|Michael Ryder expected to return to Bruins||09.13.10 at 12:50 pm ET|
BOLTON — The Bruins and friends teed off for their golf tournament at The International, meaning practically all of the players were available to chat Monday morning in Bolton. Though David Krejci gave WEEI.com some good tips on dealing with cab drivers in Prague, the most interesting player to speak may have been his winger in Michael Ryder.
“I’m anxious to get started this year. Last year was disappointing, especially the way it ended,” Ryder said. “I think especially regular season too I think will be a lot better. There are things we have to improve on this year and hopefully we can do that.”
It’s no secret that Ryder was among the players who took the brunt of criticism when the Bruins offense stalled for the entire season. As a result, and with him entering the final year of a three-year deal, many wondered whether Ryder and his $4 million cap hit would be back this season.
“It happens everywhere you go,” Ryder, who seemed genuinely unfazed by the offseason speculation said. “After the season there’s always going to people talking and saying things [regarding] who should go where, and whatever, but you’ve got to forget about it and concentrate on starting off the season.”
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli rained on the parade of angry fans who wanted Ryder gone when he said early in the offseason that the team would not be buying the final year of Ryder’s deal out. He pointed to an off-year for the winger, who said he “expected to be back” with the team. Ryder admits that coming off a 27-goal season in 2008-09, his 18-goal showing last season was a letdown and he accepts whatever negative chatter comes with it.
“The whole team didn’t score goals last year. We had a hard time putting the puck in the net in the regular season,” Ryder said. “When you’re looked at to score goals and the team’s not scoring, you’re one of the guys that’s under the gun. I kind of accept that and I’ve just got to try to find ways to make that happen.”
Ryder remains a possible victim of the salary cap. The team will be approximately $3.5 million over the $59.4 million mark once Marco Sturm returns from long-term injury status. Asked if he felt he considers each practice and game from here on out an “audition,” Ryder expressed confidence in his role with the Bruins.
“I know I’m still part of this team,” he said. “I’ve just got to go out and prove that I belong here.”
|Peter Chiarelli golfed with Marc Savard, says center is ‘in good spirits’||09.12.10 at 2:24 pm ET|
WILMINGTON — Any concerns over how happy Marc Savard is after hearing his name in trade rumors all season were met with some positive news Sunday, where Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said the center was in town last week. Though he won’t be back in Boston for Monday’s golf tournament, Savard did hit the links recently by playing a round with Chiarelli himself.
“He was in good spirits and [is in a] good frame of mind right now,” Chiarelli said of their day together.
Savard had said in August that he was “hurt” by the idea of the team considering him in a potential trade. He signed a seven-year, $28.5 million extension in December.
|Chiarelli tells Savard he’s staying||09.04.10 at 1:59 pm ET|
On the same day that the NHL dropped its investigation of Marc Savard‘s contract, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli told ESPN’s James Murphy that he’s assured the center that he will remain in Boston.
“There is all these things that happen and there are always things that swirl around about moving guys, and I cannot respond to anything in kind because I don’t directly comment on trade rumors,” Chiarelli told Murphy. “I can tell you, though, that there was discussion and inquiries on Marc and they became public.
“There has been a number of inquires on a lot of the players, some become public and some don’t for obvious reasons, but as we told Marc, that’s part of the business and he understood that. I made sure he knows what we think of him: He is a Boston Bruin and an elite offensive player we’re happy to have on this team.”
Savard signed a contract extension with the Bruins worth $28.5 million over seven years in December. Under the rules at the time, the deal would call for a $4.007 million cap hit, but since it circumvented the cap by tacking on additional years to decrease the hit, the NHL opened an investigation that could have lead to it’s voiding. The investigation was dropped after the NHLPA agreed to calculate cap hits so that later years of contracts couldn’t drastically water down a player’s cap hit.
The coming season will be Savard’s fifth in Boston after originally joining the Bruins as a free agent in 2006.In 41 games last year (he missed time due a concussion suffered on the infamous Matt Cooke hit on March 6) Savard had 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points. He had 88 points the year prior.
|Report: Savard still on trade block||08.30.10 at 11:40 pm ET|
According to an ESPN report from James Murphy, the Bruins are “actively shopping” center Marc Savard despite this month’s news that his contract has been under investigation by the NHL.
“The investigation by the NHL definitely made teams back off from their interest in Savard, but the team is still open to trading him and trying to,” a source told Murphy.
The report adds that talks with teams have been “hampered” by a lack of cap space among teams throughout the league. Savard’s deal, a seven-year pact worth $28.5 million total, carries an annual cap hit of $4.007 million. The deal has been under investigation due to it’s being front-loaded salary-wise in an effort to water down the cap hit. Half of the deal’s money is paid out over the first two years, meaning extra years at less money make for more of a team-friendly deal.
