|Recchi: Re-signed Bergeron has a lot to teach youngsters||10.08.10 at 9:18 am ET|
PRAGUE — The all-knowing Mark Recchi can speak of the goings on of the NHL with expertise, no matter what the individual subject may be. He’s seen it all, done it all, and knows when he sees something unfolding the right way. Entering his 20th season in the league, Recchi saw just that when word came down that his center in Patrice Bergeron had inked a three-year extension that will keep him in Boston until 2015.
“It’s awesome for Patrice and he deserves it. He’s a wonderful kid and he’s a great person for the organization to keep here,” Recchi said. “I think it’s a great deal for both [sides]. He could have tested the market and gotten a lot more [money] and a lot more years. It just goes to show you the commitment that Bergy has to this organization and to the guys in this dressing room that he was willing to do this.”
Indeed, a cap hit of $5 million for a player who, despite having a history with concussions, has appeared in the preseason to be primed for a monster year, would suggest that Bergeron could have potentially made more money on the open market. Bergeron cited his comfortability with the organization and confidence in the Bruins’ future as the reasons that he had decided he would sign an extension with the Bruins “no matter what” the final offer was.
Bergeron and captain Zdeno Chara had been the team’s two big names entering the final year of their contracts, with Michael Ryder, Marco Sturm, Mark Stuart, and Recchi also unrestricted free agents at season’s end. With the team having yet to agree with an extension to keep Chara around, Recchi pointed to Bergeron’s signing as a commitment from both sides to keep the team’s top players together for years to come.
“Basically we’ve got the core guys. I’m sure Z at some point will get done, but their core guys are locked in, and a lot of teams can’t say that,” Chara said. “A lot of teams have to make a lot of changes throughout the year every summer, and the Bruins are going to be fortunate when they don’t have to. Guys are willing to accept a little bit less to stay and be part of something they think is really good. Give credit to the organization that guys like Bergy trust Peter that he’s going to continue to build a good team.”
Asked where Bergeron falls among the young leaders that he has played with throughout his career, Recchi spoke very highly of his center. Bergeron was mentored well by Martin Lapointe, whom, along with Glen Murray and Recchi, he thanked for showing him how to handle the profession. Recchi said that it has been “awesome to watch him evolve into” the player and person he is today, and didn’t feel that at 25 years of age Bergeron is too young to mentor youngsters as they funnel in.
“The way he handles himself professionally on and off the ice is incredible. He’s a great kid, and we have some young players that should watch him every day. Tyler [Seguin] should watch how he prepares, watch how he works, watch how he does everything, and watch how competitive he is.”
|Jordan Caron: ‘I have to get over it’||10.05.10 at 7:38 am ET|
PRAGUE — Jordan Caron entered the preseason as the savvy hockey fan’s sleeper pick for the Calder trophy, someone whose offensive capabilities could prove more valuable in the coming season for the Bruins than second overall pick Tyler Seguin. At practically each checkpoint, anyone who entered camp high on Caron looked smarter and smarter. The team’s 2009 first-round pick scored a hat trick in the first rookie exhibition at the Garden against the Islanders, and when the team suited up Saturday’s tilt with the Belfast Giants, they did so with Caron as their second-line right wing.
Yet over the course of this European trip, Caron has battled issues that were previously nonexistent, and as a result has been bumped from the second line by third-year man Blake Wheeler. Caron, who is now splitting time with Michael Ryder as the third line right wing, has showed symptoms of fatigue from a long buildup to the season, according to coach Claude Julien. Mark Recchi feels his former linemate is battling confidence issues. Whatever is going on with Caron, he’s not prepared to let it define him as he enters his first professional season.
“It’s been a long camp for me, but I don’t want to take that as an excuse,” said Caron, whose English is still coming along. “I guess it has been a long training camp for me, but I have to get over it and just try to do my best.”
Even without making excuses, Caron could identify that he’s now playing in a far different league and environment than before. He pointed to the exhibition game in Montreal as his wake-up call that he’s become an NHL caliber player, but also stated that the competition is much tougher.
“Everything is faster, everything is stronger. You can tell the guys are much stronger, just in front of the net and in battling for pucks,” Caron said. “You don’t play against 18 or 19-year-old guys, you play against men. I think that’s the biggest difference.
