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Bruins announce preseason schedule 06.21.10 at 12:58 pm ET
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The Bruins will travel to Belfast, Northern Ireland and play their Giants Select team as part of a presason that will build up to their October 9 season opener in Prague vs. the Coyotes. Here’s is the full schedule, courtesy of the Bruins (all times EST unless indicated otherwise):

September 14 (Shelton, CT): Bruins Rookies vs. Islanders Rookies, The Rinks at Shelton, 5:00 p.m.

September 15 (Shelton, CT): Bruins Rookies vs. Islanders Rookies, The Rinks at Shelton, 4:00 p.m.

September 17: Bruins Full Training Camp opens (practice times/location TBD)

September 22: Bruins at Montreal Canadiens, Bell Centre, 7:30 p.m.

September 23: Bruins vs. Florida Panthers, Blue Cross Arena, 7:00 p.m.

September 25: Bruins vs. Florida Panthers, TD Garden, 7:00 p.m.

September 28: Bruins at Washington Capitals, Verizon Center, 7:00 p.m.

September 29: Bruins vs. Washington Capitals, TD Garden, 7:00 p.m.

October 2 (Belfast, Northern Ireland): Bruins vs. Belfast Giants Select, Odyssey Arena, 7:00 p.m. local/ 2:00 p.m. ET

October 5 (Liberec, Czech Republic): Bruins vs. HC Liberec, Tipsport Arena, 7:00 p.m. local/ 1:00 p.m. ET

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Chiarelli conference call roundup, 6/21 06.21.10 at 12:32 pm ET
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Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli spoke with the media on Monday in a pre-draft conference call. Here are the highlights:

On talks with the Oilers:

“I spoke to Steve [Tambellini, Oilers GM] on the weekend and we really didn’t discuss that in any detail. After speaking with Steve, I think he probably has these two guys as close as we do. Neither of us are really committed to moving forward on that type of discussion. We spoke briefly on the weekend and I would imagine that we’re going to talk again at some point but right now, if the draft was tonight, I’d say there’d be no deal.”

On what has been revealed in talks with Tambellini:

“It is different. Generally I would characterize it as we both don’t want to play any cards to each other right now, if we have any to lay. I genuinely believe that Steve is of the same opinion on these players [as] me or close to them, and they’re very close.

The discussions we’ve had aren’t really in detail because we’re not close to it yet. I don’t know if they’ll ever get truly in detail. It is unique. I think we’re both very non-committal, in fact I know we are when we talk, but we talk in specifics on other fronts. We talk about the boys in general too, as what our thoughts are on each of the kids. It’s a little different in this case.”

On if they like one player more than the other:

“I would say right now as of today we have one guy over the other, but it’s very very close.”

On going back and forth between Hall and Seguin:

“I’ll watch a game with one of the players and come away saying, ‘This is the guy I want.’So that’s a good thing. HYou want both of them. Specifically on Tyler: the speed, the innovation, the vision. He’s got a real sneaky wrist shot that I think is underutilized. He finds ways to go around people with his speed and his style, his stick, and his passing. Dimensional speed, dimensional quickness. Very smart player and is a responsible player.”

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NHL Mock Draft: T-minus four days 06.21.10 at 6:00 am ET
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Four more days until the NHL draft and it’s still looking like Taylor Hall will reign supreme in the Taylor/Tyler debate. This mock draft sees a few changes from last week, though I’d be crazy to switch as many picks as we do in the NFL mock drafts. This is because, unlike the NFL, these guys don’t see their stocks bounce all over the place from day to day. If you think Tyler Toffoli should go to Anaheim one week, you’ll probably think it the next week. There is a top 10 shakeup, however, as I think the Lightning will opt for Mikael Granlund at No. 6 and the Hurricanes will go for defense early.

oilers11. Edmonton Oilers (62 points) Taylor Hall, LW, Windsor (OHL)

Nothing has changed in the last week, and though a team in need of help across the board may benefit more from a playmaking center, Hall’s Memorial Cup performance narrowly gives him the edge over Seguin. Don’t be surprised if the Oilers stay in this spot and still select Seguin, as they could prefer him or be talked into it by the Bruins and a nice compensation package.

