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Andrew Ference has inkling he and Joe Corvo have at least one thing in common 07.20.11 at 3:10 pm ET
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When players begin showing up for captains practices and eventually training camp as the summer winds down and the preseason begins, Andrew Ference, like the other returning players from the Stanley Cup champions, will have a couple of new faces to meet.

Ference will have a new fellow blueliner in defenseman Joe Corvo, for whom the B’s traded a fourth-round pick to the Hurricanes the day Tomas Kaberle signed with Carolina. Ference may not know Corvo personally, but he knows they’ll have a good ice-breaker for when they meet.

“I know he’s got a lot of tattoos, so we’ll be able to swap,” Ference said with a laugh.

Ference, the team’s resident tattoo aficionado, flew his tattoo artist in from Calgary so he and his teammates could commemorate their Stanley Cup championship with ink on breakup day. While many players discussed what types of tattoos they were considering that day, the final tally of players to go through with it was a measly seven, including Ference, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin. Ference noted that other teammates simply got them on other days, such as Chris Kelly, whom Ference said was set to get his this week.

While a simple google search will show that Seguin and Marchand (the latter of whom rarely wore a shirt in the week that followed the Cup win) got “Stanley Cup Champions Boston Bruins 6-15-11″ on the side of their ribs, Ference went with a very plain black-and-white spoked B on his right arm.

“Some guys got the writing, and I went with the B,” Ference said. “I don’t know. I left room for more years though.”

Ference will also meet Benoit Pouliot, with whom he’s already had at least one dealing. It was Ference who sparred with Pouliot in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals after the then-Canadiens forward attempted to hit Johnny Boychuk high on a dangerous play in the corner. Ference isn’t concerned about having any difficulty befriending who was once the enemy, citing the team’s ability to do it in the past.

“We got along fine with Michael Ryder,” Ference pointed out, as Ryder spent his entire career in the Montreal organization before becoming a popular guy in the Bruins’ dressing room.

While there are similarities between the two situations of Ryder and Pouliot in that both came to the Bruins after playing for the Habs (Ryder signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the B’s back in the summer of 2008), one would generally be far more skeptical of Pouliot today than they were of Ryder in 2008. Ryder was an established scorer in the NHL, while Pouliot, to borrow a bit of logic from Jack Edwards, has been nothing short of a fantastic bust since being drafted fourth overall by the Wild in 2005. For Pouliot to do anything like Ryder on the stat sheet would make the $1.1 million they dropped on the 24-year a sound investment.

Read More: Andrew Ference, Benoit Pouliot, Brad Marchand, Chris Kelly
Video: Brad Marchand with Mut and Merloni 07.19.11 at 2:11 pm ET
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Here’s Mut and Merloni talking with their frequent guest, Brad Marchand, at the Bruins’ Stanley Cup Champions DVD premier at Loews on Tremont Street Monday. Marchand notes that he didn’t have to leave Boston after the week-long celebration for his own health concerns, but for those of others.

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Brad Marchand highlights Bruins midnight DVD release at 2:58 am ET
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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 djbean@weei.com):

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Brad Marchand not hung up on negotiations with Bruins at 1:32 am ET
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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.

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Peter Chiarelli: Bruins still negotiating with Brad Marchand 07.11.11 at 1:30 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said after the team’s development camp that there is no news to report with regard to contract negotiations with restricted free agent Brad Marchand.

“We’ve continued to talk,” Chiarelli said. “We’ve had some discussion, and we’ll leave it at that.”

Marchand, 23, scored 21 goals and added 20 assists for 41 points in his rookie season, winning the team’s seventh player award. He finished second on the Bruins with 11 postseason goals, and his plus-12 rating put him in a tie for third on the B’s in the playoffs.

The young winger is the only Bruins’ restricted free agent. Given that they have qualified him, the team match any offer sheet Marchand signs with another club or lose him in exchange for draft pick compensation. Defenseman Shane Hnidy is the lone other unsigned player, but the B’s have told the restricted free agent that they will not be offering him a contract.

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Peter Chiarelli: Bruins letting Tomas Kaberle, Michael Ryder test market 06.30.11 at 12:42 pm ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli spoke with the media Thursday in anticipation of the NHL’s free agency period opening Friday. The Bruins have two players set to hit unrestricted free agency in winger Michael Ryder and defenseman Tomas Kaberle. The GM said that ties have not been severed with either player, but that the B’s likely won’t be active in the early stages of free agency.

