|Simon Gagne will not return to Bruins||01.12.15 at 5:17 pm ET|
The Bruins and Simon Gagne announced Monday that the veteran forward will not return to the team this season as he remains with his family following the death of his father.
Gagne, who signed a one-year deal with the Bruins in October and registered three goals and one assist over 23 games, took a leave of absence on Dec. 10 following his father’s cancer diagnosis. The Bruins have changed his status to ‘suspended player,’ a move that Gagne supported.
By suspending Gagne, the Bruins will not be charged his $600,000 cap hit.
“The last month has been extremely difficult for me with my father being sick and his passing,” Gagne said in a statement released by the team. “To play in the NHL you have to be 100 percent mentally, emotionally and physically committed to the game. At this time I know that I cannot be close to those levels.
“The Bruins organization and my teammates have been great to my family and I during this time. When I decided not to return this season, I spoke to Peter and assured him that I did not want the organization or my teammates to be impacted. Together we made the decision that my status would be changed so that the team could have a full active roster. In addition, I would like to thank the fans and the NHL family for all of the support that they have given my family and I during this difficult time. It has truly meant a lot.”
It is possible that this could mark the end of the 34-year-old’s NHL career. Gagne did not play last season but turned a professional tryout agreement into a contract with Boston after the B’s struggled offensively in the first four games of the season.
Since debuting with the Flyers in 1999, Gagne has played 822 regular-season NHL games, scoring 291 goals and adding 310 assists for 601 points.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Zdeno Chara’s hardest shot dominance ends; does he still think he has hardest shot in league?||01.12.15 at 1:16 pm ET|
Given that Chara is not an All-Star this season, he will not participate in the hardest shot competition, which he was won five times in a row from 2007-2012. The NHL has not had an All-Star weekend the last two seasons due to the 2012-13 lockout and the 2014 Winter Olympics, so Chara is still the defending champion in the talent show.
Over the years, Chara set new records in the contest and developed a good rivalry with Nashville’s Shea Weber, who has finished second to Boston’s captain in each of the last three contests. In the last contest, Chara’s shot was clocked at 108.8 mph, the fastest on record to date.
Chara is understanding of why he won’t take part in the contest, as he noted that you need to be an All-Star first, and it would have been hard to make a case for him qualifying.
“Obviously I missed a big chunk of the first half,” he said. “It’s based on the play and performance of the players, and obviously I didn’t play most of it.”
Given that there hasn’t been one of these contests in a couple years and that Chara is now in his age 37-38 season, it would have been interesting to see if Chara’s shot still reigned supreme. Furthermore, Chara is two victories shy of tying wooden stick wonder Al MacInnis for most hardest shot crowns (seven).
Chara’s been able to step into powerful shots at points this season on goals against Buffalo on Oct. 18 and last week in Pittsburgh. Asked whether he felt his shot remains the hardest in the league, Chara thought for three full seconds before answering.
“I don’t know,” he said. “It’s a different thing doing the shots during the game and when you have to skate into it and wind up. I assume I could be up there, but a lot of guys have hard shots.”
Chara won’t win this season, but given that a healthy Chara should be an automatic All-Star, perhaps he’ll return to the contest in the coming seasons.
“It’s fun,” he said. “I think it was exciting for fans; it was exciting for players. We always made it kind of interesting with different players and it was always a bit hyped before the contest.”
|Bruins return to practice sporting same lines||01.12.15 at 12:40 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins began their preparations for a three-game homestand Monday after taking Sunday off.
Pastrnak’s presence and Daniel Paille‘s recent promotion to Patrice Bergeron‘s line has moved Reilly Smith out of the top six, as he has taken Chris Kelly‘s spot on Carl Soderberg’s line, which in turn has left Kelly on the fourth line.
The lines were as follows:
Marchand – Krejci – Pastrnak
Lucic – Bergeron – Paille
Smith – Soderberg – Eriksson
Caron – Kelly – Campbell – Cunningham
All seven defensemen and both goaltenders took part in practice.
The B’s will host the Atlantic Division-leading Lightning on Tuesday. Tampa Bay, currently eight points ahead of the Bruins with one game in hand as of Monday morning, will play the Flyers Monday night in Philadelphia.
|Bruins send Seth Griffith to Providence||01.11.15 at 1:44 pm ET|
The Bruins sent forward Seth Griffith to Providence after Saturday’s victory over the Flyers.
Griffith has played in 30 games this season for the Bruins, many of which have seen him play on the right wing of David Krejci‘s line. With David Pastrnak currently serving in that role and the rest of Boston’s forwards healthy, he was a healthy scratch on Saturday for the second straight game.
Pastrnak, who has played seven NHL games, can play two more without accruing an NHL season on his contract. If he plays 10 games, the first year of his three-year entry level pact will be burned. If Pastrnak performs like he did Saturday, when he netted the first two goals of his NHL career, it would appear a good bet that he’ll stick with the B’s.
Jordan Caron is now the Bruins’ 13th forward with Griffith in Providence.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Patrice Bergeron named to All-Star Game||01.11.15 at 8:00 am ET|
The selection is the first of Bergeron’s career. He leads the Bruins with 31 points and 21 assists.
Each team needed at least one representative for the contest. With Zdeno Chara not making the team, he will be unable to defend his title in the Hardest Shot competition, which he last won in 2012.
There has not been an All-Star Game in either of the last two seasons due to the lockout in 2013 and Olympics in 2014.
