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What the Chris Bourque/Zach Hamill trade means 05.27.12 at 3:44 pm ET
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The Bruins drafted Zach Hamill eighth overall in the 2007 draft. They never even got a goal out of him.

Zach Hamill (right) didn't have much to celebrate in his time in the Bruins' organization. (AP)

The Bruins finally ended the Hamill experiment Saturday night, as they shipped the forward to the Capitals in exchange for left wing Chris Bourque (son of some guy named Ray).

The trade is certainly a minor one, as both players have spent the majority of their professional careers in the AHL (they have played just a combined 53 NHL contests), but both Hamill and Bourque were names that fans of struggling teams once learned in hopes that they could help turn around their respective organizations. The teams swapped what once were big names, but are now players simply trying to catch on in the NHL.

As far as what the Bruins got, Bourque provides the organization with a fringe NHL winger who, if re-signed (he becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1), could find his way onto the B’s roster should Daniel Paille elect to sign with another team. The former Boston University Terrier (he played there in 2004-05 but left after his freshman season) is now on his third NHL organization, as he has played in both the Washington and Pittsburgh systems before Saturday’s trade. In 33 career NHL games, Bourque has one goal and three assists for four points.

Bourque stands at 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds. His last NHL action came in the 2009-10 season (20 games for the Penguins), and he spend the 2010-11 season between the Swiss League and KHL before returning to the Capitals organization this season. In 73 games for Hershey in 2011-12, Bourque scored 27 goals and had 66 assists for an impressive 93 points.

Ultimately, the trade might say more about Hamill and his selection than it does about Bourque. While Bourque also failed to live up to the hype that once surrounded him, this is the case of the Bruins giving up on the player they hoped could be a No. 1 center when they took him following a last-place finish in the Northeast division.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Hamill’s career with the Bruins was underwhelming from the get go and never saw a particularly noticeable improvement. Though he scored 32 goals for the Everett Silvertips of the WHL in his draft year, he never scored more than 14 goals in four seasons for Providence and only scored 10 goals twice.

Hamill began the 2011 postseason as one of the Bruins black aces and practiced with the team, but left in a later round. He was not with the team as they celebrated their Stanley Cup victory in Vancouver, though the rest of the black aces — including Matt Bartkowski and Anton Khudobin – were there to raise the coveted trophy.

Last offseason, the newly named Providence head coach Bruce Cassidy called Hamill out for not taking the strides expected of him.

“At the end of the day, when you’re in your fourth year in the same organization, it falls upon yourself just to push people,” Cassidy said of Hamill. “I think the individual has to recognize what’s going on around him. A few people have passed him and it’s time for him to start passing a couple of younger guys that have come in the last couple of years. And whether he’s ready to do that, we’ll find out in September.”

Cassidy and the P-Bruins moved Hamill to wing, and they saw improved play as a result. In fact, Hamill played well enough to take Jordan Caron’s spot on the NHL roster in January. A month later, they placed him on waivers and he went unclaimed. After it all – 16 contests this season 20 career NHL games – Hamill is still looking for his first career NHL goal.

It won’t come with the Bruins.

Read More: Chris Bourque, Zach Hamill,
Update: Bruins assign Zach Hamill to Providence 02.07.12 at 12:25 pm ET
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[UPDATE: 2:00 p.m.] WILMINGTON — The Bruins assigned forward Zach Hamill to Providence Tuesday, shortly after he cleared waivers. The B’s had placed Hamill, their 2007 first-round pick, on waivers Monday.

In 16 NHL games this season, Hamill has no goals and two assists. The eighth overall pick in 2007, Hamill has yet to score an NHL goal in his career.

With Hamill not on the NHL roster, Jordan Caron will continue to be the team’s extra forward, though Caron will remain in the lineup with Nathan Horton still dealing with a concussion.

