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Chiarelli: Stuart gives B’s ‘size, strength, character’ 07.09.10 at 2:08 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins defenseman Mark Stuart was about as humble and agreeable as possible on Friday in accepting his one-year contract extension for next season.

After general manager Peter Chiarelli announced the team had re-signed defenseman, Stuart spoke of wanting to forget about the way the playoffs ended while looking forward to the young, talented core the team is building.

Stuart, 26, is a veteran of 252 NHL regular season games and has 12 goals, 23 assists for 35 points and 261 penalty minutes in those contests. He also has 22 Stanley Cup Playoff games, with two career assists in those 22 games.

The contract is a one-year, $1.675 million pact, a raise from the $1.3 million he made the past two seasons.

Stuart chose against filing for arbitration because negotiations with the Bruins had been encouraging. Stuart said Friday during a conference call with reporters that he’s open to playing this one season with the hope of something better down the road.

“I’m very excited about the deal,” Stuart said. “I expected after the season that I had if I was going to get a deal it was going to be a one-year deal and then see how I played. Hopefully, I can have a great year this year and then hopefully, yeah, a long-term deal is in the future.”

The Bruins now have just over $1 million in cap space, according to CapGeek.com. The team still has yet to reach agreements with first-round pick Tyler Seguin and restricted free agent forwards Blake Wheeler and Gregory Campbell, the latter two of whom filed for arbitration.

Last season, Stuart played in 56 games for the Bruins, with two goals and five assists. He was sidelined for 26 regular season games and eight postseason contests with a broken left pinky finger and a subsequent infection within that finger.

During his 2008-2009 campaign, Stuart set career highs in goals, assists and points as well as tying his career high in games played, with five goals and 12 assists in 82 games.

“He was okay with the one year. To the point of building onto something more, we have more flexibility, too, next year,” Chiarelli said. “If you remember before he hurt his hand against LA, he was starting to play more minutes. He was actually coming along pretty good. It’s size, strength, character. Now, we’ve got, between him, Dennis [Seidenberg], Z [Zdeno Chara] and Johnny [Boychuk], we’ve got some big strong guys.”

Read More: Bruins, cap, Mark Stuart, NHL
Bruins, Stuart reach deal 07.08.10 at 11:12 pm ET
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A source confirmed to WEEI.com Thursday night that an agreement between the Bruins and restricted free agent defenseman Mark Stuart is a “done deal.” The contract is a one-year, $1.675 million pact, a raise from the $1.3 million he made the past two seasons. The Boston Globe was the first to report the story.

Stuart chose against filing for arbitration because negotiations with the Bruins had been encouraging. Earlier in the day, the sides were “very close,” as was told to WEEI.com. Stuart played in 56 games last season, battling a broken sternum in December and a finger injury sustained in late January. He totaled two goals, five assists and 80 penalty minutes in the campaign. A season earlier, he set a career high in points with 17.

The Bruins now have just over $1 million in cap space, according to CapGeek.com. The team still has yet to reach agreements with first-round pick Tyler Seguin and restricted free agent forwards Blake Wheeler and Gregory Campbell, the latter two of whom filed for arbitration.

Read More: Blake Wheeler, Mark Stuart, Tyler Seguin,
Zaney draft pick breaks goaltending mold 07.08.10 at 6:32 pm ET
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Bruins sixth-round draft pick Zane Gothberg is dialed in at development camp in Wilmington and thrilled to have the stands packed with fans as he looks to show the Bruins front office and die-hards alike what he’s got. A skater comes in and tries to go stickside on him, but the goaltender quickly reacts and uses his blocker to deflect the puck.

Disappointed, the crowd moans.

The next day, a skater beats him during drills for a goal.

They cheer.

No, the world isn’t out to get the Minnesota native, but when the skater in each instance happens to be second overall pick and center of attention Tyler Seguin, it’s a bit easier for the goalie to laugh it off.

“It’s a little discouraging when he snipes you and stuff and the crowd goes wild,” Gothberg said with a laugh on Thursday. “You just get a little flustered and stuff out there. It just makes you that much better because you just have to know that they’re going to do that and prepare for it [the] next shot when he comes down or when any other player comes down.”

The peculiar thing with Gothberg, however, has nothing to do with the crowd’s reaction to him or any other goalie facing Seguin. It’s the fact that in a locker room full of young prospects, it’s the goalie that appears to be among the most outgoing and, to a degree, a serious candidate for draft class clown honors.

