|Bruins will experiment with Loui Eriksson, Jimmy Hayes as potential left wings||09.17.15 at 2:37 pm ET|
Loui Eriksson will have a new line as he takes on life without Carl Soderberg. There’s also a good chance he’ll have a new (old) position.
A left-shot right wing, Eriksson may see quite a bit of time at left wing due to a large group of right wings that includes Eriksson, David Pastrnak, Brett Connolly and Jimmy Hayes. The same goes for Hayes, a right shot who can play left wing.
Both Eriksson and Hayes have experience playing the left side, though both are years removed from doing it. Eriksson was used at left wing during his time with the Stars, while Hayes played left wing a couple years back in Chicago.
Don Sweeney said Thursday that the team will experiment with both players in training camp as it tries to find line combinations.
“We’re excited with Loui having the versatility that he does to play both positions,” Sweeney said. ‘Clearly, the production was back for him last year. We need to have that with him, so we need to put him in situations with other guys, and we’re going to play around with the combination piece of that. I think Jimmy Hayes will probably play both sides. We’re going to experiment a little bit with guys at different positions.”
It’s likely at least one of Eriksson or Hayes will be a left wing this season. There’s something of a dropoff at the position after Brad Marchand and Matt Beleskey, though center Chris Kelly could play there if he doesn’t center the fourth line.
|Upper-body injury will keep Dennis Seidenberg off ice for opening days of Bruins training camp||09.17.15 at 2:24 pm ET|
Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg will not be on the ice for the opening days of training camp, as the 34-year-old is dealing with an upper-body injury suffered in training.
General manager Don Sweeney shared the news on Thursday following the team’s off-ice testing. He noted that Seidenberg is the only player of the team’s 60-man camp roster that is not expected to be ready to go.
“Dennis Seidenberg will not likely skate of the next few days,” he said. “He reported to our trainers on Monday with an upper-body injury from training, and our doctors have chosen to take a conservative approach and re-evaluate day-to-day.”
Seidenberg had been skating with his teammates at informal skates at Ristuccia Arena in recent weeks. He was spotted on the ice briefly on Tuesday, though he did not participate in a scrimmage that took up the vast majority of the session.
Though his 2013-14 season was cut short by a torn ACL, Seidenberg played in all 82 games last season for the Bruins.
|Bruins announce training camp roster||09.16.15 at 6:47 pm ET|
The Bruins announced their 60-player roster for training camp on Wednesday. Camp opens with off-ice testing Thursday, with the team taking the ice the following day in anticipation of Sunday’s preseason opener.
Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson is the team’s only player in camp on a professional tryout. Lee Stempniak, who had been participating in informal skates with Bruins players in recent weeks, will attend the Devils’ camp on a PTO.
The Bruins’ camp roster is as follows:
Forwards: Noel Acciari, Matt Beleskey, Patrice Bergeron, Anton Blidh, Anthony Camara, Colby Cave, Andrew Cherniwchan, Brett Connolly, Austin Czarnik, Jake DeBrusk, Brandon DeFazio, Loui Eriksson, Brian Ferlin, Jesse Gabrielle, Seth Griffith, Colton Hargrove, Jimmy Hayes, Justin Hickman, Chris Kelly, Joonas Kemppainen, Alex Khokhlachev, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, Eric Neiley, David Pastrnak, Zack Phillips, Tyler Randell, Zac Rinaldo, Zach Senyshyn, Ben Sexton, Ryan Spooner, Max Talbot, Frank Vatrano
Defensemen: Linus Arnesson, Chris Breen, Brandon Carlo, Chris Casto, Zdeno Chara, Tommy Cross, Max Everson, Max Iafrate, Matt Irwin, Torey Krug, Jeremy Lauzon, Adam McQuaid, Colin Miller, Kevan Miller, Joe Morrow, Dennis Seidenberg, Frankie Simonelli, Zach Trotman, Ben Youds, Jakub Zboril
Goaltenders: Matthew Ginn, Jonas Gustavsson, Zane McIntyre, Tuukka Rask, Jeremy Smith, Malcolm Subban, Dan Vladar
|After skating with Bruins, free agent Lee Stempniak awaits call||09.15.15 at 1:48 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — When players took the ice at Ristuccia Arena for an informal session Tuesday, former Bruin Daniel Paille was long gone. Having agreed to attend the Blackhawks’ camp on a professional tryout, Paille’s long offseason of waiting for a chance was over.
