|Michael Ryder explains why he didn’t take Bruins’ offer in free agency||10.26.13 at 1:01 pm ET|
The Bruins’ big splash on the first day of free agency was Jarome Iginla, but that came after a player they had targeted signed with the Devils. That player was former Canadien, Bruin, Star and Canadien (again) Michael Ryder, whose decision reportedly came down to offers from the Bruins and Devils.
“We had a couple conversations back and forth with my agent, but I decided to end up coming to Jersey,” Ryder, who is in town with his new team, said Saturday. “It just seemed like a good fit for me. Lou [Lamoriello] and them were really excited and told me the opportunity I’d get here. I just thought it was the best fit.”
That isn’t the only reason. Ryder, who spent three seasons with the Bruins from 2008-2011 and was third on the B’s with eight playoff goals during their 2011 Stanley Cup run, wasn’t thrilled with the way things ended between he and the Bruins.
After the B’s won the Stanley Cup, Ryder was interested in returning, but was told by the B’s to test free agency and see what he could get. He did just that and took a two-year, $7 million deal with the Stars.
‘I think if they wanted to keep me, they probably would have tried to sign me [after the 2010-11 season],’ Ryder said last season when he was in town with the Habs.
The 33-year-old forward reiterated that Saturday, saying that the Bruins had the chance to sign him years ago and didn’t.
“Once I left here, after we won the Cup, I thought I might have a shot of coming back then, but it didn’t really happen,” he said. “We didn’t really talk.”
As such, Ryder said he was “definitely” surprised to hear from the Bruins this summer. He didn’t say he was less inclined to sign with the Bruins because of how things had ended after 2010-11, but he did say that he had put the B’s in his past.
“You move on, and it’s part of the business,” he said. “That’s just the way it is. I ended up in Dallas, which was great, and then last year I ended up getting traded back to Montreal. This year, I’m here in Jersey. It’s part of the game, and the way the hockey world works I guess.”
Another interesting fact about Michael Ryder and the Bruins? He was a linemate of both Tyler Seguin and Loui Eriksson, who were traded for one another this summer. Ryder assisted Seguin’s first NHL goal and was his linemate for much of Seguin’s rookie season before teaming up with Eriksson and the Stars.
Ryder said he was surprised to see the Bruins move on from Seguin after three seasons with the team, acknowledging, as many have, that Seguin and the B’s may not have been the best fit for one another.
“He was their first pick, and it’s always surprising to see someone go,” Ryder said. “Tyler’s still a young kid and [with the fit] here, I guess they decided that it was time to move on. I played with Loui also in Dallas. The two of those are great players, and maybe it’s good for Tyler to get a good start somewhere. He’s doing well so far and he’s going to do well. He’s that type of player.
“He’s got a lot of speed and can shoot the puck and stuff,” Ryder added of Seguin. “He’s going to be a star in this league, and it’s just about when he got the opportunity. I guess they thought it wasn’t a good fit for him here. Hopefully in Dallas it works out for him.”
|Michael Ryder chooses Devils over Bruins||07.05.13 at 6:53 pm ET|
With Ryder off the market, 36-year-old Jarome Iginla remains the best available option on the right wing market. The Bruins are in search of a first-line right wing after losing Nathan Horton, Rich Peverley, Tyler Seguin and likely Jaromir Jagr thus far this offseason.
For more Bruins coverage, visit weei.com/bruins.
|Canadiens best Bruins in Montreal, take season series||04.06.13 at 9:50 pm ET|
The Canadiens stayed ahead of the Bruins in the standings with a 2-1 win over the B’s Saturday night at the Bell Centre.
With the win, the Canadiens (38 games played) have 55 points to the Bruins’s 52 through 37 games. Saturday marked the fourth and final meeting between the two teams in the regular season, with the Canadiens taking three wins vs. Boston.
Montreal jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Alex Galchenyuk and Michael Ryder, with Daniel Paille scoring the Bruins’ only goal in the second period. Carey Price made 26 saves, with Tuukka Rask stopping 27 shots in the losing effort.
Here’s what went right and wrong for the Bruins in the loss:
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE BRUINS
– After some really promising showings of late, Matt Bartkowski had a rather rough first period. Bartkowski didn’t look to see if there were any Bruins on his side of the ice as he tried to break the puck out, and the result was a turnover as he sent the puck to P.K. Subban at the point. Subban fired the puck on net, eventually leading to Galchenyuk’s first-period goal.
– Claude Julien shuffled his bottom three lines midway through the first period, leaving only the Milan Lucic – David Krejci – Nathan Horton line intact. The changes saw Tyler Seguin moved back to right wing on the second line, with Rich Peverley centering the line and Jaromir Jagr being teamed with Gregory Campbell and Daniel Paille for the third line. Jay Pandolfo, Kaspars Daugavins and Shawn Thornton served as the fourth line.
