|Former Bruins Jaromir Jagr, Steven Kampfer working out better with Panthers||03.31.15 at 3:48 pm ET|
Thanks to Shawn Thornton, it’s always a reunion when the Panthers come to town. Yet it’s a pair of other former Bruins that have found new success in their respective careers by going to Florida.
Jaromir Jagr and Steven Kampfer have both turned heads since joining the Panthers. Since being acquired by the Panthers prior to the trade deadline, Jagr has done much more than he did down the stretch with the Bruins in 2013. Kampfer, a former Bruins prospect who played 38 games in their Cup-winning 2010-11 season, has resurfaced in the NHL after years of struggling with injuries and inconsistency in the AHL.
The Bruins traded a conditional second-round pick and prospects Lane MacDermid and Cody Payne to Dallas for Jagr in 2013. The pick became a first-rounder when the B’s reached the Eastern Conference finals, but Jagr did not score a postseason goal for the Bruins. He played well as a third-liner before spelling Tyler Seguin on Patrice Bergeron‘s line, but the team parted with him at season’s end.
Two years later, Jagr was flipped from New Jersey to Florida after the Panthers had moved Sean Bergenheim to Minnesota. Florida gave up a second-round pick in 2015 and a conditional third-rounder in 2016.
If the Panthers make the playoffs, Jagr will be a primary reason as to why. Playing on Florida’s first line, Jagr has four goals and eight assists for 12 points in 14 games. Florida general manager Dale Tallon said recently that the team is interested in re-signing the 43-year-old after the season.
“He’s done everything we expected,” Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said Tuesday. “He’s [gone] out and played with those two young kids, and the line’s played very well since he’s been here and our team’s played very well since he’s been here, so it’s been real positive.”
The aforementioned kids are 21-year-old Jonathan Huberdeau and 19-year-old Aleksander Barkov, both of whom were top-three picks in their respective drafts.
“It’s kind of crazy,” Huberdeau said Tuesday. “We were saying he won a Stanley Cup when I wasn’t even born.”
Age gaps aside, Jagr has fit with the two youngsters. He still plays keep-away with the puck, and it’s paying off.
“He’s a first-line player, for sure,” Huberdeau said. “Even when we played against him in New Jersey, I thought he was really good. He’s so good at protecting the puck and stuff. Just playing with him, it creates more space [for] me and Barkov. I think we’re just taking advantage of that.”
As for Kampfer, Florida has become a home for the Michigan native (whose parents actually live in Florida, come to think of it) after his 2012 trade from the Bruins to the Wild led to two seasons of AHL play.
Kampfer’s stint in the Wild organization wasn’t ideal. In addition to concussions and knee injuries, he never really got a shot to play NHL games. His only games with the big club came in the 2011-12 season, when he replaced Boston acquisition Greg Zanon.
“It taught me a lot to grow up as a person, more so than anything,” Kampfer said. “It was different because they had their six guys that they were going to roll there, so you knew you were just going to go down, you were going to be a depth guy and play in the minors, but it was good. The coaches down in Houston during the lockout year were awesome. Then last year, it was just trying to play hard and hopefully you get a chance, but they had their six guys that they were just going to keep rolling.”
Kampfer signed with the Rangers in the offseason, but was traded to Florida after Matt Hunwick beat him out for the final spot on Alain Vigneault’s blue line. After starting the season in the AHL, the now-26-year-old has played 23 games for the Panthers, even seeing time at forward Sunday against Ottawa.
It would seem that Kampfer now has a future with the Panthers, as he was given a two-year contract extension earlier this month.
‘I’m feeling good,” he said of his Panthers experience. “Obviously feeling good and our team’s doing well, that’s the most important thing. Good experience, good locker room, great organization.”
|Bruins assign Steven Kampfer to Providence||02.11.12 at 5:30 pm ET|
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli announced after Saturday’s game that the team has sent defenseman Steven Kampfer to Providence.
Kampfer, 23, has played 10 games for the Bruins this season, registering no goals, two assists and a plus-6 rating. He was last in the lineup on Jan. 31, but has served as the team’s seventh defenseman.
The assignment will give Kampfer a chance to play for the P-Bruins against Albany on Sunday, giving him some playing time to prevent rust as he remains out of the Bruins’ lineup.
|Andrew Ference hopes to avoid suspension after hit on Ryan McDonagh||01.21.12 at 4:46 pm ET|
Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference put the Bruins in a tight spot Saturday when his dangerous hit on Ryan McDonagh in overtime put the Rangers on the power play until Marian Gaborik won the game with 3.6 seconds remaining.
The play, which resulted in a five-minute charging major and a game misconduct, came when Callahan and Ference were racing for a puck behind the Rangers’ net.
“I’m obviously going as fast as I can to get to the puck, and when I realized I wasn’t going to get there first, he boxed me out,” Ference said. “I tried to lean back, but I was going too fast. Obviously it was a dangerous position. I tried to let up and didn’t let up fast enough.”
“I honestly haven’t seen the replay, so I don’t know how it looks,” Ference said. “I just know the intent — I feel like I’m leaning back, but obviously didn’t slow up fast enough. It’s really their call.”
Coach Claude Julien defended Ference, but spoke as though he expected the defenseman to hear from the league.
