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Peter Chiarelli: ‘If I could find another Milan Lucic, I’d be very pleased’ 12.19.11 at 8:49 pm ET
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Bruins fans can rest easy.

The team’s general manager made it clear Monday night he’s not about to change the way he builds his roster based on a one-game suspension of one of his higher profile players.

Peter Chiarelli said Monday he understands what Brendan Shanahan was doing by handing out a one-game suspension for Milan Lucic for the hit-from-behind on Zac Rinaldo on Saturday in Philadelphia. There’s a history there with Lucic and the Bruins have skated from possible suspensions on transgressions from Brad Marchand and Adam McQuaid in the last two weeks.

But not this time.

Still, Chiarelli wants to be clear. The Bruins will still be big and bad.

“It’€™s one game, for one thing, so I’€™m not going to react to that,” Chiarelli said minutes before the game Lucic missed with the Canadiens. “We went into the year with the new rule changes thinking that we were going to be a little more heavily scrutinized. We might have even played a heavier game in the playoffs, and, again, people were clamoring that we got away with stuff, and maybe we did, maybe we didn’€™t. But that’€™s the way we built the team, and I’€™m going to continue to build it that way.

“I mean, hey, if I could find another Milan Lucic, I’€™d be very pleased. I think everyone in the league would want a player like that. No, we won’€™t stray from how we built it, and we’€™ll continue to put the pieces in that have some character and have some toughness.

Chiarelli said he spoke with the top judge in the NHL operations office on Monday, getting the full explanation of the discipline.

“I talked to Brendan Shanahan today following his sanction on Milan, the one-game suspension, and what was explained to me was that when there have been incidents before with a player, they look at the whole body of work,” Chiarelli said. “I don’€™t know if it’€™s as strong as being a repeat offender, but he’€™s done stuff in the past, according to hockey ops, that go to his character reference when they’€™re looking at putting up punishment. Brendan didn’€™t say this, but if it was his first incident, I would think maybe he wouldn’€™t have been suspended. Brendan didn’€™t say that, but that’€™s my take on the whole thing.

“If you go back and see what Milan has done, to me, it’€™s pretty unremarkable, but they obviously look at everything.”

But Chiarelli, to his credit, did itemize the list of misdeeds that led up to Monday’s suspension.

“I think he got a suspension against [Maxim] Lapierre, he got the fine against Freddy Meyer, he got a warning on [Ryan] Miller, and this,” Chiarelli said. “I might have been missing one, but he didn’€™t get any other warnings. You wouldn’€™t know of warnings because, short of a fine, they don’€™t publicize that. I agree with the global objective of addressing player safety, and if the body of work means that now he’€™s in that, again, not ‘€œrepeat offender,’€ but the ‘€œrepeat concerns,’€ I guess, however you want to characterize it, then if that’€™s what it is, that’€™s what it is. Obviously I support the league’€™s attempt at addressing player safety.

“And I think Milan might have explained to you, and he actually, if you look at it closely, I feel that he has, he did change his game, so to speak, on that check. I thought he stopped skating. If you looked at his left arm going in, I thought he tried to lever him so that he could hit him in the crest, and I don’€™t think he hit him as hard as he normally does. Milan’€™s a guy who’€™s led our team in hits, I think, since he’€™s been here, and he’€™s very rarely been penalized with boarding, hit from behind ‘€“ the roughing stuff. He’€™s a clean player, and that’€™s what the law is now, so we’€™ll abide by it.”

Read More: Boston Bruins, Brendan Shanahan, Milan Lucic, NHL
Bruins-Canadiens Live Blog: Brad Marchand increases lead 12.19.11 at 6:46 pm ET
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Bruins-Canadiens Live Blog

Read More: Benoit Pouliot, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Milan Lucic
Video: Brendan Shanahan explains Milan Lucic suspension, says history influenced decision 12.19.11 at 3:06 pm ET
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Courtesy of NHL.com, here’s the video of NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan breaking down Milan Lucic‘s one-game suspension. Shanahan says that the fact that Lucic is a repeat offender influenced the decision.

“While this hit is not particularly egregious, it is illegal,” Shanahan said of Lucic’s hit from behind on Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo. “However, the overriding factor in elevating this check from behind from a penalty on the ice to a suspension is his history of similar infractions, warnings and a fine.

Read More: Milan Lucic, Zac Rinaldo,
Milan Lucic suspended for one game 12.19.11 at 2:31 pm ET
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The NHL announced Monday that Bruins forward Milan Lucic has been suspended for one game by the league for hitting Flyers forward Zac Rinaldo from behind in Saturday’s 6-0 win in Philadelphia. Lucic was initially given a five-minute major and a game-misconduct for the hit.

