|Bruins thrilled to see Andrew Ference named captain of Oilers||09.29.13 at 12:32 pm ET|
While the Bruins haven’t yet revealed who will wear Andrew Ference‘s ‘A’, the hockey world learned Sunday which letter the veteran defenseman will wear in Edmonton: ‘C’.
Ference, who signed a four-year, $13 million dollar with the Oilers on the first day of free agency this summer after not being brought back by the B’s, was named captain of the team on Sunday. There, the 34-year-old will a team with such young stars as Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Nail Yakupov.
The folks around TD Garden were delighted to hear the news.
“Captain?! Really?! I didn’t know that,” an animated Patrice Bergeron said upon being told. “That’s awesome! It’s well-deserved. It’s not really surprising to me, to be honest with you, but like I’ve said before, I’m going to miss him because he’s a great guy that I was really close to. I’m really happy for him and I think he’s going to do a great job.”
In his time with the Bruins, Ference’s leadership and value to the community was constantly on display. He came up with various things in to unify the team, from the ‘Darth Quaider’ t-shirt and the old nylon jacket in the 2010-11 season, to the chain the following season, to the short-lived rooster shirt last year and the Army Ranger jacket following the Boston Marathon bombing.
“I just sent him a text to congratulate him,” Claude Julien said. “I think he’s deserving. Everybody that knows him here knows what kind of a person he was and what kind of a leader he was on and off the ice.
“They’ve got a young team over there, and the minute he signed there, in the back of my mind I thought he had an opportunity to become the captain there. I think they made a great choice. He’s very deserving because of what he is and what he represents and what he does for a hockey team.”
|Claude Julien would be all right with third line being all left||09.13.13 at 6:39 pm ET|
The biggest question for the Bruins entering training camp is what their third line will look like, but it figures to be three members of a pretty big group.
Yet of those nine players, only two — Knight and Camper — are right shots.
All three of the Bruins’ other three lines (assuming Paille stays with the Merlot Line) features a mix of shots, and the idea of having three lefties on one line might not be super appetizing.
Then again, some of the left-shooting wingers have experience playing right wing. Smith was a left-shot right wing in college and split last season between right and left wing, while Caron has played a decent amount of his off wing in the NHL. Julien said Friday that he would indeed consider having a line of three players of the same handedness.
“You work with what you got,” Julien said. “It’s not the end of the world and you have to make due with what you have and in way, what is the best scenario. I know Jordan’s played a lot of the right side, he played that in Juniors, I know he’s played that in Providence as well, we’ve used him there a few times, so it’s not like Jordan’s not capable of playing on the right side.
“Then there’s Smith, another guy that we got from Dallas that is having a really good camp. And on the left side, Fraser is one of those guys that we can’t over look either. And that’s why I think down the road with some of those other guys from Providence, we’re going to have some tough decisions to make.”
|Patrice Bergeron still has ‘lingering issues’ from his injuries||09.11.13 at 5:19 pm ET|
No one could’ve expected Patrice Bergeron to be back at 100 percent so soon.
As it turns out, Bergeron himself admitted Wednesday that he’s still dealing with some aches and pains from the multitude of injuries he sustained in order to help the Bruins try to win the Stanley Cup in late June.
He was back in front of his locker Wednesday for the start of training camp and even passed the conditioning test that allows him to take part in full practices with his team.
To recap, Bergeron suffered a separated shoulder, broken rib, torn rib cage cartilage and, most serious of all, a punctured lung between Games 5 and 6 of the Stanley Cup finals against the Blackhawks.
To see him back on Wednesday for the start of training camp was a great sign but as Claude Julien cautioned later, he still hasn’t been cleared for preseason games.
“If I feel fine in the first couple of practices, and I feel like I can bang around and play physical in the 1-on-1 stuff on the ice, I’ll pretty much feel like I’ll be ready to get going and move forward,” Bergeron said, before acknowledging that he still has to be cautious early on in camp. “I guess the next couple of days will really tell me where I stand with the lingering issues.”
This summer, Bergeron spent most of his time rehabbing instead of traditional training.
“Honestly, I’ve been able to do most of my workouts,” Bergeron said. “It just took me more time to start that and get that going. So, I was doing a lot of rehab early on and after that it was more issues with core and reaching out on my sides too much so I’m not doing too many core exercises and stay away from that as much as possible but otherwise, I was able to do pretty much everything.”
And when he wasn’t rehabbing, he was busy getting married to his longtime girlfriend Stephanie Bertrand.
“It went well,” Bergeron said. “It was a fun day and everything went well.”
Bergeron and Gregory Campbell became icons for Boston sports in the spring when both played through remarkable pain to help the Bruins in the playoffs. Bergeron heard a lot of praise over the summer and offered perspective on it on Wednesday.
