|Bruins happy to see Daniel Paille sign with Rangers||01.22.16 at 1:29 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Patrice Bergeron spent this past summer skating with Daniel Paille. He spent the previous six seasons with Paille as his teammate. At the end of the summer, Bergeron went to Bruins training camp as usual, while Paille’s routine changed rather drastically.
Unsigned over the summer as a free agent, the 31-year-old Paille went to the Blackhawks’ training camp, where he was cut before eventually signing an AHL contract with the Rockford IceHogs, Chicago’s minor-league squad. Thirty-one AHL games and a Spengler Cup appearance with Team Canada later, Paille finally returned to the NHL this week when he signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Rangers worth $575,000 in the NHL and $100,000 in the AHL.
“I’ll be honest. I’m surprised that it took so long, but I’m happy,” Bergeron said Friday. “He was in Rockford for most of the time, he went to the Spengler Cup and did well there and won. I’m happy for him. Hopefully he gets a good shot at it and he can show what he can do.”
Paille’s inability to find work was a product of teams opting to give chances to players on entry-level deals rather than signing veterans, even if the veterans’ immediate impact might have been higher. Other players who spent the summer unsigned included Lee Stempniak, David Schlemko and Marek Zidlicky. It’s a trend that might hurt current Bruins Chris Kelly and Max Talbot once their contracts expire at season’s end.
“To me, it seems like the cap situation for most of the teams and the fact that they want to see their young players and see how they react to the league kind of pushed the older guys away a little bit, and it was unfortunate,” Bergeron said. “It was definitely the worst I’ve seen in the summer, with older guys not getting jobs and stuff like that.”
Paille is best-known in Boston for rounding out the Bruins’ Merlot Line in their Stanley Cup-winning 2010-11 season after Brad Marchand moved up to Patrice Bergeron‘s line. He also scored in overtime of Game 2 of the 2013 Cup Final to tie the series in Chicago.
“He brought us some good years,” Claude Julien said. “He was part of that Stanley Cup run that we had, so absolutely. When you see a player like that get an opportunity somewhere, you’re happy for him.”
After scoring 10 goals as a fourth-liner and penalty killer in the aforementioned lockout-shortened 2013 season, the performance of both Paille and the Bruins’ fourth line trended downward. The Bruins notified Paille at the end of last season, which saw him spend time as a healthy scratch, that they would not be retaining him.
“I skated with him all summer, or most of the summer anyways, and he still looks like the Piesy we all know,” Bergeron said. “He skates well and is very good on the penalty kill. He’s a smart player, so I’m sure he can still do the job.”
|Daniel Paille takes tryout with Blackhawks’ AHL team||09.29.15 at 6:00 pm ET|
Free agent left wing Daniel Paille has signed a tryout agreement with the Rockford IceHogs, the AHL affiliate of the Blackhawks. The agreement was announced by the IceHogs Tuesday afternoon.
Paille, whom the Bruins declined to re-sign this summer in free agency, had attended the Blackhawks’ camp on a professional tryout before being released from camp Monday.
The 31-year-old Paille spent six seasons with the Bruins, winning the Stanley Cup in the 2010-11 season and scoring 10 goals in the lockout-shortened 2013 season. A first-round pick of the Sabres in 2002, he was acquired from Buffalo via trade in the 2009-10 season.
After going the whole summer without being signed, Paille spent the weeks leading up to training camp skating with his former teammates at Boston University and Ristuccia Arena.
|With PTO a possibility, free agent Daniel Paille dealing with uncertainty||09.04.15 at 1:44 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — When Gregory Campbell signed a two-year deal with Columbus worth $1.5 million a year on the opening day of free agency, it was fair to assume that fellow Merlot Line castoff Daniel Paille would soon have a new contract and team of his own.
Yet as Paille took the ice Friday at an informal skate with a group that included Bruins past (Shawn Thornton really won’t go away) and present, he wasn’t wearing the jersey of any team. Instead, he was wearing a black NHL Players’ Association jersey.