“It’s pretty hard just to play against older guys like this, but I don’t want to make any excuses. I just need to do my best.”
Recchi and Patrice Bergeron, both of whom played with Caron throughout the beginning of the preseason on the second line, grabbed lunch on Monday to discuss Caron and how to help him with whatever jitters he may be showing. The two figured it would be best if Bergeron, who not long ago went through the rookie process and is also from Quebec, sat the youngster down for dinner on Monday as part of the continued mentorship for Caron.
“I’ve talked with Bergy a lot, and he says sometimes you don’t even have to battle,” Caron said. You have to be be smart and postition yourself in the right place and it will be easier.
“Having him speaking French, he really takes care of me in every aspect. Any type of question [I have], I can go right up to him and ask him.”
It isn’t a secret that Recchi, 42, has seen everything in this league, and he’s no stranger to seeing a player fight through a rookie wall. He likens the case of Caron to that of another Jordan in Jordan Staal, who in 2006-07 showed the same things with the Penguins he is currently seeing from Caron.
“I think you’re so intense and you’re so nervous over the course of the whole time, and you can’t sustain it,” Recchi said. “I remember Jordan Staal. He was great, great, great, then he hit a little bit of a wall, and then just before the season he got good again, and then he took off into the season. I remember getting close to the end of camp, he got a little bit tired. It was the same thing [as Caron]. ‘¦ It happens. It’s a lot. They had rookie camp, so they’ve been going at it for a while, and they may skate a lot earlier than most older guys do.”
Now skating with Seguin, a player with whom he’s gotten pretty close throughout development camp, rookie camp, and training camp, Caron isn’t too concerned with which line he ends up on. For now, he’s sticking to the conservative “if I make the team” mentality made famous by Seguin.
Julien has left the door open for him to “prove” that he belongs on the second line, which Caron admits he would love to play on. Recchi said that the rookie “got” the message that he needed to revert back to the player he was long before being moved off the second line. The veteran is confident that Caron has a long career of him, and that it will kick into high gear once he breaks the habit of overthinking things on the ice.
“I think he got really nervous in Belfast, just because [the season is] getting close,” Recchi said. “‘¦That’s like with anybody. When you start losing your confidence, you start thinking too much and then you don’t reach as quick, nothing comes naturally. It’s a natural thing for a young kid.”
|Seguin not the only youngster impressing Recchi||09.24.10 at 3:04 pm ET|
Mark Recchi‘s name as been tied in with every Tyler Seguin discussion since the Bruins drafted the young forward. Given Recchi’s experience and knowledge of both the game and the league, it’s only natural to assume he will serve as a mentor to the young superstar.
Speaking Friday, Recchi was of course asked about Seguin, who he called an “extremely skilled” guy who’s “in a great opportunity to continue to grow as a player.” From his perspective, Seguin isn’t the only youngster who has impressed in camp, and certainly not the only one who might appreciate a word or two of advice from a veteran.
“It’s a growing process for these guys. They get nervous,” Recchi said. “Going to Montreal — it’s probably the first time [Jordan Caron] has played in [the Bell Centre] — and being a French-Canadian, it’s pretty nerve-racking for those kids. I think he handled it well, and I think he’s going to continue to get better.”
Recchi doesn’t mind doing what he can to help the young players get acclimated with the professional setting. Now 42, he looks back on his early days in the league.
“Right now, it’s just trying to make them comfortable, feel part of it, always saying hi to them, always tapping them. It makes kids feel good. I was there one day, when I had Bryan Trottier tapping me on the shin pads. It makes you feel pretty good, so right now the biggest thing is making sure that they feel welcomed and they feel part of it.”
Recchi spoke highly of how some of the organization’s younger guys, including calling second-round pick Ryan Spooner a “heck of a hockey player.”
“[Ryan] Spooner has opened a lot of eyes to me,” Recchi said. “He’s a heck of a hockey player.” Though guys like Seguin and Spooner would have to make the team or return to juniors, Recchi noted that the likes of Matt Bartkowski and Steve Kampfer could prove valuable as callups during the season.
