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Some thoughts heading into Bruins training camp 09.15.11 at 10:52 pm ET
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The Bruins will return to TD Garden Friday as they officially open training camp with the thing every young hockey player dreams about: fitness testing. With rookie camp concluding on Friday, the players invited to camp will hit the Garden ice on Saturday.

Click here for the training camp roster, which is essentially the Bruins’ roster and the rookie camp roster (minus five players) with the addition of veteran tryout Chris Clark.

Camp will open with the roster spit into two squads, with each group holding their own practices for the early going. The Bruins will hold a black and white scrimmage in on the Providence Bruins’ ice at the Dunkin Donuts center on Tuesday, and they’ll play their first preseason game Wednesday in Ottawa, their first of two preseason meetings with the Senators.

The preseason schedule also features two contests against both the Islanders and Canadiens.

Here are the groupings:

Forwards: Jamie Arniel, Patrice Bergeron, Gregory Campbell, Nathan Horton, Alexander Khokhlachev, Lane MacDermid, Kirk MacDonald, Kyle MacKinnon, Daniel Paille, Benoit Pouliot, Calle Ridderwall, Yannick Riendeau, Tyler Seguin, Jamie Tardif, Shawn Thornton, Trent Whitfield.
Defensemen: Matt Bartkowski, Johnny Boychuk, Colby Cohen, Andrew Ference, Steven Kampfer, Nathan McIver, Zach McKelvie, Dennis Seidenberg.
Goaltenders: Anton Khudobin, Tim Thomas.

Group B
Forwards: Anthony Camara, Carter Camper, Jordan Caron, Stefan Chaput, Chris Clark, Craig Cunningham, Zach Hamill, Josh Hennessy, Chris Kelly, Jared Knight, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Brad Marchand, Rich Peverley, Tyler Randell, Max Sauve, Ryan Spooner.
Defensemen: Andrew Bodnarchuk, Ryan Button, Marc Cantin, Zdeno Chara, Joe Corvo, Dougie Hamilton, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, David Warsofsky.

Goaltenders: Michael Hutchinson, Tuukka Rask

There are a few things that come to mind when looking at the groupings. Here are some random notes attempted to be turned into something interesting:

– Some of the youngsters with little chance of making the team are at least paired with guys they can learn from. Take Group B for example. Camara, the Bruins’ their-round pick in June, is a gritty young winger with his fair share of fights in the OHL. He’s in the same group as Lucic, who could give him a bit of advice as one of the premier power forwards in the NHL.

Then there’s Hamilton, the ninth overall pick in June’s draft. Hamilton has long looked up to the 6-foot-9 Chara, the tallest player to ever play in the NHL. While Chara can’t teach the 6-foot-5 Hamilton how to be as tall as him, he can certainly help show the young defenseman the ropes.

– Group A has two defenseman who figure to last long into camp battling or the seventh defenseman spot in Bartkowski and Kampfer. Bartkowski made the Europe trip with the team last year and was the last guy cut from camp, but Kampfer ended up playing in 38 games for the B’s in an up-and-down rookie year. With Corvo figuring to take Kaberle’s spot in the lineup, the Bruins have a couple of young defensemen with NHL experience competing for the role McQuaid filled early on last season.

– One guy to watch will be Hamill, who was the eighth overall pick of the 2007 draft but has played just four games in the NHL. This is the final year of his entry level deal, and he’ll be a restricted free agent at season’s end. With open roster spots minimal, it will be interesting to see where Hamill stands amongst the other players likely destined for Providence this year.

– Speaking of high draft picks, 2010 second-rounders Knight and Spooner both impressed in camp last season before returning to the OHL. If a young player is going to push Caron for a roster spot, it could be Spooner or Knight, who had 35 and 25 goals in the OHL last season, respectively. The team told Spooner he needed to put the work into his body last year, and he spent the year cutting down his body fat, something for which the team has commended him.

– There are no questions as to which goalies will be on which team, an injury to Thomas or Rask is the only thing that could give Khudobin or Hutchinson even the smallest of chances of making the NHL team. Saturday will be Thomas’ first time on the ice with his teammates this preseason, as he was not at optional veterans’ practices.