Paille wasn’t wearing the jersey to brag about his days as the Bruins’ player rep; he was wearing it because, in the first week of September, the free agent doesn’t have a team.
“It’s certainly a different kind of challenge,” Paille said. “It’s definitely something you prepare for but obviously don’t want to go through. I knew going into free agency there could be this chance. I’m definitely not too keen on being in this position.”
The aforementioned position is this: There are a few teams interested in Paille, but they want him to come to attend training camp on a professional tryout (PTO). Paille obviously wants a contract, so as his agent discusses both possibilities with teams, all Paille can do is prepare himself for whatever camp he’ll attend in two weeks, whether it’s as a member of the team or as someone still trying to get signed.
Worse players than Paille have been signed (John Scott) and traded for (Zac Rinaldo) this offseason, but he finds himself among a large group of veterans who haven’t inked deals. Why? The message Paille has received from teams is similar to the one he heard in his final weeks as a Bruin: They want to go younger.
Young players are more important now than perhaps ever in the NHL, as having good players on their first or second contracts helps teams more with the cap than signing a bunch of veterans. If teams feel they have an NHL-ready forward, they aren’t going to give a player like the 31-year-old Paille a contract and mess with the youngster’s development.
If no teams sign Paille, he could play in Europe. He spent the lockout in Finland playing for Ilves Tampere, but he doesn’t want to head overseas until he exhausts his NHL options.
“I still believe I can get a job [in the NHL],” Paille said. “I’m going to continue to fight for that.”
Paille was benched for the last nine games of the season as the Bruins got players back from injury and made their final push for a playoff spot. Once the B’s were eliminated, management had Peter Chiarelli tell Paille and Campbell they wouldn’t be back before firing Chiarelli.
“Definitely a big portion of me I think not being signed is not being able to play in those last [nine] games,” Paille said. “I gave everything in my power to get back in the lineup, regardless of what I did.”
While Paille was not happy being a healthy scratch, he said his memories of Boston are much bigger than a few bad weeks.
“Towards the end, obviously, you get frustrated with how things ended, but for me I just looked at my whole experience,” he said. “It was great in Boston. I’m not going to let that last part of my time here affect the wonderful years that I had here. I’m grateful that I had spent six years in Boston. That’s what I’m taking out of it the most. I couldn’t be happier being part of this organization when I was here.”
Paille says he understands why the Bruins moved on. It will be an easier pill to swallow once he finds his next job.
|Daniel Paille uses ‘positive attitude’ to regain his mojo: ‘When they go in, it seems you can almost do anything’||03.08.15 at 5:20 pm ET|
Since being benched for the final two games of the five-game road trip, Paille has been on fire. His two goals Sunday were the difference in a 5-3 win over the Red Wings at TD Garden. He has four goals in the six games since, including Sunday’s short-handed marker.
“Sometimes when you sit out you get to reflect on what you can do better,” Paille said after Sunday’s offensive display. “For me, I definitely kept a positive attitude about it. Like l’ve said before, Claude was great with me about it. Coming back, kind of a play like you’ve got nothing to lose. Just keep working. If you keep working, good things will come out of it, and so far, that’s what’s been going right now. So it’s a huge boost I guess.”
“I’m sure it helped him in a good way, not necessarily as a wake-up call, more than watching the game and missing it,” Julien added. “At the same time, I think there’s no doubt the trade deadline’s over, guys know they’re here, there’s a lot of players that have picked up their game I think since then. Whether it’s a combination of that or combination of where we are in the standings and wanting to make sure we get ourselves into a playoff spot and doing whatever it takes, could be a lot of different things. It’s nice to see a lot of those players really bring their game up a notch.”
Paille was the butt of many jokes about the Bruins’ lack of finish around the net. He’s had the last laugh since being re-inserted into the lineup. Paille went 36 games without a goal and scored in each of his first two games back. On Sunday, he matched that total in just three shots.