– The Bruins were outshot, 10-4, in the first period and got no shots on goal from their forwards in the first 20 minutes. Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand combined for zero shots on goal in the game. That’s unacceptable.
– With Ryder’s second-period goal, he now has three goals in three games against the Bruins this season since rejoining the Canadiens. Ryder had two goals last Wednesday against the B’s, and he gave the Habs a 2-0 lead Saturday by redirecting a shot from Subban on the power play. The puck also went off Dennis Seidenberg’s stick before floating past Rask.
– Nathan Horton missed the net on an opportunity in front in the second period, as Josh Gorges was on him when Lucic sent a pass his way with plenty of open net to work with. Price had committed to Lucic on the other side of the net, but when Lucic fed Horton the right wing jammed the puck wide left on a forehand bid. It wasn’t the first such occurrence of late, as he also failed to finish chances in front against the Devils Thursday and the Flyers last Saturday.
– Good note from Mike Salk, who noted during the game that for a team that got Jaromir Jagr in hopes of fixing its power play, the Bruins haven’t been drawing a ton of penalties. The B’s got their first and only man advantage of the game in the final minute of the game and didn’t get a single shot on goal during it. The Canadiens scored on their only power play after Milan Lucic went off for cross-checking Tomas Plekanec, who took a whack at Lucic to get him to retaliate.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE BRUINS
– In what has probably been his best season as a Bruin, Daniel Paille won a big faceoff to set up the Bruins’ second-period goal. With Gregory Campbell tossed out of the circle, Paille won the faceoff and sent the puck back to Johnny Boychuk, whose shot went off Paille and past Carey Price in a fluttering fashion.
– The scoring chances continued for the Canadiens after they took a 2-0 lead, so give Rask credit for keeping it close by denying Montreal bids. Rask made 10 saves on 11 shots in the second period.
|Trade loss: With Jarome Iginla rumors swirling, B’s blow lead, lose shootout to Habs||03.27.13 at 10:37 pm ET|
Brendan Gallagher scored the decisive goal in the sixth round of the shootout as the Canadiens beat the Bruins, 6-5, in overtime Wednesday night at TD Garden. Gallagher also scored once in the third period before the Canadiens tied it with 8.2 seconds left in regulation. The Bruins had a pair of two-goal leads but couldn’t hold on, as they fell a point behind the Canadiens in the Northeast Division. The Bruins went 0-for-6 in the shootout while Gallagher was the only Canadien to score in six tries.
With his team battling for the top spot in the Northeast Division six floors below, Bruins president Cam Neely went back and forth on the ninth floor, shadowed by security. This led to speculation about whether the Bruins might be ready to pull the trigger on a major trade for Calgary Flames star Jarome Iginla, who was scratched from his game Wednesday night, the first game the 35-year-old has missed since Feb. 2007.
For a second straight game, Claude Julien juggled his lines at the start before reverting midway through the game. And, for the second straight game against a division rival, the Bruins came out flat in the first period. They were held without a shot for the first eight minutes of the game.
With the exception of Seguin, the Canadiens generated most of the energy on the ice in the opening 20 minutes. It paid off for the visitors when former Bruin Michael Ryder got enough on a snap shot from the low slot and beat Tuukka Rask just 4:15 into the game for a 1-0 lead.
The Canadiens appeared to be in the driver’s seat when arch-nemesis P.K. Subban blasted a slap shot from the right point through a screen and past Rask 2:53 into the second period for a 2-0 lead.
Despite falling behind for the fourth straight game, the Bruins did not panic. And as they did on Monday, when they also fell behind by two goals at the start to the Maple Leafs, the Bruins woke up just in time.
It was a rush from Seguin that got things going 30 seconds after the Subban goal. Seguin came flying down the right wing and fired a shot off the crossbar. The puck came down in front of Bergeron. He couldn’t put it in the open net but Dougie Hamilton was in the right place at the right time and drilled a one-timer from between the circles past Price and the comeback was on.
Less than four minutes later, with Julien again rejoining his regular lines, Marchand netted the game-tying goal by battling for position in front of Price and knocking the puck past the Montreal goalie. Marchand, who started the game on the third line with Rich Peverley and Jordan Caron, was reunited with Bergeron and Seguin. It was Seguin who won the battle in the corner and fired the puck in front of the net for Marchand.