Though many goalies throughout the history of the game have kept more to themselves and been among the quieter players on teams, it’s Gothberg who was among the first to volunteer to lead exercises on the first day of team-buliding activities with Marine Eric Kapitulik. In the two days of on-ice activities thus far, it has appears that Gothberg, who as a 2010 draft choice is in his first development camp and meeting the other hopefuls for the first time, is one of the biggest characters of the lot of 27 (26 if you exclude Max Sauve, who has only been able to skate in between sessions).

“I just like to keep the room spunky and stuff, just have a good time and kind of goof off with the guys and stuff,” Gothberg, who has also played with the USA U-18 team, said after practice Thursday. “It’s a good opportunity hanging out with these guys from around the country and around the world too, so it’s a good time.”

Gothberg doesn’t see himself as the typical goalie. He’s not the type to sit by himself or try to get into a deep focus before the game. In fact, Gothberg says he doesn’t even put his headphones on until “five minutes before warmups” on game day, instead electing to “interact and hang out” with his teammates. When he does put the head phones on, “Hell’s Bells,” “Black Betty” and other hockey standards aren’t the sounds coming from his mp3 player. Instead it’s Lil’ Wayne, “a lot” of techno, and, when the mood should strike him, Miley Cyrus.

“Yeah, for sure, Miley Cyrus,” Gothberg said, laughing despite seemingly meaning it. “There it is. She’s amazing. Gets me every time. Gets me deep.”

Through the Cyrus talk (“Not Hannah Montana — just Miley. The original.”) that ensued, a reporter couldn’t help but ask the goaltender if he was actually serious. The laughter subsided a bit as Gothberg responded, “Yeah, for sure. It’s good.”

The 6-foot-1, 177-pound Gothberg has looked good thus far in development camp but any contributions the 17-year-old will make for the Bruins are a ways away. He is set to go to the USHL, where he will man the pipes for the Fargo Force for a season or two. From there, it’s off to the University of North Dakota, where he is committed to play under coach Dave Hakstol.

A football player through his sophomore year of high school, Gothberg gave the sport up to focus on hockey. He excelled at Thief River Falls high school, recording three shutouts as a senior 1.81 goals against average and .925 save percentage.

As Gothberg makes saves on top prospects and continues to display behavior that strays from his position’s norm, he may gain more attention among fans and reporters alike, though he understands he won’t draw attention like Seguin or 2008 first-rounder Joe Colborne. Either way, he’s alright with it.

“There’s been a couple of reporters on me and stuff, which is good, but every guy in this room deserves to have an interview or two here too,” Gothberg said. “It’s pretty easy to fall under the radar, but it’s alright.”

Read More: Development Camp, Tyler Seguin, zane gothberg,
Photos: Slideshow of Bruins Development Camp 07.08.10 at 3:07 pm ET
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Click here or on the image below to launch a slideshow of the Boston Bruins Development Camp.

Read More: Bruins, Tyler Seguin,
Krejci should be good to go come training camp 07.08.10 at 1:26 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Sporting an air case on his right arm, injured center David Krejci spoke with contained optimism as he updated reporters on his progress recovering from an injury that left both him and and the Bruins helpless in the Eastern Conference semifinals. He said Thursday that he plans to be ready for training camp upon getting screws removed from his wrist in a month. Krejci has frequented Ristuccia Arena as he continues to recover from the injury suffered in the third game of the series.

“I’ve been doing rehab for the past month and it’s going good so far, so hopefully it will go that way,” Krejci said. “I’m going to have surgery in [four weeks] to take the screws out and after that I should be able to go on the ice and start lifting much heavier weights than I’m used to right now.

“I’m really excited,” he later added. “It feels pretty good right now but it’s not 100 percent.”

Krejci had surgery on the wrist in early May and began his rehab a month ago. He plans on being ready to go after another month, meaning he should be at 100 percent well before Bruins training camp opens on September 17.

Though he said Thursday that he is “looking forward to being in the best shape possible,” such a positive view may have been a little more difficult to take on the night of his injury, a hit from Flyers center Mike Richards.

“It hurt,” Krejci said. “I tried to ice it but then when I had to go on the ice, I couldn’t lift it, so I knew there was something wrong.”

