|Brad Marchand highlights Bruins midnight DVD release||07.19.11 at 2:58 am ET|
WATERTOWN — It probably wasn’t the craziest thing he’s done in Boston in the middle of the night since winning the Stanley Cup, but Bruins forward Brad Marchand spent late Monday/early Tuesday at Best Buy in Watertown signing championship DVDs at the store’s midnight release.
Marchand, 23, drew a crowd that wrapped all the way behind the building, and Marchand chatted with fans (sarcastically criticizing a youngster’s No. 11 jersey for sporting Gregory Campbell‘s number rather than his own) and signed the DVD sleeves as the locals thanked and congratulated him. One fan told Marchand that he loved it when the B’s rookie punched Canucks forward Daniel Sedin in Game 6 of the finals, to which he responded, “me too.”
While one fan was dressed in a bear suit, the most telling moment of the autograph session was when one fan took his shirt off to show the young winger his Bruins tattoo. Of course, Marchand is no stranger to losing his shirt, as many pictures of Marchand’s shaved chest made the rounds in the week that followed the B’s securing the Cup last month.
“I guess that’s the new thing,” Marchand said. “Everyone’s going to be shirtless at the games next year.”
Marchand reiterated that he is not concerned over the status of his contract negotiations. The restricted free agent has yet to sign an extension with the B’s, but he’s pointed to the business of the shortened offseason as the reason for why he remains unsigned. Obviously, there is something holding up the deal, but whatever it is doesn’t have Marchand worried.
“Not at all,” Marchand when asked if he had assumed a deal would be done by now. “There’s been a lot going on, obviously with the Cup and everything. That’s taking the leading role in everything, so I’m not surprised at all.
“We’re obviously very excited to get something [done],” Marchand added, “and hopefully it gets done soon.”
Here are a few pictures from the event, taken by perhaps the worst photographer in the world (send complaints to firstname.lastname@example.org):
|Brad Marchand not hung up on negotiations with Bruins||07.19.11 at 1:32 am ET|
Bruins forward Brad Marchand said at the team’s Championship DVD premier Monday that he is confident that a deal will soon be reached to keep the 23-year-old in Boston. A restricted free agent, Marchand was extended a qualifying offer by the B’s, meaning the Bruins have the right to match any offer sheet the forward could be signed to by another club.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli has noted he will not issue constant updates on the progress of negotiations, but Marchand expressed optimism.
“They know I want to be back here, and they want me back,” Marchand said, “so we’ll get something done.”
Marchand pointed to the hoopla of the Stanley Cup celebration as a reason as to why he has yet to put ink on paper. He noted that he has not been involved in the negotiations, and that his agent, Wade Arnott, has handled things.
“It’s obviously been a very busy time for everyone with the Cup and everything. We know we have all summer. We’re both confident something’s going to get done here soon, so I don’t think either of us are worried. We know something’s going to get done.”
In his rookie season, Marchand scored 21 goals and added 20 assists for 41 points. He added 11 goals and eight assists in the postseason.
|Update: What happened with the Stanley Cup at Logan Airport||07.17.11 at 12:25 pm ET|
It’s hard to imagine Nathan Horton smiling too much on a day like this.
According to a tweet from Tammy Horton-Plante, wife of the Bruins first-line winger, the Stanley Cup was lost at Logan Airport on Sunday. Horton was scheduled to have the Cup on Sunday and bring it to Dunnville, Ontario, where a parade was scheduled. While the Cup was missing from the parade, it turns out that it was never actually missing, and that the initial assumption that it was a Logan Airport snafu may be inaccurate.
Speaking with WEEI.com, a JetBlue representative explained that the Cup was scheduled to fly from Boston to Buffalo on an 8 a.m. flight. It was checked in seven minutes late, however, as its 7:37 a.m. check-in went past the 30-minute cutoff time. As a result, it missed its flight and had to take a later one.
Massport told WEEI.com that after checking with both Logan and the State Police, nothing was ever called in about the Stanley Cup being missing.
After things were sorted out with TSA, Horton’s wife tweeted, “CUP day cut short if cup shows as at all sucha bummer” and followed it with “Parade will be late and cup will arrive this afternoon hopefully. X ur fingers jetblue gets it right.”
Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star was at Central Park in Dunnville for the parade, where Horton showed up with out the Cup. Tweeted McGran: “Horton says he’s embarrassed Cup not with him and he only gets it for a short time.”
‘I’m not 100 percent certain, but I think it was because (the Cup handler) was late (to the airport),’ Horton-Plante told McGran. ‘It may have been an error by the airline. But it sucks because we can’t extend a day with the Cup. Everybody gets a day. It was supposed to be 9 a.m. until midnight.”
The Cup finally arrived in Dunnville at 2:20 p.m., after the Cup-less parade had finished.
Massport has refuted a report that the Cup was en route to Florida on Sunday.
Horton won the Cup in his first year with the Bruins, though he was knocked out for the playoffs in Game 3 of the Cup finals at TD Garden. The 26-year-old suffered what the team called a severe concussion in the first period of the contest on a hit from Canucks defenseman Aaron Rome. Horton did not expect the injury to impact his preparations for the coming season. The former Panthers third overall pick scored 26 goals in the regular season before adding eight in the playoffs, three of which were game-winners.
