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Claude Julien: Dougie Hamilton-Dennis Seidenberg pairing not ‘carved in stone’ 01.16.13 at 1:46 pm ET
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Dennis Seidenberg

WILMINGTON — Bruins rookie defenseman Dougie Hamilton has been paired with Dennis Seidenberg from the start of training camp, and with little time to mix and match in a shortened camp, it would appear that the two will be partners as the season opens this weekend.

Claude Julien did his best to pump the brakes on the buzz the pairing has created, saying Wednesday that while the two are partners for now, there’s still the possibility that Hamilton will play with another B’s blueliner in the coming days or weeks.

“You put those guys with the guys you know you can trust, but this is just a start,” Julien said. “I don’t want anybody thinking that it’s carved in stone that that’s his partner. You’re probably going to see throughout the year pairs moved around a little bit, but certainly he can benefit from the wisdom of those veteran players around him.”

Julien did say that he’s liked the job that Seidenberg, 31, has done helping the 19-year-old along.

“Any time a young player plays with a veteran you can gain a lot, especially if the veteran is a good veteran that will share his experience, his expertise with the player and help calm him down when maybe he gets running around a little bit or he gets uptight, whether it’s on the bench or on the ice. Coaches do a lot, but a teammate with some experience can do a lot as well.”

Though Hamilton and Seidenberg seem to be the pairing for now, it wouldn’t be crazy for the B’s to try to get some games out of the usually reserved-for-playoffs pairing of Seidenberg and Zdeno Chara early on. That would certainly be an easy way to prevent getting off to a slow start in the 48-game season.

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Bruins get to work on power play 01.14.13 at 10:23 am ET
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Patrice Bergeron

WILMINGTON — The second day of training camp meant addressing a common source of frustration for the Bruins, as they worked on the power play in anticipation of the upcoming season.

The B’s, who finished 20th in power play efficiency (scoring 16.2 percent of the time) in 2010-11 and 15th (17 percent) last season, used the following units, with Rich Peverley and Gregory Campbell mixing into the first unit:

PP1: Zdeno Chara, David Krejci, Nathan Horton, Tyler Seguin, Milan Lucic

PP2: Dennis Seidenberg, Dougie Hamilton, Chris Bourque, Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand

Campbell rotated in for Lucic as a net-front presence, while Peverley would replace Krejci on the point. Krejci said that he played some point on the power play in the Czech Extraliga during the lockout.

After the practice, Bergeron spoke about the power play work, noting that the B’s will have to put Claude Julien and Geoff Ward‘s planning during the lockout to good use, and quickly.

“It’s a short season. We don’t have that much time, and we need to be prepared right away,” Bergeron said. “Special teams on both sides are going to be very important. The power play is no different. We don’t have that much time to work on it, so today was the perfect day to do that.”

The Bruins have been pretty forthcoming with their intentions to have Hamilton on the team this year, so it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that he’s already being used on the power play. After all, the season is five days away, so cushiony period of easing him into scenarios doesn’t really exist. Bergeron thinks he’ll handle the challenge well.

“He looks good,” Bergeron said of Hamilton. “He seems to be pretty poised with the puck and making the right plays. It’s only his second practice … but today I got the chance to work with him a little more and he seems to be a very good player, very smart. He doesn’t look like he’s 19 out there.”

Hamilton is an obvious choice on the power play, as the 6-foot-5 blueliner had 17 goals and 55 assists for 72 points in 50 games last season as the OHL’s most outstanding defenseman.

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Zdeno Chara: Dougie Hamilton ‘way better than I was at his age’ 01.13.13 at 3:24 pm ET
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Following the Bruins’ first day of training camp in front of approximately 1,000 fans at TD Garden, B’s captain Zdeno Chara sang the praises of fellow defenseman Dougie Hamilton. The 19-year-old, who was named the most outstanding defenseman in the OHL, is expected to make the team this year after being drafted ninth overall in the 2011 draft.

“You don’t see very often guys being so humble and almost shy come around and be so good,” Chara said of Hamilton. “We all can see he’s very talented and willing to learn, so it’s exciting for all of us to have a guy like that around and try to help him out as much as you can and see him growing as a person.”