Lucic had a phone hearing with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan Monday, marking the second time he has had to speak with Shanahan this season. The 23-year-old left wing had a hearing last month for his hit on Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller, but was not suspended. Even so, Lucic’s history caught up with him Monday.

“While this hit is not particularly egregious, it is illegal,” Shanahan said of Saturday’s hit. “However, the overriding factor in elevating this check from behind from a penalty on the ice to a suspension is his history of similar infractions, warnings and a fine.”

This marks the second suspension of Lucic’s career. He was suspended for one game during the first round of the 2009 playoffs for a cross-check to the head of then Canadiens forward Maxim Lapierre.

While Lucic will not play Monday, the Bruins’ lineup still has some uncertainty for the matchup with the Habs. Gregory Campbell and Rich Peverley are both questionable.

Bruins happy to see that Tomas Kaberle has weathered the storm 12.19.11 at 12:58 pm ET
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Perhaps nobody will ever know what the Hurricanes were thinking when they gave Tomas Kaberle a three-year, $12.75 million contract this season, but he isn’t their problem anymore.

The Hurricanes dumped the underperforming Kaberle’s contract this month when they shipped the veteran blueliner to Montreal in exchange for Jaroslav Spacek. Thus far, Kaberle, who was a favorite among teammates in Boston, is proving that one team’s garbage can be another team’s gold.

In his first 27 games in Carolina, Kaberle registered only five points — all assists — and had a dreadful minus-2 rating and was even made a healthy scratch. After stringing together back-to-back games in his 28th and 29th contests for Carolina, he was sent to Montreal, and he’s been a point-a-game player since. In four games since the trade to Montreal, Kaberle has matched his total through 27 games with the Hurricanes in registering five assists. That makes him four points shy of the nine-point total he had in 24 regular-season games with the B’s last season.

“He’s come in and kind of helped settle our power play down,” Habs coach Randy Cunneyworth said Monday. “I think he’s done a great job of showing a lot of poise back there and finding the openings that are available to him. he sees the ice so well. He’s a guy that knows how to play back there, and he’s a guy that will do great work going forward. We’re pleased to have him on board. It was good timing, having him aboard, because we were kind of floundering on the power play, so we’ve kind of gotten into a better direction with him back there.”

For a guy who had a tough go of it in Carolina and even in Boston before the team won the Stanley Cup, the Bruins are happy to see him doing well.

“Kabby is a great, great guy, a great person, and he’s a really good player. He signed a really good deal,” Gregory Campbell said with a grin after Monday’s morning skate. “I don’t feel too sorry for him [for his struggles], but I think he’ll do well in Montreal. He’s used to playing in that market. Obviously he played in toronto for a long time, and he helped us a lot. I know he’s going to help them, just hopefully not tonight.”

Said Claude Julien: “Kabby was a great individual, and for whatever people may think of him, he helped us win a Stanley Cup. Maybe people didn’t see him as having as much of an impact as they all thought he would, or even ourselves, but he still brought a positive element to our hockey club and he certainly helped us control the puck from the back end onto the power play. What he’s done right now in Montreal is exactly what he’s known for — being a good power play guy, a good puck moving defenseman and I hope he succeeds because he deserves it.”

Kaberle was not available to the media Monday morning. He did participate in morning skate though, so that should dispel rumors that he was at a Hello Piggy Band concert.

Read More: Gregory Campbell, Tomas Kaberle,
P.K. Subban a game-time decision vs. Bruins 12.19.11 at 12:35 pm ET
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Canadiens coach Randy Cunneyworth said after Monday’s morning skate that defenseman P.K. Subban will be a game-time decision against the Bruins Monday night.

Subban is dealing with the flu, and has yet to miss a game this season. The 22-year-old Ontario native has two goals and 12 assists for 14 points this season.

Read More: P.K. Subban,
Morning skate notes: Awaiting word on Milan Lucic, lots of moving parts in lineup 12.19.11 at 11:44 am ET
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It’s hard to say just what the Bruins’ lineup will look like Monday night when they face the Canadiens at TD Garden. With Rich Peverley, Gregory Campbell and Milan Lucic all question marks, the Bruins could be seeing more of Zach Hamill, giving a night of work to Jordan Caron, or not playing either of the youngsters.

Both Campbell and Peverley skated Monday in the team’s optional morning skate. Campbell fractured his foot last Saturday against Columbus, while Peverley has an ailment that is healed by rest. Given that, Claude Julien said the team is considering taking advantage of the light schedule this week and giving him a game or two off.

Lucic had his hearing Monday with Brendan Shanahan, but will not be made available to the media until a ruling comes down.

Expect Tim Thomas to be in net Monday against Carey Price. Thomas is coming off a shutout in Saturday’s 6-0 victory over the Flyers.

More to come.

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