“It’s great to have that kind of depth,” Recchi said. “If you have it, it makes it a lot easier, that’s for sure.”
|Seguin could once again prove better at a higher level||09.20.10 at 2:51 pm ET|
Tyler Seguin’s talent has been put on display in various levels since he became a Boston Bruin. First, YouTube highlights were one’s best bet to see what the second overall could do before he actually donned the jersey. From there, it was rookie development camp.
Last week, he saw game action in two rookie exhibitions against the Islanders. Monday, though, was the closest Seguin has come to playing in an NHL game when he took part in the team’s intrasquad scrimmage. And he looked good.
Playing as a right wing and then left wing on a line centered by Patrice Bergeron with Mark Recchi, Seguin helped orchestrate the scrimmage’s first goal and the only tally for the white squad when he fed Bergeron from behind the net.
Though he figures to be a center in the long-term and entered camp playing the position, the glimpse of Seguin as a wing for two of the Bruins bigger offensive contributors was a welcome sight as the Bruins look to improve an offense that finished dead-last in scoring last season.
Though Seguin didn’t show up on the stat sheet as often as his teammates during the rookie games, playing with Bergeron and Recchi provided evidence that if the three entered the season on the same line, it could be a very productive one for the Bruins.
‘Tyler needs to play with skilled players and I think skilled players need to play with skilled players,’ Mike Vellucci, Seguin’s coach in the OHL, told WEEI.com back in May. ‘Tyler, I think first and foremost, is a playmaker that makes his linemates better around him.”
It isn’t much of a surprise that Seguin, though playing against tougher competition, looked better in a higher-skilled setting. As a guy who went from an average fourth-liner to OHL MVP as a result of being moved to the first line, Seguin has displayed an ability to skate with the big boys, even if it is just after one competitive glimpse.
“Since the draft, I’ve been saying that I’m confident and comfortable to play in the NHL,” Seguin said after the scrimmage. “Obviously, you’ve got to make little strides and you’ve got to adapt to all different stuff in the NHL that comes with it. Right now I feel like I’ve been doing that and I feel like I fit in out there.”
Seguin, who has maintained for months that he is open to playing any position (even offering up his self-proclaimed “brutal” goaltending skills), noted that there are “pros and cons” to playing both right and left wing, though he has no preference. A right-handed shot, he noted that playing right wing makes for an easier time breaking the puck out of his own zone. He saw most of his time Monday at left wing, but when he was made aware of his line, it wasn’t his position that stood out to him.
“Obviously the guys are great hockey players, Bergeron and Recchi,” Seguin said. “They’re phenomenal hockey players, great guys, and when I found out I was playing with them, I was very excited.”
Though the line has a real shot at sticking in the regular season, Claude Julien hinted that the team will give Seguin some looks at center as it determines how to go about utilizing both the rookie and Bergeron and Recchi’s line.
“He’ll get a little bit of everything,” Julien said of Seguin. “I think this is why we have these exhibition games, to try out different things, but no doubt, when you look at [Bergeron] and Recchi last year, putting somebody on that wing that will give them a little bit more of an offensive punch will definitely be something we want to look at.”
Much has been made of a potential relationship between Seguin and Recchi. The veteran could provide a mentor to the rookie while giving Seguin an opportunity to ask him anything and everything about playing in the NHL. Seguin, sticking to his modest “if I make the team” mentality, admitted he would jump at such an opportunity, but won’t assume it’s a given.
“That would be the big privilege if hopefully I earn my spot on this team and I could pick his brain all year,” Seguin said. “I’ll definitely take advantage of that if he allows me. Until then, it’s just trying to make the most impressions I can on the coaching staff and the players here and earn my spot.”
|Recchi joins teammates, Seguin makes appearance||09.08.10 at 11:37 am ET|
WILMINGTON — The second day of captain’s practice is in the books for the Bruins. The Big Bad Blog nearly came to a tragic end when a flying puck took someone’s attention away from their tweeting, but all is well. Once again, the skate consisted of basic drills and scrimmaging. Here’s the initial list of guys in attendance and a few notes:
Goaltenders: Tuukka Rask, Nolan Schaefer
– The newcomers to practice were Bodnarchuk, Bartkowski, Recchi and Kampfer. Recchi took to the ice with his teammates after doing a little solo skate following Tuesday’s session.