Hamilton has long looked up to Chara, as he is also a taller blueliner (Hamilton stands at 6-foot-5, while Chara is the tallest player in the history of the NHL at 6-foot-9). Asked if he saw some of his younger self in Hamilton, Chara said that he wasn’t as advanced at 19 as Hamilton is now.

“He’s way better. He’s way better than I was, I can tell you right now,” Chara said. “He’s way better than I was at his age.”

Hamilton, whose Twitter avatar is a picture of him standing on the ice with Chara, lit up when told of the captain’s praise.

“That’s awesome,” Hamilton said. “Just watching him out there, you can see how good he is. I don’t get to watch that much NHL hockey because we’re always playing. But you go out there and watch him and he’s pretty sick. If I can learn from him and try to get better and just watch him, he’s going to help me out a lot. I’m really looking forward to that.”

For complete Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.

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Bruins away from Boston roundup: Stats from around the world 10.01.12 at 12:05 pm ET
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With the NHL still locked out and lovin’ it (not really, but that’s catchy), here’s a look at how some of the B’s players and prospects are faring in various other leagues. Some players, such as Andrew Ference, have yet to join their new teams, while other players in the area still may elect to sign elsewhere, so these roundups will get longer as the weeks go on.

Swiss National League A

- Tyler Seguin‘s first game with EHC Biel left him with a stat line fans might like but Claude Julien would consider a nightmare: one assist and a minus-4 rating. There are plenty more points to come for Seguin, with the 20-year-old probably eager to improve that plus/minus. Remember, Seguin had a plus-34 rating last season, something that was undoubtedly aided by the fact that he was on a line with the Selke winner.

KHL

- Alexander Khockhlachev has one goal and a minus-5 rating through 11 games in the KHL. The plan was for the Bruins’ 2011 second-round pick to play in the KHL this season regardless of CBA goings on, as a season with the Moscow Spartak working for his father (Igor Khokhlachev is the team’s general manager) figured to be more beneficial than a third turn turn in the OHL for the 19-year-old.

- In five games for Moscow Oblast Atlant, Bruins backup goalie Anton Khudobin is 2-1-1 with a 2.63 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage.

OHL

- Dougie Hamilton scored his first goal of the season on Sunday night in Niagara’s 5-4 loss to Kingston, a game in which Hamilton added an assist and had a plus-4 rating. Through four games in his fourth season with Niagara, Hamilton has a goal and three assists for four points and a plus-6 rating with four penalty minutes. Hamilton will join the Bruins for camp if and when a new collective bargaining agreement is reached.

- 2011 third-round pick Anthony Camara has a whopping five goals and six points through five games this season for the Barrie Colts. The tough guy has added 10 penalty minutes and has a plus-1 rating. Three of those goals came in the form of a hat trick in Barrie’s season-opener.

Remember, Camara was a somewhat surprising pick when the B’s grabbed him as early as they did in 2011, as he had totaled just 14 goals in two OHL seasons to that point. Last season, Camara had 16 goals between Saginaw and Barrie, and it’s clear that his exponential offensive improvement is still going. Keep an eye on Camara, as his grit and newfound scoring touch could one day make him an ideal Bruin.

- Through four games with Belleville, 2012 24th overall pick Malcolm Subban is 2-2-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage. Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told reporters Friday that the B’s could bring Subban to camp this season the way they will with Hamilton, but you’d have to think that would be very unlikely given how far away from NHL-ready the 18-year-old is.

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Dougie Hamilton’s OHL coach: ‘Once the lockout ends, he will join the Bruins’ 09.14.12 at 6:11 pm ET
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Friday’s news that the Bruins had assigned Dougie Hamilton back to his OHL team meant that the Bruins had to be pretty darn sure that they’d be able to get him back once the lockout ended.

Dougie Hamilton is an IceDog once again. (CHL Photo)

While the CHL/NHL transfer agreement expired this summer, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said last week that he was confident that teams would be able to assign junior-eligible players to their junior teams and recall at least one of them to the NHL once a new CBA was reached, and that Hamilton would be that player for the B’s. Following Hamilton’s assignment, Niagara IceDogs coach and general manager Marty Williamson told WEEI.com that it’s everyone’s understanding that Hamilton will be a Bruin as soon as the lockout ends.