After Lars Eller hauled down Shawn Thornton on a rush down the left wing, the Bruins went on the power play. With 14 seconds left on the man advantage, Bergeron potted his 10th of the season to put the Bruins up, 3-2. The play was set up when Zdeno Chara fed Torey Krug, called up earlier in the day. Krug fired a shot from the right point. The shot deflected off Rich Peverley in front and onto the stick of Bergeron who finished it off.
With the Garden crowd still buzzing, David Krejci fed Nathan Horton on a mini-break and Horton beat Price 35 seconds later for a 4-2 lead. After spotting the Canadiens the game’s first three shots in the opening seven minutes, the Bruins outshot Montreal 26-8 and finished with a 26-11 advantage after 40 minutes.
Price was pulled in favor of Peter Budaj to start the third. Andrew Ference drew a hooking penalty and the Bruins had a power play but could generate little momentum. Then moments later, Ryder added his second of the night, drawing the Canadiens within one, 4-3, with just over 16 minutes still left in regulation.
With Hamilton in the penalty box for holding, Budaj kept the Canadiens in the game with a huge save on Gregory Campbell on a shorthanded breakaway with 10 minutes left. Seguin then gave the Bruins huge insurance with a backhander to beat Budaj with just over eight minutes left, putting Boston up, 5-3. The Canadiens made it a one goal game again as the Seguin goal was being announced as Brendan Gallagher got a lucky bounce off the mouth Dennis Sidenberg and beat Rask with 7:42 left. The Bruins killed off their first five shorthanded situations, including an elbowing call on Chara with 4:40 left in regulation.
But a delay of game on Aaron Johnson with 1:27 left, led to a 6-on-4 with Montreal’s empty net. A shot from Subban deflected off the stick of Chara past Rask with 8.2 seconds left to tie the game. Andrei Markov was credited with the goal The Bruins got a power play with 1:20 left in overtime when Alexei Emelin was called for a hooking penalty. Krejci had one final chance to win it but Budaj smothered the shot from the right circle two seconds before the end of overtime.
The Bruins are off Thursday and Friday before visiting Philadelphia for a matinee with the Flyers on Saturday. For more, visit the Bruins team page at weei.com/bruins.
|Michael Ryder said Bruins would have signed him if they wanted him||03.03.13 at 6:08 pm ET|
Former Bruin Michael Ryder, who was traded from the Stars to the Canadiens on Tuesday, said prior to Sunday’s game that he didn’t think the Bruins would try to trade for him.
Ryder, who is in the final year of a two-year, $7 million deal that he signed with Dallas after leaving the Bruins, would have seemed to be a good fit for the B’s given the experience with the team and their need for more offensive production on the third line.
“I think if they wanted to keep me, they probably would have tried to sign me [after the 2011 season],” Ryder said. “Sometimes that happens. It’s part of the game and you have to move on. I liked it in Dallas.”
B’s general manager Peter Chiarelli told Ryder and Tomas Kaberle to test the waters of free agency after the team won the Cup. It didn’t take Ryder long to find a new home, as he inked his deal with Dallas on the first day of free agency.
“I kind of knew pretty much what was going to happen anyways, so I wasn’t surprised at all,” Ryder said of the team not making an effort to re-sign him. “I kind of knew which way it was going to go, so I wasn’t that surprised.”
Added Ryder: “Sometimes you just get a feeling. It was the same thing with when I left Montreal and knew I wouldn’t be back. You can just tell sometimes how things work out and everything. I just kind of had that feeling that I wouldn’t be back there.”
Sunday marks Ryder’s first time playing in front of the TD Garden crowd since Game 6 of the 2011 Stanley Cup finals. Strangely, it will be as a member of the Canadiens, as the Habs shipped Erik Cole to Dallas for him and a third-round pick. Ryder played for the Habs from 2003-2008 before signing with Boston as a free agent.
“Everything’s happened pretty fast the last three, four days for me,” Ryder said prior to Sunday’s game. “It’s pretty interesting. ‘¦ It’s different to be back here on the other side this time, but it is what it is and I’m excited to be in Montreal. It’s going to be a big game tonight for first place, and I think it’s exciting.”
Though he’s a Canadien now, Bruins fans would be wise to not jeer the veteran winger. In addition to his eight postseason goals in 2011 (two of which were game-winners), Ryder also made a key save on Tomas Plekanec in Game 5 of the conference quarterfinals against the Canadiens.
Gregory Campbell doesn’t know how Ryder should be received, but he hopes fans don’t forget what Ryder meant to the Cup-winning team.
“He helped us win,” Campbell said. “He was a big part of our team, so however they want to take that. It’s like any other player going into another building. There’s good memories, but tonight he’s not on the team that you should be cheering for.”
|Bruins ready to welcome Michael Ryder back to Boston-Montreal rivalry||02.27.13 at 2:23 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — If Bruins fans were hoping Michael Ryder would return to his old stomping grounds, they should have been more specific.
