|Check out the Bruins’ new Stanley Cup statue||09.09.11 at 10:28 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Something was different about the familiar walk into Ristuccia Arena Friday morning, as a statue commemorating the Bruins’ Stanley Cup championship in June now sits to the left of the entrance. It arrived Friday, and is certainly worth checking out if you ever take in a B’s practice. It features the results of each series, as well as a reminder as to which Bruin took home the Conn Smythe. Word is the trophy was donated.
|Bruins sign Andrew Bodnarchuk||09.09.11 at 10:20 am ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins announced Friday morning that they have given defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk, who played the last three seasons in Providence with the club’s AHL affiliate, a one-year deal. He will be in camp when it opens next Friday.
Bodnarchuk is definitely a depth guy, but he’s a good guy to have in the fold. Now 23, he has five NHL games under his belt, all of which were played in the 2009-10 season. Last season in Providence, he had 15 goals and 16 assists in 75 games.
Bodnarchuk was drafted by the Bruins in the fifth round of the 2006 draft.
|Zdeno Chara: Loss of friend Pavol Demitra, former coach Brad McCrimmon ‘hard to swallow’||09.08.11 at 12:56 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — It takes a lot to shake the biggest player in the league, but a day after the tragic plane crash that killed the members of the KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, it was clear that the event had a major impact on Bruins’ captain Zdeno Chara.
Among those killed in the crash were former Bruin Brad McCrimmon, who was the head coach of the KHL team and had previously coached Chara while the two were in the Islanders system, as well as longtime NHL forward and Slovakia native Pavol Demitra. Chara had ties to both men, so the crash hit close to home for the Slovakian defenseman.
“It was huge. Still. It’s horrible,” Chara Thursday said of how hard the last 24 hours-plus had been. “It’s just a tragedy that shook up the whole world and hockey world especially. We all feel bad about the players’ families and it’s something that is just hard to swallow.”
Demitra and Chara grew up in neighboring towns, as Chara hails from Trencin, with Demitra being born in Dubnica nad Vahom. The two grew up less than 20 minutes away from one another, but had a long-standing friendship.
“Pavel was a guy who was always easygoing, was always friendly with everybody and never really had a conflict with anybody,” Chara said of his late friend. “He was really a very favored and popular guy between other guys, and obviously we all know he was an extremely talented player.
“People probably don’t know dedicated a dad he was,” Chara continued. “He was always spending time with his kids and family, and I think that speaks for itself, too. He had offers from the NHL, but he chose to return back home and be there for his kids and his wife when they were going to school, and they chose the school system in Slovakia. It’s a very very said time right now.”
Demitra had a profound impact in the NHL for a former ninth-round pick, as he was a three-time All Star, three-time 30-goal-scorer, and the recipient of the Lady Byng in 2000. McCrimmon was chosen by the Bruins with the 15th overall pick in the 1979 draft, and after a long playing career became a successful assistant coach in the NHL. Chara said he’ll remember those lost not by their accomplishments, but by who they were as individuals.
Said Chara: “When you get to know players as [people], it’s just devastating.”
|‘Anxious’ Brad Marchand still waiting for deal as camp nears||09.08.11 at 12:30 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — What has one ring, too many unflattering pictures on the internet and no contract?
That would be Bruins forward Brad Marchand, who still has yet to ink a deal for the coming season. The 23-year-old was a somewhat surprising attendee at the Bruins’ first veterans practice Thursday at Ristuccia Arena, as he, among others, took the ice in preparation for the start of training camp next weekend.
Marchand addressed his situation after the skate, saying he doesn’t know whether he’ll have a deal in time for camp, but that he’s “anxious” for agent Wade Arnott to give him some good news.
“I’m updated every day,” Marchand said of where things stand between the Bruins and Arnott. “Every day that something happens, I’m updated, so I’m very aware of what’s going on, but [Arnott]’s doing everything.”
Training camp is set to officially open a week from Saturday. Marchand doesn’t know whether he will be under contract then, and though he technically could participate in camp without a deal, he would not indicate whether he plans to take the ice — and therefore risk being injured without a contract — or sit out.
“I’m not thinking that far ahead right now,” he said. “It’s just day to day, and hopefully it gets done before then.”
As for his decision to participate in the voluntary veterans skates, Marchand, who has been skating since Aug. 3, said he did not consider staying off the ice until a deal was signed.
Said Marchand: “The goal is to be in the best possible shape as I can be for the season, and that’s all I’ve been doing and trying to get in shape.”