“When they go in, it seems that you can almost do anything, so a big part of the game is mental and sometimes they’re not going to go in and it’s just staying focused on the right things that we’re doing out there and for me of course it’s been a frustrating time for the most part of the season, but the main point is to stay with it and having the support through the whole team here is definitely a huge boost for all of us,” Paille said. Read the rest of this entry »
The Bruins can thank their special teams and an improving fourth line for finishing off a sweep of what figured to be a very difficult back-to-back this weekend.
The Bruins scored a pair of shorthanded goals off Stephen Weiss turnovers, while David Pastrnak and Loui Eriksson netted power-play goals in a 5-3 win over the Red Wings (box). Boston’s only even-strength goal came in the form of a second-period Daniel Paille tally, his second of the day after netting a shorty earlier in the period.
The game marked Paille’s first two-goal game since Dec. 14, 2011 and continued what’s been quite the renaissance for the veteran winger after getting scratched late last month. After netting just one goal over the first 57 games of the season, Paille has now scored four goals in six games since his benching.
Maxime Talbot appears to be a permanent fit on Boston’s fourth line going forward. In assisting Paille’s second goal, he now has helpers in two straight games.
The win improved Boston’s record to 33-22-10 with 76 points. The B’s increased their lead over the Panthers to four points for the second wild card spot with one game in hand. Boston trails Washington (82 points) by six point, though the B’s have two games in hand.
Here are four more things we learned Sunday:
MARCHAND STAYS HOT
A day after scoring the game-tying and game-winning goals against the Flyers, Marchand picked a puck from Weiss’ stick at the blueline and raced to a breakaway on which he got Jonas Gustavsson to bite on a deke. The goal was his third in less than eight minutes of hockey.
Marchand’s first-period goal was his fifth in the last four games to bring him to a team-leading 22 on the season.
SPOONER LINE BECOMING DANGEROUS
After spending much of Saturday’s game in their own zone, Ryan Spooner’s line with Milan Lucic and Pastrnak continued to give Julien reason to worry.
Lucic committed a turnover that led to a Gustav Nyquist goal in the first period, with Detroit following Philadelphia’s lead and enjoying lengthy stays in Boston’s zone Sunday. Detroit also scored against the line in the third period.
With the Bruins having to play just over 19 hours after the conclusion of Saturday’s overtime win, Claude Julien faced a tough decision between starting playing Rask twice in less than 24 hours or going with his backup in what figured to be a tough contest.
Julien’s faith in Niklas Svedberg paid off thanks solely to the fact that the Bruins scored five goals. Svedberg allowed a couple of soft goals, including a horrifying goal against early in the third period in which an easy wrister from Luke Glendening off the rush trickled in five-hole.
Svedberg appeared to have trouble seeing Marek Zidlicky’s power-play goal from the point later in the period.
CAMPBELL STAYS IN
Brian Ferlin took warmups prior to Sunday’s game, but Julien opted to keep Gregory Campbell in the lineup and Ferlin out.
There’s probably something a decision to be made there going forward, but for now it seems Julien wants to see how a fourth line of Campbell centering Daniel Paille and Talbot will work. Campbell drew a penalty Saturday in his first game back from an upper-body injury, but he also took an unnecessary icing that led to a defensive zone faceoff on which Philadelphia took the lead.
Ferlin has struggled of late, most notably failing to get the puck in deep before a line change Thursday that led to a Flames goal, but Julien should embrace a rotation and not be afraid of scratching one of his veterans at times down the stretch.
Given the line’s success Sunday (Campbell did take a second-period holding penalty), the three will probably stay together for the time being.
|Daniel Paille getting opportunities, missing opportunities||02.10.15 at 1:51 pm ET|
The Bruins have hit a bit of a snag with losses in two of their last three games, but things have generally been looking up. They’re winners of nine of their last 13 games and have points in 13 of their last 16 games. Lots of players should be encouraged.
In the case of Daniel Paille, however, it’s hard to tell what to feel. On the snakebitten scale, Paille rarely registers below an 8, but recent games have seen him break that scale and then spill glue all over the place trying to rebuild it. He still has just one goal in 53 games this season.