“I’ve been told that a few times and to be honest, I’ve talked to Soupy a couple of times already about it,” Bergeron said. “We don’t feel like it was anything special, anything extraordinary to be honest with you. We felt like we were just trying to do our job. Same thing for me, I was just trying to be out there and help the team as much as possible on the ice. I’m 100 percent positive that all the guys would’ve done the same thing, especially late in the season in the finals like that. You want to be out there, helping your teammates out.”
|Claude Julien: Patrice Bergeron and Gregory Campbell ‘cleared’ for practice, not games yet||at 1:02 pm ET|
On the first day of training camp, Bruins coach Claude Julien announced what would likely be considered good news by all Bruins followers.
Patrice Bergeron and Gregory Campbell both passed their conditioning drills and have been cleared for full practice with the team. Bergeron suffered a punctured lung, a broken rib, a separated shoulder and damaged cartilage at the end of the Stanley Cup finals in late June. Campbell suffered a broken right leg blocking a slap shot from Evgeni Malkin in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.
“They’re going to practice with us, they’re going to be on the ice,” Julien announced Wednesday afternoon during his first full press conference of camp. “When it comes time to play those exhibition games, it’ll be obviously a conversation again with our trainers, making sure that if they’re going to play, there’s not a risk factor.”
The Bruins open their seven-game preseason next Monday night in Montreal against the Canadiens, and it’s unlikely either player would be ready to play, though Julien did leave some wiggle room on Wednesday.
“Right now, I would tell you that they would not be cleared to play a game if we started today but that might chance in the upcoming day or in a week from now,” Julien said. “They can practice with the team. It’s just about playing in an exhibition game.”
Julien also confirmed that everyone who took the conditioning test on Wednesday passed. Julien said he took the excellent conditioning of his team as a sign of where they’re at as a group.
“I don’t think I’m going to need time in camp to assess [conditioning or mentality],” Julien said. “I feel it right now. I think our group is in the right place. I like the feeling of our hockey club right now. These tests today just kind of solidified what I thought. Guys are in great shape. It would’ve been easy guys, after finishing so late, to just kind of shut ‘er down for the summer. But they’ve kept themselves in great and they look excited to get off to a new start here.”
|Peter Chiarelli says hiring Claude Julien was his best move||08.30.13 at 6:24 pm ET|
Speaking at the team’s press conference to announce his four-year extension, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said that the move he is most proud of in his seven years wasn’t a player acquisition, but the hiring of coach Claude Julien.
Julien has led the Bruins to the playoffs in each of his six seasons with the Bruins. In his previous two seasons he had been fired by the Canadiens (2005-06) and Devils (2006-07), but Chiarelli said he saw a capable coach with whom he could have a good working relationship.
“I’ve got to say the single biggest thing was hiring Claude,” Chiarelli said. “He came off of being fired twice and there were a lot of questions about him so I knew he would be receptive to things. So obviously I knew what he was like ‘ receptive to things so he could evolve with the rest of us.”
Friday’s remark didn’t mark the first time Chiarelli used an opportunity with the media to sing Julien’s praises, saying after the team narrowly escaped the first round last season that he would never fire Julien.
“As long as I’m here, his job is safe,’ Chiarelli said on Salk and Holley on May 15.
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|Claude Julien named assistant coach for Team Canada at 2014 Olympics||07.22.13 at 10:45 am ET|
Bruins coach Claude Julien was named an assistant coach for Team Canada at February’s Sochi Olympics.
Red Wings coach Mike Babcock will be the head coach — as he was in 2010 when Canada beat Team USA to win the gold in Vancouver — with Ken Hitchcock (Blues) and Lindy Ruff (Stars) also serving as assistants.
The NHL announced Friday that its players will be made available to play in the Olympics.
Julien, who has coached the Bruins since 2007, was an assistant to Marc Habscheid at the 2006 World Championships, where Canada finished fourth. Julien was the head coach of Canada’s national junior team that won the bronze medal at the U-20 World Championship in 2000.
|Claude Julien: ‘There was no issue’ with Tyler Seguin||07.11.13 at 1:15 pm ET|
Seguin had apparent maturity issues in his time with the Bruins, so much so that Peter Chiarelli called out his lack of professionalism prior to last week’s trade. Julien largely took the high road Wednesday, though he didn’t exactly deny that Seguin had strides to make. The coach said that Seguin took his job “as serious as any 21-year-old would.”
“Everybody as a 21-year-old doesn’t always have the maturity to be a professional, whether it’s in the gym, here or there,” Julien said. “You work with all those young guys the same way. Do different players have different challenges? Absolutely.”
From the day Seguin came to the Bruins, there were questions of whether Julien’s system was a good for him given that he was more of a scorer with elite skill than a two-way, defensively responsible player. Despite the fact that the two sides weren’t a perfect fit, Julien said that he had a good relationship with Seguin.
“There was no issue between Tyler and I, and I’m not afraid to say it,” Julien said. “You guys can ask him at some point. There were no issues there. I worked with him as a hockey player, I dealt with him as a person. With everything else, there were never any issues that I know about, anyway. I thought we had a good relationship.”
For more on the Bruins, visit weei.com/bruins.
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