“Certainly theres no finality to our relationship,” Chiarelli said of Kaberle. “What we’ve agreed to with Tomas and his agent is that he would look into the market and we would continue to talk with him. ‘€¦ Let me be perfectly clear, there’s no end to the relationship because we haven’t signed him to this point.”

Chiarelli noted that if the Bruins are unable to retain Kaberle, he will look both in-house and elsewhere for his replacement on the Bruins’ blue line.

He also indicated that the B’s are taking the same approach with Ryder, and that if the players take deals with other teams, the Bruins are willing to accept that fate.

“I’m wary of the market and where it stands now,” Chiarelli said. “I said, ‘Look guys, go out there, see what’s going on and let’s continue to talk.’ The risk that we run is that they get a deal and then they can’t come back to us, and I understand that risk. That’s where those two guys stand.”

Depending on what the B’s do with Ryder, Kaberle, restricted free agent Brad Marchand and what happens with Marc Savard, the team could be in good standing with the league’s salary cap (set for $64.3 million next season). Despite the fact that they should have money to spend, allocating resources to multiple years could make things difficult for the Bruins, as both David Krejci and Tuukka Rask will see their current contracts expire after the coming season. Tyler Seguin‘s deal is up in two years, and one would have to assume all three players will see increases in pay.

“It certainly impacts it,” Chiarelli said of knowing they have future raises to give. “I’m a little wary of the market, first and foremost. The cap is high, and the cap is certainly going to come down in some shape or form, so generally speaking, I’m wary of the market and where I think it may be going.

“Two, and a close two, is that we do have guys that we warrant to re-sign, and they’re going to command raises. I’m really not in a position to go out and give a guy a big-term contract. I think thwart we can find that help elsewhere other than a big-term contract and still be in a good position to re-sign our guys as they come up the next year or two.”

The Bruins qualified restricted free agents Marchand, Andrew Bodnarchuk and Stefan Chaput. Chiarelli said that negotiations with Marchand have not yet begun.

The GM also said that the team will not re-sign defenseman Shane Hnidy, who served as a healthy scratch/depth player during the stretch run and postseason. Hnidy, 35, played three games in both the regular season and postseason.

“We’ve told Shane that we aren’t re-signing him,” Chiarelli said. “I think he’ll be a good addition somewhere else, and I told him that. Certainly I’d help him along the way for that.”

As for whether the list of Bruins’ targets may be shrinking, Chiarelli admitted that some players have been taken out of consideration in recent days. The rights of players set to hit free agency have been traded, which may factor into that.

“I have a big whiteboard in my office and I have our interest list and I have our secondary list,” he said. “Yes, there are names knocked off. Just because they’€™re on our interest list doesn’€™t mean we’€™re going to go off and sign them, but certainly we’€™re going to explore them. And I’€™ve crossed off names.”

One thing that came up time and time again was Chiarelli noting how “wary” of the market he was. He assessed the crop as being less than outstanding, which may be a reason why he would have reservations about making a big splash.

“I look at my board and I see the number of players and the quality of players,” he said. “And the numbers may be the same, [but] the quality is … there’€™s just not the high end players. Then of course you’€™ve got the floor of the cap and teams have to spend, so you’€™re going to get contracts I think that, maybe that, they’€™re generally higher in the unrestricted market, but I even think they’€™ll be that added premium because teams have to spend. … That’€™s why I’€™m a little cautious going into this market. There’€™s not the supply that there normally is, and I think the demand is greater because of the cap floor and teams have to spend.”

Read More: Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Marc Savard, Michael Ryder
Peter Chiarelli says Bruins have qualified Brad Marchand 06.24.11 at 7:21 pm ET
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Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told reporters in Minnesota Friday that the team has qualified restricted free agent Brad Marchand, meaning the team has retained negotiating rights with the 23-year-old and can match any offer sheet that another club may sign him to.

Should Marchand sign an offer sheet with another team, the Bruins will have seven days to either keep Marchand under those terms or see him walk. The Bruins would receive draft pick compensation if they were to lose Marchand, but given his importance to the club and how much cap space the B’s have, the chances of him not returning are extremely slim.

As a rookie Marchand scored 21 goals and 20 assists for 40 points in the regular season. He scored 11 goals in the playoffs, including two in the Bruins’ Game 7 win over the Canucks in the Stanley Cup finals.

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