“Andrew Ference is not a dirty player,” Julien said. “He’s one of those guys that certainly supports what the league is trying to do as far as minimizing those injuries. It was a player chasing the puck, and when he did get hit, his legs were pretty far apart. There wasn’t a very good balance from the player, and it certainly resulted in an unfortunate thing. We’ll let the league look at it. They dissect things their own way, and we’re just waiting to hear from them.”
The Bruins recalled defenseman Steven Kampfer from Providence after the game. He will travel with the team to Philadelphia and play in the event that Ference is suspended prior to Sunday’s game.
|Bruins send Jordan Caron, Steven Kampfer to Providence||01.20.12 at 12:46 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Friday that they have sent forward Jordan Caron and defenseman Steven Kampfer to Providence.
For Caron, it marks the sixth time this season that the 2009 first-round pick has been sent to the AHL. Caron has two goals and two assists for four points in 17 games with Boston this season. He has two goals and seven assists for nine points in 12 AHL games.
Providence has games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend.
|Bruins recall Steven Kampfer, Jordan Caron||12.19.11 at 10:19 am ET|
The Bruins recalled defenseman Steven Kampfer and forward Jordan Caron Monday after the two were sent to Providence for the weekend.
It was the second time this month the B’s have sent the two young players to the AHL, as it has allowed the healthy scratches to get game action to remain fresh. Caron had an assist in two games this weekend for Providence.
|Bruins send Jordan Caron, Steven Kampfer to Providence||12.16.11 at 8:01 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Friday that they have sent forward Jordan Caron and defenseman Steven Kampfer to Providence.
Much like when they were sent down on the first of the month, the move allows the two players who are usually the team’s healthy scratches to get some game action. The two will play for Providence on Saturday and Sunday.
The fact that the B’s sent Kampfer down suggests captain Zdeno Chara, who has missed the last two games with a leg injury, will be ready to play Saturday against the Flyers in Philadelphia.
|Bruins prepared to play without Zdeno Chara, however long that may be||12.12.11 at 7:54 pm ET|
The Bruins are going to be without Zdeno Chara — reportedly for at least a week — but the B’s captain isn’t ready to count himself out for even Wednesday’s game against the Senators.
“There is no time frame when I’m going to be back, but most likely I won’t be playing tomorrow,” Chara said Monday at Ristuccia Arena. “That’s as far as I can tell you right now, because honestly it’s at a stage where we can’t really talk about any further than 24 hours ahead.”
Chara injured his left leg in a collision with Antoine Vermette Saturday night in Columbus. The Boston Globe reported Sunday that he would miss at least this week, and could potentially held out until after Christmas.
The 6-foot-9 defenseman has not missed more than five games in a season since signing with the Bruins prior to the 2006-07 season. With that being said, he understands that injuries do occur, and that he hopes to return as quickly as he can.
“It’s just the nature of this sport. In any sport, you do get hurt. Injuries do happen, and there are some things as players that you can’t control,” he said. “They do really happen. As a player, really your job is to try to do your best with the treatments and rehab to get yourself back and on the ice with the team as fast as possible. That’s what I’m trying to do right now, but also at the same time, you don’t want to rush it. You want to be smart about it.”
With Chara out, the Bruins practiced Monday without drastically shaking up their defensive pairings. Claude Julien simply subbed in Steven Kampfer for Chara on his pairing with Johnny Boychuk and left the Dennis Seidenberg - Joe Corvo and Andrew Ference - Adam McQuaid pairings alone.
It will be Kampfer’s first NHL game since Nov. 17, though he played two games for Providence when the B’s sent he and Jordan Caron for some game action earlier this month.
Assuming Chara does indeed miss the team’s games this week, Kampfer, who played in three straight games last month, will get the opportunity to do so again here. For a seventh defenseman, playing time and opportunities in the lineup may come sporadically, but a week’s worth of game action will give him time to get settled in and shake off any rust.
“I think you can always get a rhythm, even if you’re not playing,” Kampfer said. “You get in for one game, you’re practicing, you’re playing well and you’ve got the guys around you that are keeping you in a rhythm, so it’s definitely easier when you’ve got a team playing as well as we are.”
With Chara out, Seidenberg, who is averaging 24:12 of ice time per game (second only to Chara’s 24:28), could see an increased work load. He wouldn’t complain if that were the case, though the B’s probably don’t want to tire their second best defenseman.
“It’s up to the coaches,” Seidenberg. “We’ve been playing pretty even minutes these last few games. Guys have been playing pretty great as a group, and no matter who’s on the ice, [Doug Houda] feels comfortable putting them out there.”
With all the hoopla surrounding Chara’s injury, it’s clear that the best news is that it isn’t serious enough to keep him out for significant time. The B’s have good depth defensively, but removing arguably the best blueliner will certainly create a challenge for the B’s. It’s a challenge the other defensemen think they can handle.
“I think that some of the other forwards on the other teams will probably be in better moods, but that’s probably the biggest change,” Ference said. “He’s a big presence. Guys don’t like playing against him. He’s obviously a huge matchup against other teams’ top lines. That’s something that there’s quite a few of us back there that have played against top lines and top two lines in the league. It’s not like anybody’s getting outside of their comfort zone.”
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