Following x-rays, it became apparant that the wrist would recquire immediate surgery, but it didn’t play out like that. Because the injury occurred early in the first period of the game, Krejci actually had to wait until the game was over so the doctor on hand could tend to him without putting other players in the game at risk. This led to Krejci spending the rest of the game in a room by himself. Though the Bruins eventually won the game, 4-1, the other events of the night seem to stand out more so for Krejci.

“I was sitting in some little room. No TV, nothing, so I couldn’t watch the game,” Krejci said, almost in disbelief all over again.

The doctor and Krejci then waited for the arena to empty so they could leave, but they ended up stuck in traffic. Eventually the surgery was performed and the 24-year-old has proven to have a steady recovery to this point. Now that he’s nearly done with the healing process, Krejci is eager to put the injury and the series — a seven-game defeat — in the past.

“It’s a new year,” Krejci said. “Everybody starts from basically nothing and I’m really excited.”

Read More: David Krejci, Mike Richards,
Source: Bruins, Stuart ‘very close’ 07.08.10 at 11:14 am ET
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A source has told WEEI.com that the Bruins and restricted free agent Mark Stuart are “very close” to reaching a one-year deal. Stuart recently chose against filing for arbitration, as he felt comfortable enough that he would be able to come to agreement with the Bruins.

In 56 games this past season, the defenseman had two goals, five assists and racked up 80 penalty minutes. He set a career high in points in the 2008-2009 season with 17.

Read More: Mark Stuart,
BC defender looking to Cross out injury woes 07.07.10 at 5:00 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Boston College defenseman and Simsbury, Conn., native Tommy Cross knows all about Bruins development camp. Sort of.

The 6-foot-3, 209-pounder was the Bruins’ second-round pick in the 2007 NHL draft after the team traded up to the 35th overall spot in order to secure him. Since he was selected in ’07, the first year the Bruins began running the camp, he has been eligible for each and every one of them. His right knee, however, has unfortunately dictated his participation, just as it has effected much of his hockey career.

Playing baseball in 2007, Cross slid into third base and injured the knee, which has since been operated on three times. As a result, he was on crutches for his first two camps (he did not attend in ’08), and could only work out and skate by himself for last summer’s camp. Those sessions were his first on the ice in six months. Though the knee has put a damper on his attempts to impress both BC and the Bruins, he enters this camp with something he has learned not to take for granted: health.

“Just to think a year ago I was skating in between sessions,” Cross said Wednesday. “The guys were in the locker room, [and] I’d go out and skate laps. I think they gave me a puck one day. That was my excitement. To be out there with the guys and be able to do the drills … the fans in the stands, the kids chanting, it’s just awesome. I certainly don’t take it for granted and it’s as fun as it gets.”

Though he ended his freshman year at BC, the ’08-09 season, off the ice with one of his three injuries to his right knee meniscus, Cross has been on a positive trail of late. He played a mostly healthy sophomore season with the Eagles in which he racked up 10 points (5 G, 5 A) and 36 penalty minutes. He led exercises at Tuesday’s team-building activities and enjoys what he feels is a close group of prospects at camp.

“No matter what you do, no matter how involved you say, there’s something about being out on the ice with your teammates and going through the ups and downs that you miss out on. I’ve experienced that when I’ve missed games, I missed long periods of time the end of my freshman year (12 games), but certainly this past season I was healthy [for] all but three games over the course of three weeks. Even in those three weeks I was skating, so I was still involved.”

Assistant general manager Don Sweeney noted that the team has been impressed with what they have been able to see out of the defenseman over the last season. Sweeney said that Cross deserves “a lot of that credit” for being able to go from injured to a solid prospect once again.

“Things have come in fits and starts with him,” Sweeney said. “It’s been a frustrating situation for him. He’s worked awfully hard to overcome a lot of lose adversities and put himself in a situation where he’s added a lot of strength to take advantage of the situations of being able to skate and be healthy enough to do things that he’s accustomed to doing.”

Now that the issues involving the knee are seemingly in the past, Cross gets to set about showing his promise as a blue-liner to the Bruins. Though many players come back as different players in some way, shape or form, following an injury or multiple injuries, Cross has kept the same work ethic and mindset.

“I don’t think I’ve changed anything. I think it’s made me better. A better person, a better player. I’ve learned a lot from my experiences. I’m here now, I’m healthy, and I think that’s all that matters.”

Read More: Development Camp, Tommy Cross,
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