For more Bruins news, visit weei.com/bruins.
|David Pastrnak scores first two NHL goals as Bruins win third straight||01.10.15 at 3:35 pm ET|
Pastrnak, playing in his second straight game since rejoining the Bruins this week, picked up his first goal by jamming in a rebound of a Torey Krug shot during a first-period power play. Krug’s bid came as a result of some slick passing down low by Milan Lucic and Zdeno Chara. The goal came against Ray Emery, who spelled Steve Mason after Philadelphia’s starter left due to injury after just 7:07.
The Bruins turned in a quiet second period in which they landed only four shots on goal, but Pastrnak turned in one of the period’s few bright spots by out battling Luke Schenn behind the net to prolong a lengthy stay in the Philadelphia zone for the Bruins.
The highlight of Pastrnak’s day undoubtedly nearly five minutes into the third period, when he took a pass from Adam McQuaid in the neutral zone, skated it into the Philadelphia zone and left a drop-pass for David Krejci before sliding across the net, receiving a perfectly placed pass from Krejci and firing it in for his second goal of the day.
Pastnrak has now played seven NHL games. Once he plays his 10th this season, the first of three years will be burned off his entry level contract.
Chris Kelly made it 3-0 at 9:51 of the third with a shorthanded goal scored on a 2-on-1 with Loui Eriksson, who returned to Boston’s lineup after missing Thursday’s game with a right hand/wrist injury. Kelly’s goal was his fifth of the season and his 11th point (three goals, eight assists) in his last 13 games.
Kelly also drew the Jakub Voracek interference penalty in the first period that led to the power play on which Pastrnak scored. The game was the second straight in which Kelly drew a penalty that led to a power play goal for the Bruins, as Jaromir Jagr’s hooking penalty against him led to a Milan Lucic goal on the man advantage Thursday.
Tuukka Rask‘s shutout bid was broken up with 5:47 to play wen Claude Giroux fired a snapshot through traffic during a Flyers power play that came as a result of McQuaid clearing the puck over the glass from the defensive zone. The Flyers had six power plays on the day.
Pastrnak could have had a hat trick with Emery pulled in a two-goal game late, but he held the puck too long, shooting it in after the final horn sounded.
The victory improved the Bruins to 22-15-6. Including Boston’s disappointing run of overtime and shootout losses, the Bruins have now picked up points in seven straight games.
|Bruins not sure who their All-Star is||01.09.15 at 3:58 pm ET|
Asked Friday which teammate should represent the Bruins in the All-Star Game later this month, one Bruin confidently responded, “Our best player is Tuukka.”
Then, after showering and thinking about it, the player came back.
“I change my answer,” he said. “Bergy.”
The player was correct – not for choosing Patrice Bergeron, but for being indecisive. With All-Star teams being named Saturday, there is no obvious answer as to which Bruin (or, less likely, Bruins) should be there in this tumultuous season.
The annual exhibition returns this month from a two-year absence and, aside from those making money off it and a shockingly high number of Latvian voters (big ups, Zemgus Girgensons), it’s hard to imagine that many folks have missed it. All-Star appearances, aside from the extra dough they earn the player, aren’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things, as fan voting for six of the 42 players and the fact that each team needs a representative water down the distinction.
With the Bruins receiving few standout season-long performances (they don’t have anyone in the top in points) it will be interesting to see who goes to Columbus. The player folks should most want to see would be Zdeno Chara so he can defend his title in the Hardest Shot contest, but he has not performed to his level of seasons past and has missed 19 games this season due to a torn PCL.
The most popular guess from Bruins players was that Patrice Bergeron was the best candidate, with players also voicing their support for Tuukka Rask, Carl Soderberg, Chara and Dougie Hamilton. Multiple players expressed hope that Chara could go so he could put on his until-recently annual slapshot clinic.
Bergeron was a pretty obvious candidate in the 2011-12 season, but was passed over in favor of linemate Tyler Seguin. Chara, who captained one of the teams, and Tim Thomas were also there for the Bruins in 2012, the last All-Star Game played before it fell victim to the lockout in 2013 and Olympics last season.
This season, Bergeron’s play has dipped a bit from last season, though he leads the Bruins with 31 points and is on pace for a respectable 20-goal campaign. Given what happened in 2012, one could argue he is owed an All-Star appearance. Bergeron has still never been an All-Star in his 11-season NHL career.
If the NHL seeks a big name who has raised his performance this season, Hamilton is a good candidate. He has regularly played against opponents’ top lines, with only Dennis Seidenberg getting fewer offensive zone starts on average than him. Hamilton frequently led Boston defensemen in time on ice while Chara was out and is third on the B’s in average time on ice with 22:01. Chara leads the way, averaging 22:40.
Furthermore, Hamilton is fifth on the Bruins in points with 23, which leads Boston defensemen and is 19th among NHL blueliners.
Hamilton doesn’t buy it, however. He feels Dougie’s Big All-Star Game will have to wait.
“I don’t think so,” he said with a smirk when asked whether he felt he was having an All-Star season. “I think there’s too many good D in the league. I think I had a good start and everything, but I don’t think I’m an All-Star.”
When Seguin was an All-Star in 2012, he felt he needed to apologize to Bergeron. Hamilton said that if he were chosen this year, he’d feel there were other Bruins more deserving as well.
“I think with our team, we’re known to be a team,” Hamilton said. “There’s not one guy who puts himself ahead of other guys. I would probably feel the same way [as Seguin did]. Guys like Bergie — Krej was hurt and Zee was hurt — but even Carl, Loui and Marchy, the list goes on. For me, I’m just trying to contribute to the team and win some games.”
Well, someone has to go to the stupid thing.
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