The Bruins are just more than $3 million over the leagues $59.4 million salary cap, but will be given relief of $3.5 million as long as Marco Sturm is out. Once he returns, the team will need to make a move, and Savard as been viewed as a candidate to go.
The center hasn’t made any comments on the situation thus far to anyone around these parts, though he did tell the Ottawa Sun that he hasn’t liked the context in which his name has been brought up this summer.
“I was really focused on staying [in Boston] the rest of my career,” Savard told the paper. “To hear all this stuff this summer bothered me inside more than anything else.”
The cap situation and the arrival of second overall draft pick in center Tyler Seguin have been the primary perceived motivation factors for the team to move Savard, though one might question whether the league’s worst offense from a year ago can afford subtracting one of its best players.
In 41 games last season, Savard had 10 goals and 23 assists for 33 points. His regular season was cut short by a hit to the head from Penguins’ forward Matt Cooke on March 7.
|Lehtonen bolts for Sweden||08.17.10 at 3:35 pm ET|
The Bruins suffered a minor loss Tuesday, but a loss nonetheless when forward Mikko Lehtonen left the states to take a one-year deal in the Swedish Elite League. Though his Bruins career technically isn’t over (the Bruins still have his rights), the 23-year-old will play next season with Skelleftea.
In two games with the Bruins over the last two seasons, Lehtonen did not record a point, but he led Providence in goals in each of the campaigns, scoring 28 and 23 goals in 2008-09 and 2009-10, respectively.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli indicated to Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe Tuesday that Lehtonen “felt there was not an opportunity for him in our organization.”
|Chiarelli: Bruins ‘cooperating fully’ with league regarding Savard||08.10.10 at 3:53 pm ET|
The Bruins have released a statement from general manager Peter Chiarelli regarding the league’s investigation of the seven-year, $28.05 million contract extension center Marc Savard signed with the team in December. Here’s what Chiarelli had to say.
“We are cooperating fully with the League in its investigation of the Marc Savard contract extension. The League informed us upon their registration of the contract on December 1, 2009 that they would be investigating the circumstances surrounding this contract. From that point on, they commenced their investigation and it has been ongoing since then. On August 4th, I met with two League appointed lawyers as part of the investigation. We will continue to cooperate with the League in any future investigative proceedings if necessary and we will have no further comment on the matter at this time.”
Savard will make nearly half of his contract’s money in the next two seasons, with the other half being spread out over the following five seasons. As a result, despite making $7 million per year in 2010-11 and 2011-12, he will have a cap hit of just $4.007 as a result of cap numbers in the NHL being determined by total money divided by years. If the deal is ruled as not being in compliance with the CBA, it will be voided and Savard will become an unrestricted free agent.
|B’s officially ink Seguin to three-year deal||08.03.10 at 5:42 pm ET|
The Bruins officially announced the signing of rookie forward Tyler Seguin, the second overall pick in this year’s NHL draft, to a three-year, entry-level contract Tuesday. The terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed in accordance with team policy, but it is believed that the deal is similar to the one first-overall pick Taylor Hall received from Edmonton, which calls for a base salary of around $900,000 with performance escalators that could make the deal worth as much as $3.75 million yearly.
“He’s obviously a high pick, and he performed well in our development camp,” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said in a conference call. “We thought it was time to sign him to give him piece of mind and make him feel part of the organization.”
The Bruins hope that Seguin’s debut season can help erase the memory of last year’s dismal finish and create some excitement again on Causeway Street. The 18-year-old’s line of 48 goals and 58 assists in the Ontario Hockey League along with his YouTube-worthy highlights already have many B’s fans buzzing about his arrival. His performance in his first time in black and gold at Bruins prospect development camp in July only added to the excitement.
“If I’m a fan and I see a young player like this that is an exciting, young player and people saw him at development camp, I’d be excited about seeing him play,” Chiarelli said.
Seguin did most of his damage in the OHL as a center, but Chiarelli did not commit to saying that he will hold a similar position should he make the squad out of training camp. With veterans Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Marc Savard and the newly acquired Greg Campbell already on the roster, there doesn’t appear to be any room for the young forward at that position this season. He will most likely make his debut at one of the eight winger spots, but Chiarelli was willing to keep the options open.
“You never know. I’ve had discussions with Claude [Julien] about mixing and matching and shifting some positions around so I can’t tell you with complete certainty where he’ll play,” Chiarelli said.
With Seguin’s signing now official, that gives the B’s a total of 14 forwards on the roster including Marco Sturm, who will open the season on the long-term disabled list after suffering a major knee injury in the playoffs. That’s two more than they’ll need come opening day, but their options are still open according to Chiarelli.
“It’s a roster that I’m very happy with now,” Chiarelli said. “There are some spots for young players to earn spots. You’re never done with your roster. I can’t say we’re definitively done with it. There are always things that crop up. We just saw a Stanley Cup-winning goalie become available on the free market so things happen. Things crop up so it’s never done until the opening-day roster’s filed.”