Marchand’s 11 goals in the playoffs last season were second only to teammate David Krejci. In the regular season, Marchand had 21 goals and 20 assists as a rookie, working his way up from a fourth-line player to a main contributor on the team’s second line with Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi.
|Brad Marchand, Joe Corvo among those in attendance at Bruins’ first veterans practice||09.08.11 at 12:25 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — The Bruins held their first veterans practice of 2011 as they prepare for the start of training camp next weekend. The skate lasted about an hour and saw several familiar faces.
There was one notable attendee and one notable absence in the group, as Brad Marchand was on the ice despite not having a contract for the coming season. Winger Nathan Horton, who participated in each and every veterans practice a season ago, was not in attendance. He was knocked out of the playoffs in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals on a hit from Aaron Rome and had a separated shoulder in addition to his concussion, but said last month that he was ready to go. We’ll see if he takes the ice in the coming days.
Speaking of newcomers, defenseman Joe Corvo, who came to the team in a July trade with the Hurricanes, was out there. No sign of Benoit Pouliot yet.
Here’s the list of those spotted: Andrew Ference, Zdeno Chara, Johnny Boychuk, Tyler Seguin, Steven Kampfer, Milan Lucic, Marchand, David Krejci, Sean Thornton, Corvo, Adam McQuaid, Dennis Seidenberg, Gregory Campbell, Rich Peverley, Chris Kelly, Daniel Paille, Colby Cohen, Max Sauve, Jamie Arniel, Michael Hutchinson.
|Former Bruin Brad McCrimmon dies in KHL plane crash||09.07.11 at 2:12 pm ET|
Former Bruins defenseman Brad McCrimmon died in Wednesday’s KHL plane crash in Western Russia. The plane was carrying Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, a KHL team coached by McCrimmon with multiple former NHL players on the roster. If crashed after takeoff at an airport in Tunoshna, according to reports out of Russia. McCrimmon, 52, who played in Boston from 1979-82 and was an assistant coach for the Red Wings the past three seasons before taking the job as head coach with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock confirmed McCrimmon’s death to Detroit media. “I know that Brad was on the flight, but that’s all I know,” Babcock said. “So, obviously, it’s a tough day around here. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.”
Reports indicate the jet crashed into a radar tower just seconds after takeoff and caught fire after hitting the ground, killing 43 of the 45 people on board. The plane carried 37 team members and eight flight staffers. Former NHL players Pavol Demitra, Karel Rachunek, Karlis Skrastins, Josef Vasicek and Ruslan Salei were on the roster.
The agent for forward Alexander Galimov told Sovetsky Sports that his client survived. The other survivor is a member of the flight crew.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman released a statement on the crash Wednesday, saying that NHL players didn’t need to be involved for it to be a great loss for the game itself.
“Though it occurred thousands of miles away from our home arenas, this tragedy represents a catastrophic loss to the hockey world —
including the NHL family, which lost so many fathers, sons, teammates and friends who at one time excelled in our league,” Bettman said. “Our deepest condolences go to the families and loved ones of all who perished.’
Dr. Viktor Berezing, from the burn trauma unit of the hospital where the survivors were taken, told Interfax: “Galimov has burns to 80 percent of his body. The crew member has broken bones and lacerations in addition to massive burns.”
The team was headed from Yaroslavl to Minsk to open the season Thursday against Dynamo Minsk.
One report indicated that league president Alexsandr Medvedev interrupted the league’s opening game between Salavat and Atlant during the second period to address the crowd. He announced that all players and staff of the team except for one survivor had perished. The sellout crowd then observed a moment of silence.
According to another report, a Lokomtiv official stated: “At first we didn’t want to believe it. But right now there is no hope. The team is gone.”
McCrimmon, a native of Saskatchewan, played in 1,222 games for six NHL teams from 1979-80 to 1996-97, suiting up for the Bruins, Flyers, Flames, Red Wings, Whalers and Coyotes. He finished with 81 goals, 322 assists and 1,416 penalty minutes. McCrimmon then served as an assistant coach for the Islanders, Flames, Thrashers and Red Wings.
|Report: Chris Clark to join camp on tryout basis||09.05.11 at 10:00 pm ET|
According to a report from Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe, veteran winger Chris Clark will be at Bruins camp this month on a tryout basis.
The longtime Flame and Capital spent the last two seasons with the Blue Jackets. Last season, he scored five goals and added 10 assists in 53 games. Now 35, Clark’s best statistical season came in 2006-07, when he had 30 goals and 24 points.
Clark, who hails from South Windsor, Conn., will compete with Benoit Pouliot and some of the Bruins’ prospects for a roster spot. Among the players to compete with Clark and Pouliot are Jordan Caron and Jared Knight.
The Bruins saw the last veteran they brought in for a tryout sign with the team. Last season, enforcer Brian McGrattan participated in the Bruins’ camp and made the Europe trip before being signed. He ended up spending time in Providence before being traded to the Ducks in February.