bruins2. Boston Bruins [from Toronto (74 points)] Tyler Seguin, C, Plymouth (OHL)

Peter Chiarelli said last week that if the Bruins are to make any deal with the Oilers, it is more likely that it isn’t an actual swap of picks, but rather a trade that would include a promise from the Oilers to lay off their guy. Whomever they get, they’ll be in great shape. Here’s one to think about: If the Bruins end up with Seguin, who in Plymouth wanted to wear No. 19 in honor of Steve Yzerman, the player to whom he is often compared, does he take Joe Thornton’s old number?

panthers3. Florida Panthers (77 points) Cam Fowler, D, Windsor (OHL)

This is how we do it in the NFL mocks: If you think a team is going to trade up and take a certain player, you project the player in the slot so you can have half the pick right, and I’m bringing the theory with me to the NHL. I really believe (based on nothing — this is a total hunch) that the Bruins will move up from No. 15 and back into the top five. Why? Because they can. They have all the ammunition, and who’s to say the talks for Nathan Horton don’t include the Panthers’ first-rounder coming to Boston?

blue-jackets4. Columbus Blue Jackets (79 points) Brett Connolly, LW, Prince George (WHL)

You know your team is in rough shape when a trade rumor is dismissed by the public because nobody believes a player would accept a trade to go there. If the Blue Jackets can’t upgrade offensively with Marc Savard, they’ll have to do so with Connolly, who should help them improve from their ’09-’10 total of 214 goals.

islanders5. New York Islanders (79 points) Erik Gudbranson, D, Kingston (OHL)

The idea of Gudbranson being around at No. 5 sounds pretty crazy, and if the Panthers keep their pick there is a good chance he’ll be gone at No. 3, but I just don’t have enough confidence that Florida will stay put. This allows the Islanders to get a big and tough defenseman at a steal.

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Source: Horton likely to move, not necessarily to B’s 06.20.10 at 10:47 pm ET
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It appears the Bruins may not be on the verge of acquiring Florida Panthers forward Nathan Horton, according to a source close to the situation. Reports surfaced this weekend that the Bruins had been closing in on a trade for the former third overall pick, but the Bruins were just one of multiple teams to nearly have a deal with the Panthers in the past few days.

Nathan Horton and the Panthers haven't smiled in quite some time. (AP)

Nathan Horton and the Panthers haven't smiled in quite some time. (AP)

“They were close, as were a few other teams,” the source said of the Bruins’ chances of getting Horton. It was unclear where a potential trade stood as of Sunday night.

The Panthers selected Horton in the 2003 NHL draft after flipping the top overall pick to the Penguins (Marc-Andre Fleury). The 25-year-old has never surpassed 62 points in his six-year NHL career and has scored 30 goals in just one season, a 2006-2007 campaign in which he gathered 31.

A natural right wing, Horton was moved to center in the 2008-2009 season. The Panthers have been trying to move Horton and his contract, which calls for cap hits of $4 million in each of the next three seasons. The source was confident the Panthers will succeed in doing so, saying a deal “will get done with someone sure enough.”

Horton has also been linked to the Maple Leafs recently. It is unknown what the Bruins have offered or are offering the Panthers in a potential trade.

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Report: Savard in play for 4th pick? 06.18.10 at 1:44 pm ET
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It’s no secret the Bruins are looking to make some sort of move with the 15th overall pick in next Friday’s NHL draft. GM Peter Chiarelli said as much recently when he told reporters that he’s had discussions about moving both up and down with the pick, their slotted first-rounder.

Marc Savard could be a chip to acquire a top defenseman and winger. (AP)

Marc Savard could be a chip to acquire a top defenseman and winger. (AP)

Who they would target and what they would give up in any deal has been the difficult part to gauge. While it’s widely assumed that a puck-moving defenseman is the position of interest, Taylor Hall’s Windsor teammate Cam Fowler and Moncton defender Brandon Gormley go right to the top of the list. WEEI.com’s NHL mock draft currently has Fowler and Gormley going third and sixth overall, respectively, but it should be noted that many believe Erik Gudbranson will be the third pick, meaning both Fowler and Gormley will be on the board at pick No. 4. That’s where it gets interesting.