For more on where the Cup is scheduled to go with each player, click here.
|Peter Chiarelli: Bruins approaching other expiring contracts on case-by-case basis||07.14.11 at 6:26 pm ET|
Speaking to the media via conference call, Bruins defenseman Adam McQuaid called the decision to take a three-year extension with the B’s Thursday a “no-brainer,” adding, “I really couldn’t picture myself being with any other team or being anything but a Bruin.”
The 24-year-old would have been a restricted free agent after the upcoming season, but this deal will keep him in Boston until 2015.
B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli called McQuaid “a bit of a poster child” for the organization’s development program, as he spent over two seasons in Providence (AHL) before becoming a regular on the B’s blue line during their Stanley Cup championship season. After beginning the season as a healthy scratch, McQuaid saw action due to injuries on the Bruins’ blue line, and his work allowed the B’s to trade Mark Stuart.
“He found his way into this lineup and now is a really solid contributor with his size his toughness his range,” Chiarelli said. “We continue to see him improve, he’s still at a young age and we felt fortunate to be able to lock him up for the foreseeable future.”
Chiarelli noted that while it was good to get a deal done with one of the players entering the last year of their deals, it was not a sign that the B’s will also extend the others (a group that includes David Krejci and Tuukka Rask) before the season begins.
“This was a case of both parties coming together and reaching a real good deal for both parties,” Chiarelli said. “We don’t always go out early and try to sign guys before their deals are done.”
As for the Bruins’ current restricted free agent, Chiarelli offered no update on negotiations with forward Brad Marchand.
“I’m just not going to comment eye time i go to the media,” the GM said. “There’s been discussions, we feel there’s been progress, and that’s where I’ll leave it.”
|Bruins give Adam McQuaid three-year extension||07.14.11 at 4:58 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Thursday that they have re-signed defenseman Adam McQuaid to a three-year extension. McQuaid, 24, was entering the final year of his current deal at a $600,000 salary ($575,000 cap hit) and was set to become a restricted free agent at season’s end.
Despite starting the season as the team’s seventh defenseman, injuries to various Bruins’ defensemen (starting with Johnny Boychuk) allowed McQuaid to work his way into the lineup last season, and his emergence as a safe defenseman with an edge (he finished second on the team with 12 fighting majors) made former first-round pick Mark Stuart expendable, and the B’s shipped Stuart to Atlanta on Feb. 18 in a deal that netted the B’s forward Rich Peverley.
The former second-round pick of the Blue Jackets had four goals and 12 assists for 16 points in his 67 games in the regular season. His plus-30 rating tied for fifth in the NHL.
The B’s also announced that they have signed forward Craig Cunningham to an entry-level deal and given defenseman Zach McKelvie a one-year deal.
|Tim Thomas wins pair of ESPYs||07.13.11 at 9:55 pm ET|
Thomas led the NHL in both goals against average (2.00) and save percentage (.938) in a Vezina-winning regular season. His save percentage set the record for the best in a single season. He then posted a playoffs-leading .940 save percentage en route to winning the Conn Smythe trophy for the most valuable player to his team in the postseason. He also posted an NHL-best 1.98 goals against average in the playoffs.
Thomas’ Vezina was the second of his career, as he also won the award in the 2008-09 season.
|Do Bruins have most productive fighters?||07.13.11 at 5:51 pm ET|
The list is littered with Bruins, as Milan Lucic is ranked No. 1, and all five Bruins on the 85-man list rank in the top 15.
In order to come up with the list, players with at least five fightning majors last season were sorted by their TSN player rating, which is a weighted formula consisting of goals per game, assists per game, plus-minus, power play goals, shorthanded goals, game winning goals, shots on goal, blocked shots, hits, giveaways, takeaways and faceoffs.
Here’s how the top 15 shook out:
Lucic and Horton each had seven fights for the Bruins last season. Lucic, who led the Bruins with 30 goals in the regular season, had the most goals among players with at least five fighting majors. Horton’s 26 tallies put him second among that group.
While Thornton’s value has been his ability to fight throughout his time in the NHL, he had a career year last season, totaling 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points. McQuaid’s plus-30 rating put him in a tie with Vancouver’s Daniel Sedin, among others, for fifth-best in the NHL last season.
Scott Cullen, who put the piece together, writes that the fact that the Bruins, who finished second in fighting majors last season with 71, won the Stanley Cup, their physical style may be viewed as a winning formula. Cullen believes this could lead to other teams trying to load up on power forwards and enforcers.
The idea of ranking fighters based on their value of players is interesting, as TSN’s list comes far from ranking how the players are as fighters, though that of course is not their intention.
When it comes to dropping the gloves, McQuaid or Thornton certainly have more to offer than the B’s first-line wingers, but the fact that both the Bruins’ first and fourth lines are represented by two players each in the top 15 shows that the Bruins certainly look for grit throughout their lineup.
Though Lucic is the modern-day version of a power forward, one who wanted to suggest he picks his spots would probably have an argument. His seven fights were a far cry from the 10 and 13 he had in his first two years. Yet that’s what comes as a player develops into more of a goal-scorer, as last year was not only his first 30-goal season, but his first 20-goal season as well.
As for Horton, his first season in Boston represented a career-high in fights. He more than doubled his previous best, as he totaled three during the 2007-08 season. Over his last three seasons with the Panthers, he had just four fighting majors.
Now the number the Bruins would probably like to see up is his goal total. Horton’s 26 goals last season were the most he’s had in three seasons, but he had 28 in 2005-06, 31 in 2006-07 and 27 in 2007-08.