The same could not be said for free agent right wing Lee Stempniak, who was still skating with the Bruins Tuesday after spending recent weeks at either Ristuccia or Boston University preparing for the season.
Stempniak still hasn’t agreed to anything with a team, though it’s likely a PTO is in his near future. The Dartmouth graduate, who has played for seven teams over his 10-year career, has lived in Boston with his now wife since he graduated college. Now 32 with a young family and looking for a job, Stempniak wouldn’t mind a shot with the Bruins.
“I think it would be a good fit. It’s a great organization,” Stempniak said. “I’ve heard great things. I’ve gotten to know some of the guys. I like them and have a lot of respect for some of their players, just the way they train, the way they play and as people. It’s definitely appealing, but for me, it’s sort of weighing the options. I’ve talked to more teams over the last couple of weeks and things have really picked up. [It’s about] finding the right opportunity at this point.”
Stempniak scored 15 goals last season between the Rangers and Jets over a combined 71 games. Though he’s on the back nine of his career, he is a more-than-servicable bottom-six forward with ample special teams experience. If he were to get a tryout with the Bruins, he would have his work cut out for him, given that the B’s already have a number of right wings in David Pastrnak, Loui Eriksson, Brett Connolly, Jimmy Hayes, Seth Griffith and Brian Ferlin. It’s likely the B’s will play Eriksson at left wing due to the abundance of righties.
This isn’t the first time Stempniak has waited to learn his fate. As a free agent last summer, he didn’t sign until late July, when he took a one-year deal with the Rangers. Back in 2010, Stempniak lasted until late August on the open market before re-signing with the Coyotes.
Though Stempniak has learned to expect the unexpected, the fact that he remains unsigned should still come as a surprise. After scoring six goals for the Jets in 18 regular-season games and then potting the Jets’ first playoff goal since the team’s return to Winnipeg, Stempniak figured he would be back with the Jets. Instead, the Jets opted to give their younger players a shot.
“I felt like I had a good year and a strong finish to the season,” he said. “I was hoping to go back to Winnipeg. I liked it there. It’s a great hockey city, a a great organization and I thought it was a good fit. It didn’t work out for one reason or another, and I’m just looking [for] the next thing. I’ve been on quite a few teams over the course of my career. Change is something I’m used to.”
Camps open across the NHL on Thursday. Given that Stempniak is good for 10-15 goals, he figures to be at one of them. That doesn’t make it any less stressful as the clock continues to tick.
“For me, it’s sort of out of sight, out of mind a little bit,” he said. “It’s hard. I have a young family, so it’s not just a matter of packing up and moving. I haven’t changed how I’ve prepared at all. I’m just preparing for training camp on Thursday. Right now, it’s just figuring out where will that be.”
|Simon Gagne announces retirement||09.15.15 at 1:05 pm ET|
Simon Gagne announced his retirement Tuesday. The 35-year-old forward’s career ended with a 23-game stint with the Bruins last season.
“Today, I want to thank my trainers and teammates,” Gagne said in a statement. “You inspired me to surpass myself. You made me understand that you need more than talent; it takes sacrifice and discipline and you need to work harder than your rivals. I also wish to thank my fans. Every evening, you energized me and inspired me to perform.”
Gagne played 822 games over 15 seasons in the NHL, scoring 291 goals and adding 310 assists for 601 points. He spent 11 seasons with the Flyers over two stints in Philadelphia.