Rumor out of the Pro Hockey Talk camp has it there is “something substantial in the works” between the Bruins and Columbus Blue Jackets, who own the fourth overall pick next week. The rumored deal has the Bruins sending center Marc Savard, restricted free agent Blake Wheeler, and the 15th overall pick to move up nine spots and back into the top five.

For what it’s worth, I had two reactions to this rumor:

1. That’s not as bad a deal for the Bruins as it looks.

2. It’s never going to happen.

Here’s why it’s not a bad deal for the Bruins, and the report hits on this a bit. If they’re going to get Tyler Seguin second overall (which is looking more and more likely with each passing day as hockey writers everywhere build Taylor Hall statues of text), they will have much more depth at center than at wing (breaking news: they already do). By losing Savard’s $7 million salary and $4 million cap hit, the team has good flexibility to add a big time goal-scorer.

You can forget about Ilya Kovalchuk. He wants top dollar for 12 years, and unless he lowers his demands significantly, he won’t even be worth talking about. The report lists Patrick Marleau as a potential guy the Bruins could go after, but why in the world would the Bruins make such a big deal to free up money from one of the better centers in the game just so they can throw even more money at the position? If it’s anybody in this scenario, my money is Kings winger Alexander Frolov.

Why won’t it happen? You mean besides Savard being able to veto the trade? It’s hard to imagine Savard would welcome a move to a team as bad as Columbus. Looking at this whole rumor (and again, it is just a rumor right now that PHT got from a source they trust), it’s quite clear the Blue Jackets are a big reason players insist on no-trade clauses.

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First up, Mr. President: Taylor or Tyler? 06.16.10 at 3:26 pm ET
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BOSTON — It didn’t take long for Cam Neely‘s introductory press conference as President of the Boston Bruins to eventually turn into the latest effort of ringing every last drop of draft news out of the team’s front office. Those in attendance came away with just what Bruins fans wanted: assurance that the No. 2 pick isn’t going anywhere but potentially up and the utmost confidence in both Taylor Hall and Tyler Seguin, with a tease that the team does prefer one.

“I know who we want,” GM Peter Chiarelli said. “We’re going to get one of the two, so we’d be happy with either.”

In his official first day on the job, Neely let on that he was thoroughly impressed with each player’s visit to the team and that getting to know each of the wunderkinds only cemented the team’s relief that they are not forced to make the choice between the two.

“I’ve said this to Peter,” Neely said. “We’re in a good position. I think it’s a tougher call for Edmonton than it is for us. We love both those guys. I think whatever happens, we’ll be very happy.”

While next Friday’s draft in Los Angeles will be a monumental occasion for the Bruins’ history, Chiarelli convincingly shot down any notion that the team could be considering a move out of the top two, with the proof being that they have in fact received a mightily enticing offer on paper, but that the team still rejected it immediately.

“There was actually one that I was impressed with,” Chiarelli said, seemingly entranced by the offer as he spoke. Even so, Chiarelli made clear that every offer involving giving up the choice will end the same way.

“I’m not moving it,” Chiarelli said of the second pick, one of two first-round selections received in the Phil Kessel trade. “We’re going to take one of those two forwards.

“I’ve gotten quite a few [interesting offers] actually. A lot of them are prefaced with the comment, ‘Look, I have to do this,’ because I’ve been quote clear that I’m not going to move this [pick].”

As for his other early picks (Nos. 15 and 32nd overall, the latter also part of the Kessel trade), Chiarelli admitted that the second overall pick isn’t the only choice that has been discussed in some way, shape, or form. In fact, it seems quite clear at this point that if the Bruins are going to move either of their first-rounders, seeing the team slide a few spots with the latter seems the more likely scenario.

“I’ve had talks about moving up and down from 15,” Chiarelli said, “but not from two [and] just moving down.”

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Neely to be named Bruins president 06.15.10 at 4:57 pm ET
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WEEI has confirmed a report that the Bruins, who are set to hold a press conference Wednesday at 2 p.m., will name current vice president Cam Neely president of the club. Neely, who has been a part of the team’s front office since September of 2007, had 590 points in 10 seasons with the Bruins. The story was first reported by Comcast SportsNet.

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