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Bruins announce training camp roster 09.15.11 at 5:25 pm ET
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The Bruins announced their roster for training camp, which is set to open Friday. There are no shocks on this list or absent from it. Here’s the roster:

Forwards: Jamie Arniel, Patrice Bergeron, Anthony Camara, Gregory Campbell, Carter Camper, Jordan Caron, Stefan Chaput, Chris Clark, Craig Cunningham, Zach Hamill, Josh Hennessy, Nathan Horton, Chris Kelly, Alexander Khokhlachev, Jared Knight, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Lane MacDermid, Kirk MacDonald, Kyle MacKinnon, Brad Marchand, Daniel PailleRich Peverley, Benoit Pouliot, Tyler Randell, Calle Ridderwall, Yannick Riendeau, Max Sauve, Tyler Seguin, Ryan Spooner, Jamie Tardif, Shawn Thornton, Trent Whitfield

Defensemen: Matt Bartkowski, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Johnny Boychuk, Ryan Button, Marc Cantin, Zdeno Chara, Colby Cohen, Joe Corvo, Andrew Ference, Dougie Hamilton, Steven Kampfer, Nathan McIver, Zach McKelvie, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, Dennis Seidenberg, David Warsofsky

Goaltenders: Michael Hutchinson, Anton Khudobin, Tuukka Rask, Tim Thomas


This means all but five players from the team’s rookie camp will be there when camp opens. Goalie Jared DeMichiel, forwards Dylan Hood, Adam Presizniuk and Conor Stokes and defenseman Charlie Dodero were those left off the roster.

Dougie Hamilton ready for main camp 09.15.11 at 1:11 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — With rookie camp winding down, Bruins prospects have about to day to process what they’ve learned in the past week and figure out how to apply it when main camp officially opens on Friday. For some players, including Jared Knight and Ryan Spooner, it won’t be their first rodeo, but for 2011 ninth overall pick Dougie Hamilton, it will be uncharted territory.

“I think the first skate will be pretty cool,” Hamilton said after Thursday’s rookie practice at Ristuccia Arena. “I don’t really know what to expect. They’re obviously the pro guys, so you want to size yourself up to them and see what they’re like and what you need to do better and what you need to do to become an NHL player like them, so it’s going to be special going out there with them and kind of just learn from them and see what I need to do better.”

Hamilton hasn’t been around enough Bruins veterans to be able to pick their brains for what to expect, but he’s pretty close with someone who’s having a similar experience some 3,200 miles away.

Hamilton’s brother Freddie, a 2010 fifth-round pick of the Sharks, was not invited to main camp with the team last year, but like Dougie is set to wrap up rookie camp and hit the ice with the big boys. Neither figure to make strong pushes to make either team’s NHL roster, but to both be in similar spots in their careers (both played for Niagara of the OHL last year) is something that allows them to share their experiences.

“He’s helped me a lot with everything,” Hamilton said of his brother. “He’s doing [rookie camp] right now and he’s going to main camp. We’re kind of both going through the same thing right now on different coasts, so that’s cool.”

Brother Freddie isn’t the only OHL teammate Hamilton’s chatted with recently. When the Bruins and Islanders played their rookie games earlier this week, Hamilton faced Ice Dogs teammates Ryan Strome and Mitchell Theoret, who are both in rookie with the Islanders. Strome, selected one pick ahead of Hamilton in the draft, netted a pair of goals in Tuesday’s 7-2 Islanders’ win, one of which came off a funny bounce that, with Michael Hutchinson out of the net to play a dump-in, left Strome with an easy goal. Hamilton grinned as recalled telling his OHL teammate not to get too carried away with the tally.

“I don’t think he can brag too much about that one,” Hamilton said. “It’s pretty tough to miss those ones.”

Hamilton seems to be holding his own on the ice in the rookie practices, though his body isn’t yet what it figures to be by the time he reaches the NHL. The team would like the 194-pound Hamilton to add more weight, with the hope that he could end up in the 210 pound area to fill out his 6-foot-5 frame.

The biggest test for any of these players comes in the rookie games, as the game often features a high level of skill that’s yet to be fully polished. Top OHL players are donning NHL jerseys in games for the first time, and making their debuts in NHL arenas.

Hamilton certainly seems like a smart player on the ice, and though the Bruins’ offense never really got going in Tuesday’s game, he certainly knows when to be aggressive and pinch when to stay at the point in the offensive zone. Overall, Hamilton viewed the rookie games as a positive experience, though a different one.