– Second overall pick Tyler Seguin was in the house, skating with the netminders as part of goalie coach Bob Essensa‘s camp prior to captain’s practice. Seguin likely won’t skate with teammates for captain’s practice, as it seems to only consist of returning players or veterans.
– *The captain wasn’t technically out there for the practice, though Chara did skate with goalies before.
|B’s Town Hall meeting set for September 21||08.30.10 at 1:02 pm ET|
The Bruins announced today that their annual “State of the Bruins” town hall meeting will take place September 21 at 7:00 p.m.
The meeting, which will take place at the TD Garden, will give season ticket holders (as well have half-season and 10 game package owners) a chance to address the franchise directly with Jeremy Jacobs, Charlie Jacobs, Cam Neely, Peter Chiarelli, Claude Julien, and players Zdeno Chara, Patrice Bergeron, and Mark Recchi. NESN’s Andy Brickley will be the meeting’s moderator.
|Recchi trusts B’s braintrust, excited to be back||06.28.10 at 2:14 pm ET|
Mark Recchi, whose new deal with the Bruins was officially announced Monday, said that he maintained good dialogue with general manager Peter Chiarelli throughout the offseason before ultimately inking a one-year, $1 million pact with the club on Friday. The 21-year veteran said that given the mutual interest in both parties to get a deal done, there “wasn’t any” temptation to hit the free agent market and start over with another team.
“They wanted me back and I wanted to come back,” Recchi said. “‘¦It really wasn’t that hard, to be honest.”
Recchi, a leader in the locker room given his NHL experience and relentless drive to win, added that it wouldn’t make much sense for him to try to gain the confidence and trust of a new coach and group of teammates by signing elsewhere.
“If I went to another team, the coach doesn’t know me,” Recchi said. “Really, I’m very comfortable in the role I’ve been given here and I think I’ve been good for them. It’s just the right fit and really, I didn’t see myself going anywhere else.”
Recchi said the decision on whether to play another season had nothing to do with his body and that he made the decision based on family. He plans to continue going year-to-year, but hasn’t ruled out the possibility of the ’10-’11 season being his final one.
“It’s definitely winding down,” Recchi said. “Whether this is it or not, I’m not sure.”
The veteran forward is excited about the addition of Plymouth Whalers center and second overall pick Tyler Seguin, calling him and Oiler’s left wing Taylor Hall “franchise players.” Unlike with Hall, who will be expected to re-ignite the spark for the league’s worst team, Recchi sees the opportunity for a young superstar to work his way in on a playoff team as beneficial for Seguin.
“We’re very fortunate,” Recchi said of being able to add Seguin. “Up the middle we’ve got three dynamic guys, all different type of players. You throw this kid in the mix, he could possibly play wing, I understand, and he’s going to be an important part, but at the same time, he can come in and just be a player, which is I think the most important for a young player.
“There’s not pressure for this kid to come in, internally anyway. He doesn’t have to come in and be a world beater. There’s a lot of pressure on Taylor Hall to go there and be an impact player right away. Seguin can come in and he can learn and grow and be part of a good hockey team. I think that’s very important for the development of a young kid.”
Recchi often stressed his approval of the direction the team is headed in. He spoke very highly of the newly acquired Nathan Horton, noting that his potential had been “untapped” while playing for a cellar-dwelling team in Florida for his entire career.
As for one of the afformentioned “dynamic guys” possibly being moved elsewhere, Recchi, who has heard the chatter that center Marc Savard could be on the block, exuded a confidence in Chiarelli to make the right move.
“Obviously I really like [Savard] and you never know what’s going to happen, but general managers explore everything,” Recchi said. “If there’s viable option to move Mark Savard, then obviously you’ve got to look at it.”
Recchi pointed to the logjam at center as a reason why Chiarelli could consider moving the team’s seventh-leading point-getter. He hinted at the possibility of bringing in one piece for Savard and adding another via free agency with the money saved. Wherever he ends up, Recchi feels he’ll remain an impact player.
“He’s obviously a dynamic passer and he’s been great for the Boston Bruins,” Recchi said. “I’m sure they’re not taking this lightly. If it makes sense, they’ll do it, but if it doesn’t I think he’ll be here and he’ll be a good player again for us.”