“I know if I had 10 goals by now, I wouldn’t be as mad as I am now,” Paille said Tuesday morning, “but for me it’s just about trying to move on and focus on the next play.”
The fact that multiple Bruins scoring chances have been punctuated by Paille flubs ‘ missing the net, shooting the puck over the net, falling down at center ice with no one but the goaltender in front of him ‘ has undoubtedly been a point of frustration for both Paille and the Bruins, but one shouldn’t overlook the fact that he’s creating chances. Missed opportunities don’t come unless there’s an opportunity.
“It’s encouraging to see him get those chances,” Claude Julien said. “It’s maybe frustrating more for him than it is for us to miss those opportunities because he’s had some really good ones and could have provided us with some important goals.”
The Bruins have moved Paille around in their lineup in recent games. The last two have seen him go from his usual fourth-line role with Gregory Campbell and Craig Cunningham to the second line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand. Among other missed opportunities, Saturday saw him send the puck over a practically open net after receiving a pass from Patrice Bergeron on an odd-man rush and Sunday saw him trip up at center ice on what would have been a breakaway against Carey Price.
To make matters worse, Paille, a free agent at season’s end, is playing for a new contract. In 53 games this season, Paille’s lone goal came at the end of a shift on Nov. 21 against the Blue Jackets. Considering he scored 10 goals in the lockout-shortened season and had nine a season ago despite missing 10 games, it will be hard for potential employers to pay him to be anything more than a fourth-liner.
With more chances, that could change. It won’t unless the pucks actually start going in, however.
|Carey Price is pretty sure Canadiens will see Bruins ‘again’ in playoffs||02.09.15 at 9:12 am ET|
Sooner or later, the Bruins will have to find a way to solve Carey Price.
On Sunday night, the league’s top goalie stonewalled the Bruins for a fourth time this season, stopping 34 of 35 shots in a 3-1 win over the Bruins that gave Montreal a clean sweep of the four-game season series. What does it mean to Price?
“That’s what they are. They’re a really good team, well-structured,” Price said. “They work hard. They’ve got all the characteristics of a good playoff team, and I don’t doubt that if we want to get to our ultimate goal, we’ll see them again.”
In those four games, Price has allowed just six goals, turning aside 113 of the 119 shots he’s faced. On Sunday, he admitted he was a little bit lucky to go along with being very good. The best example of that was in the second period when Loui Eriksson fired a shot on goal from the left circle after he left his crease. The puck hit his stick and popped straight up in the air and into his glove.
Then came his two saves in the same period on the tough-luck Daniel Paille. One was a kick save on Paille, who was right on the doorstep and took a pass from Torey Krug but could not finish. The other was a stick save on a shot from Paille from the right circle.
“Lucky. I don’t even think it was going in, to be honest,” Price said of the second Paille chance.
In the first period, Craig Cunningham had a chance in the low slot with Price again scrambling in the crease. But there was Michael Bournival there to get a piece of it before Price could get back in position.
“Absolutely, yeah. We had some guys bailing me out,” Price said. “That’s what it’s all about. We’re a committed team to blocking shots, and battling in that blue paint, and tonight it paid off in a close one.”
The flip side of this is alarming to the Bruins, especially coach Claude Julien.
“I don’t think we made Carey Price‘s night real hard,” Julien said. “He didn’t have to move much. He just stood there, stopped the shots, so those are areas that weren’t good enough, and in order to beat this team that really gets up for us our best players have to be our best players and we didn’t have that tonight.”
How do the Bruins go about making things tougher?
“Traffic,” captain Zdeno Chara said. “It’s pretty obvious I think. I don’t think there’s any goalie in the league that likes to have traffic in front of him. We didn’t do that probably consistently for the whole night.”
“Like every goalie you have to get in front,” added fellow blue liner Dennis Seidenberg. “If the goalie doesn’t see the puck he can’t stop them or he can’t make a save. There are going to loose pucks and we just have to get there in front of him and then get those second chance opportunities and that has been missing in the past.”
The Bruins have two months to find what’s been missing against Price.