“Absolutely,” Williamson said. “There’s no way our league’s going to stop these guys from going [to the NHL]. I know 100 percent they’re behind it that as soon as the lockout ends, that he will join the Bruins.”

Hamilton, who would have attended this week’s Bruins rookie camp (the camp, which was slated to begin Friday was cancelled due to CBA uncertainty), has been practicing with the IceDogs for nearly two weeks, according to Williamson. Now that he’s officially been assigned to the OHL, he will play in his first game next Thursday.

The ninth overall pick in the 2011 draft, Hamilton had 72 points last season in 50 regular-season games.

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Bruins assign Dougie Hamilton to OHL, Jordan Caron among players headed to AHL at 5:36 pm ET
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Dougie Hamilton

The Bruins announced Friday that they have sent 23 players to Providence, a list that is led by winger Jordan Caron. In addition to announcing the players assigned to Providence, the team also assigned defenseman Dougie Hamilton and goalie Malcolm Subban to their OHL teams.

While the transfer agreement between the NHL and CHL has expired, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said last week that he believes teams would be able to have junior-eligible players start a locked out season in junior and then come to the NHL when a new collective bargaining agreement is in place. The team intends to do that with Hamilton, who had 72 points in 50 regular-season games last season.

With the Bruins’ rookie camp cancelled and the NHL picture unclear, Hamilton joined up with his former-turned-current team this month, IceDogs coach Marty Williamson told WEEI.com Friday.

“He’s been practicing with us for the last two weeks almost,” Williamson said following the announcement. “He’s been here practicing but hasn’t played any exhibition games. Now that they’ve made the announcement, he’ll start Thursday with us and play his first game.”

The following players were sent to Providence: Matt Bartkowski, Ryan Button, Carter Camper, Jordan Caron, Colby Cohen, Tommy Cross, Craig Cunningham, Justin Florek, Michael Hutchinson, Jared Knight, Torey Krug, Kevan Miller, Adam Morrison, Tyler Randell, Max Sauve, Ryan Spooner, Niklas Svedberg, Zach Trotman and David Warsofsky. Veterans Garnet Exelby, Christian Hanson, Jamie Tardif and Trent Whitfield will also report to Providence after clearing waivers.

One notable absence from that list is forward Tyler Seguin. The 20-year-old has played in 175 NHL games (including playoffs) and is thus not exempt from the waiver process in order to send him to the AHL. However, it is Seguin’s understanding that there is a scenario in which he could play in the AHL this season.

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New CHL/NHL transfer agreement could allow Dougie Hamilton to play in OHL and NHL 09.07.12 at 3:42 pm ET
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Dougie Hamilton projects to be a top-four defenseman. (AP)

While the Bruins announced some bad news regarding a potential lockout Friday by canceling their rookie camp, they have gotten some good news when it comes to having their top prospect in the 2012-13 season.

General manager Peter Chiarelli said that the NHL and CHL are in talks regarding a new transfer agreement that would allow players to start a locked out season with their junior clubs and then go to the NHL mid-season if there is to be a season. Chiarelli said he is unsure of how many players the B’s would be able to take back, but he said defenseman Dougie Hamilton would be their priority.

Because there had been no precedent set in the previous lockout (the season was cancelled rather than starting late), teams and players were unsure as to whether junior-eligible players (under 20 years old; Hamilton is 19) could start the season with their junior teams and then jump to the NHL. It appears now that they most likely will be able to, though it is not yet official and just how many players can do so remains unknown.

“We’re told they’re working on an agreement, and we’re told that there will be the ability to take players, in the event of a work stoppage, and it cutting into the CHL [Canadian Hockey League] season,” Chiarelli said. “There will be some type of ability to take players from their respective CHL teams. So, I’m hoping that that will be finalized, but at the very least I’m told that it’s expected to happen in the agreement. So, I mean, to the extent – I don’t know how many we can take, and I know that they haven’t done the agreement yet, but they’re working on it. So yes, if we can take one, I can tell you that [Hamilton] will be the one.”

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