of the past three seasons. He won in 2012 and 2014, with Toews narrowly edging him for top honors in 2013.
Bergeron, Selke and Kopitar were the three finalists last year as well. Toews’ only win came in 2013, while Kopitar has never won the Selke.