“It’s a lot faster, a lot stronger guys, so you’ve got to step your game up and kind of play up to their level,” Hamilton said. “The guys are bigger and stronger, so it kind of pushes you. You’ve got to try to get your confidence up and be comfortable with that.”

The rookies will practice Friday at TD Garden before most of them, including Hamilton, join the veterans on the ice Saturday.

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Bruins rookies return to the ice 09.15.11 at 10:26 am ET
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WILMINGTON — After a day of off-ice workouts following their two rookie games vs. the Islanders, the Bruins’ youngsters returned to the ice at Ristuccia Arena on Thursday.

Skating wizard Besa Tsintsadze was on the ice with the rookies. He made a couple of appearances in July’s development camp.

The rookies will practice again Friday, but from there the party will be moved to TD Garden for the official start of training camp. Assistant general manager Jim Benning indicated after the skate that all but about four of the guys from rookie camp will be in main camp when it opens.

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Quick hits from Brad Marchand and Peter Chiarelli conference call 09.14.11 at 5:27 pm ET
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Here are a few highlights from Bruins forward Brad Marchand and general manager Peter Chiarelli from Wednesday’s conference call after Marchand signed a new two-year deal:


On getting a deal done before camp:

“From the get go I never was going to miss a day of camp. I never wanted that. I wanted to be here the first day. I wanted to show I wanted to be here and go through the whole camp with the guys and be a part of the team. I was very happy that it didn’t have to come down to that, and we were able to get the deal done before camp, so now we can just move forward.”

On the term of the deal:

“It’s a great fit for both of us. I’m happy with the term. We talked about a little longer [deal] and I think that was just more about a little more security, but I think this was just a perfect fit for both parties.”

On whether he will become an unrestricted free agent after the contract expires in 2012-13:

“No, I believe I still have two more years.”


Opening statement:

“It took a little while, but I’m very happy to sign Brad to two years. He was a terrific performer in the playoffs, a clutch performer and just loves to play, plays on the edge, and we’re really excited to have him with the Bruins for two more years.”

On getting the deal done before camp:

“It was important. I didn’t think that it would get to that stage. Brad’s always told me that he wants to be here, and be part of the Bruins, and I know the works that Don Sweeney put in and Brad’s representative, they put in some good time. I had a feeling it would get done. It’s nice to finish this business before camp, because you fall behind in camp and it’s hard to catch up. I didn’t think it would get to that stage and it didn’t.”

On whether a longer deal was discussed:

“In these negotiations, you talk about a lot of different things. We did with this one, and we found that this term was probably best for both parties, and it gives some security. It gives Brad the ability to come back in a couple of years and negotiate with us again. It was just something that was a fit here, but we did talk about a bunch of different terms.”

On whether other deals signed influence negotiations:

“These are all comparables, and there’s a whole list of comparables that you talk about. it was something that we worked on throughout the summer. Deal’s come up, we discuss deals, we discuss where our offers are, etc. Eventually you get a deal done.”

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Brad Marchand gets two-year deal with Bruins 09.14.11 at 2:48 pm ET
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The Bruins announced Wednesday that they have signed restricted free agent Brad Marchand to a two-year contract.

Renaud P. Lavoie of RDS in Canada was the first to report the deal, noting it is for $5 million and a $2.5 million cap hit.

Last season, Marchand made $821,667. He had 21 goals and 20 assists in the regular season as a rookie, and his 11 goals in the playoffs put him behind only teammate David Krejci for tops amongst all skaters.

Had he not signed this week, it was possible Marchand may have missed part of training camp.

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Report: Bruins, Brad Marchand close to deal 09.14.11 at 1:30 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — According to a tweet from ESPN’s James Murphy, the Bruins could finally sign restricted free agent Brad Marchand on Wednesday.

Tweeted Murphy: Brad Marchand’s agent Wade Arnott just told me: “We are closing in on a deal for Brad ‘€“ it will likely get done today.”

A deal for Marchand prior to Friday would save both sides the headache of what would essentially be a holdout. Without a deal, the risk involved in showing up to training camp and potentially being hurt would potentially prevent Marchand from showing up, though he’s participated in each veterans’ skate.

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