Following his second stint with the Flyers, Gagne took a professional tryout with the Bruins last fall before signing with the team early in the season. He had three goals and one assist before leaving the team to be with his family in the final weeks of his father’s life. Gagne’s father died of liver cancer in late December, two weeks after Gagne took a leave of absence from the team.
|David Krejci looks forward to new linemates, fixing Bruins’ scoring woes and (hopefully) health||09.14.15 at 2:41 pm ET|
BOLTON — After a season of terrible moments, David Krejci had one of the best moments of his life when he and his wife recently welcomed their first child to their family. As far as hockey goes, he should hope he doesn’t have to go to another hospital for a while.
Krejci, who had previously never missed more than seven games in a regular season in his entire professional career, had a highly frustrating go of it last season. After fighting nagging lower-body injuries through the first few months of the season, Krejci suffered a partially torn MCL in late February. All in all, Krejci missed 35 games in a season that saw Boston’s offense suffer without him.
Now, after an extra-long offseason that saw him lose his running buddy of his five-year tenure as a first-line center in Milan Lucic, Krejci hopes to return to both the health and performance of seasons past. He said prior to Monday’s Bruins golf tournament that his workouts were not encumbered this offseason, so he sees no reason why things wouldn’t get back on track.
“Last year was the first year in my career that I had [ongoing] injury troubles,” Krejci said. “I’ve been working out since pretty much the season ended and have had no setbacks. I’m shooting for 82 games, so we’ll see what happens.”
With whom Krejci plays those games is wide open. It’s safe to assume the Bruins will plan on free agent signing Matt Beleskey filling Lucic’s spot, but there’s no telling whether it will be David Pastrnak, Brett Connolly, Jimmy Hayes or somebody else on the right side. Loui Eriksson could potentially be an option, though he’ll likely be moved to left wing this season given Boston’s number of right-shot wings.
Krejci’s had some different right wings since 2010-11, from Nathan Horton to Rich Peverley to Jarome Iginla to a revolving door of players (Seth Griffith, Simon Gagne and Pastrnak among them) last season. He’s used to change on the right side, but losing his longtime left wing in Lucic, now with the Kings, will present new challenges.
“It’s going to be weird,” he said. “We’ve been together for a long time, and now he’s gone, so obviously that was a really sad day. We have to understand that it’s a business as well and there were some upper-management changes. They’re just trying to make our team better than last year, and they did some changes. I really like the we have right now, so we’ll see how that goes.”
The good news for Krejci is that he signed a contract extension prior to the start of last season. Last season was the final year of his contract, so rather than hitting free agency after injuries, he at least has the security of a new six-year deal. With that comes pressure to live up to the $43.5 million he’ll be making.
Last season was bad for pretty much everyone on the Bruins, injured or healthy. The teamwide dropoff in shooting percentage suggests the B’s will get back to scoring as long as they don’t have two consecutive seasons of wretched luck. Having Krejci back will undoubtedly help as well.
“It’s definitely something that you can’t replace,” Patrice Bergeron said. “He’s a player that is so important to our club. To have him fresh and healthy is something we’re going to a lot from. I’m really happy to have him and happy he feels good.”
|Bruins announce new role for Jay Pandolfo, hiring of Jamie Langenbrunner, other personnel moves||09.12.15 at 1:11 pm ET|
The Bruins announced a flurry of hockey operations personnel moves on Saturday. The most notable is that Jay Pandolfo has transitioned from development coach to director of player development. Pandolfo will now oversee and aid in the development of players and prospects throughout the Bruins’ system.
Sliding into the development coach role vacated by Pandolfo is one of his former Devils teammates, Jamie Langenbrunner. Langenbrunner played parts of 18 seasons in the NHL and won two Stanley Cups before retiring in January 2014.
In addition to those moves, Jeremy Rogalski has transitioned from video analyst to hockey operations assistant. The Bruins have also hired Dennis Bonvie as a professional scout, Alain Bissonnette as an amateur scout, Erkki Rajamaki as an amateur scout, Andrew Shaw as an amateur scout, Bob Wetick as an amateur scout, J.P. Buckley as video coordinator and Julie Nicoletti as a sports nutritionist.