The Canadiens swung a deal with the Stars Tuesday night to bring back the former Hab and Bruin, sending Erik Cole to Dallas for Ryder and a third-round pick. The 32-year-old has six goals and eight assists for 14 points this season after scoring a career-high 35 goals a season ago.
Ryder, who was in the final year of the two-year deal he signed with the Stars after the Bruins’ Stanley Cup championship, would have been a logical fit for the B’s at the trade deadline. In addition to getting some payroll off the books (Cole has a $4.5 million cap hit through 2014-15), the Canadiens managed to cross one target off Boston’s list entering trade season.
Given that the roster has gone largely unchanged since Ryder and the B’s won the Cup in 2011, it will be strange for some Bruins players to see Ryder as a division rival rather than a teammate. Tyler Seguin still remembers how much Ryder’s presence helped him in his rookie year, from his Hail Mary pass on Seguin’s first career goal to their explosive work together in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Lightning.
“[He helped me] a lot. He was on my first NHL goal, he made that pass to me,” Seguin said Wednesday. “He wasn’t as loud as some of the other guys, but when he did talk to me, he was a guy you’d look up to. He could definitely snipe the puck, and it was a treat playing with him.”
The Canadiens weren’t expected to be a team that would be wheeling and dealing to improve their roster for this season, as few expected them to seriously contend after a miserable 2011-12 campaign in which they went 31-25-16 and were sellers when it came to trading. Led by coach Michel Therrien, the Habs have turned their fortune around with a with a 12-4-3 start, leading the Northeast Division with 27 points (though they’ve played three more games than the B’s).
While many are surprised by the fact that the Habs have been for real this season, the Bruins aren’t.
“I think Montreal, as bad as their record was last year, I think they’re a way better team than what it showed last year,” Rich Peverley said. “‘¦ Nothing’s set in stone, and they are a good team with obviously one of the best goalies in the league.”
The Bruins will face Ryder and the Habs Sunday night at TD Garden, and while his former teammates haven’t forgotten what he meant to the B’s, they’re hoping his first game back in Boston since departing isn’t too pleasant.
“We obviously have a lot of good memories together, going to the Cup there, but every guy on this team has buddies on other teams that we play against night in and night out,” Brad Marchand said. “When you’re on the ice, you hate the guy just as much as the other guy beside him.”
|What will Tyler Seguin do in his second year?||08.24.11 at 4:29 am ET|
With captains’ practices just two short weeks from commencing, WEEI.com will be looking at the questions facing the defending Stanley Cup champions in the 2011-12 season.
This time last year, there were plenty of questions on the mind of any Bruins fan. Much like the 2003 Red Sox, the 2009-10 Bruins left a bad taste in fans’ mouths from the heartbreaking fashion in which they were eliminated the season before. As a result, the B’s went out and added a couple of big names (Nathan Horton and Tyler Seguin) with the hope that the team that came so close to the conference finals the year before was just a player or two from something special.
So, with all of the anticipation for the 2010-11 campaign came plenty of questions. Would Tim Thomas bounce back from a subpar season, and would hip surgery make a difference? (That one was answered pretty quickly.) Then there was the question of whether Michael Ryder and Blake Wheeler would turn in performances better than their underwhelming 2009-10 campaigns. While Wheeler wasn’t around to completely answer the question, Ryder gave as strong a “kind of” as one could by being a healthy scratch at points of a regular season that matched his 18 goals of a season prior, while also being one of the team’s playoff heroes. People wondered how Horton might go about adjusting to a hockey market, whether Claude Julien was the right coach for the team and whether Tuukka Rask could once again be the best goalie (statistically speaking) in the league.
Many of those questions were answered emphatically. Now with a Cup ring thanks largely to his decision to go with a defensive super pair of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, Julien not only is the right coach for the team but should be considered one of the best coaches in the league. Thomas was the best goaltender this side of any body of water, Ryder and Wheeler have moved on, and Horton played his best when it mattered most. Now that last year’s questions have been answered and captains’ practices are a short two weeks away, it’s worth taking a look at what questions surround the Bruins as they begin their title defense.
First up is a question that will likely be discussed plenty leading into the season: What will Seguin do in his second year?
There are several truths regarding Seguin. He’s the Bruins’ most talented player. He’s essentially their only hope when it comes to those pesky shootouts. He’ll always be compared to Phil Kessel. And, until he is one of the 10 best scorers in the league, people will question the reason why, and such questions will likely be accompanied by some sort of finger-pointing at the coach.