Read More: Zach Hamill,
Rich Peverley returns to Boston, won’t play vs. Panthers 01.16.12 at 3:22 pm ET
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Bruins forward Rich Peverley will not play Monday against the Panthers, Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters after the team’s morning skate that Peverley had returned to Boston Saturday to deal with a personal matter.

With Peverley out of the lineup, Zach Hamill, who sat the last two games as a healthy scratch, will return to the lineup for the Bruins.

Read More: Rich Peverley, Zach Hamill,
Bruins-Flames Live Blog: Daniel Paille makes it 9-0 01.05.12 at 7:01 pm ET
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Read More: Brad Marchand, Milan Lucic, Tyler Seguin, Zach Hamill
Better late than never, Zach Hamill earns extended stay 01.03.12 at 1:15 pm ET
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Once forgotten, Zach Hamill has taken Jordan Caron's job. (AP)

WILMINGTON — Zach Hamill has made himself relevant again.

The eighth overall pick in the 2007 draft, Hamill failed to make significant strides in his first three full seasons in the organization, so much so that if you were to google his name, the word “bust” would be the second option on auto-complete.

Now, Hamill has turned things around, making a home for himself in Boston with strong play in place of injured forwards at various points this season. With Tuesday’s move that sent 2009 first-rounder Jordan Caron back to Providence, the 23-year-old Hamill has now established himself as the team’s extra forward.

There’s a bit of irony in that, as Providence coach Bruce Cassidy actually called Hamill out this summer, referencing the fact that younger players (Caron is 20) were making the team over him, and that he had yet to meet expectations.

“At the end of the day, when you’re in your fourth year in the same organization, it falls upon yourself just to push people,” Cassidy said of Hamill. “I think the individual has to recognize what’s going on around him. A few people have passed him and it’s time for him to start passing a couple of younger guys that have come in the last couple of years. And whether he’s ready to do that, we’ll find out in September.”

Hamill didn’t need to hear Cassidy’s words to realize the situation. He was well aware of it when Caron made the team out of camp last season, while Hamill didn’t even make the trip to Europe.

“I’m a smart enough person that I can see that,” Hamill said of the fact that he was being surpassed by younger players. “I see those kind of things, but at the same time you don’t want to look too much into it. The more you look into it, the more you drive yourself crazy. … There’s been encouraging words along the way, but there are obviously ups and downs, so every day it’s different, but you try to keep an even keel.”

Hamill doesn’t like to think of it as a competition between he and Caron, but he does admit to watching Caron make the team over him as motivation. Factor in that each year without Hamill on the roster meant more chatter that the Bruins’ may have missed on such a high pick, and there were plenty of things to motivate the youngster.

“Obviously that motivation sometimes pushes you,” Hamill said. “Sometimes there are words that you don’t like, but at the same time, you can’t think too much of it. There obviously were times where I’ve been doing something, and I know in the back of my mind that it’s there. It’s definitely something that I don’t forget, but I try not to focus on it too much.”

Coach Claude Julien said after Tuesday’s practice that the team feels comfortable with Hamill as its 13th forward given how much time he’s put in in the minors. In eight games for the B’s this season, Hamill has two assists, and has seen time on both the power play and penalty kill. Though he figures to be a healthy scratch for the time being, it’s quite surprising that he’s able to claw his way onto the roster. When the Bruins, who were known for their depth, signed Benoit Pouliot, had Chris Clark in for a tryout and had Caron vying for a bigger role, Hamill didn’t worry about how he’d end up where he is now. Instead he focused on waiting for the opportunity and turning it into a bigger opportunity.

Said Hamill of his mindset: “A lot of good todays end up with good tomorrows.”

While Hamill’s yesterdays had people writing him off, his todays have gotten him to the NHL for an extended stay.

Read More: Jordan Caron, Zach Hamill,
Fifth time for everything: Bruins send Jordan Caron back to Providence at 12:27 pm ET
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WILMINGTON — Following Tuesday’s practice at Ristuccia Arena, the Bruins sent forward Jordan Caron to Providence.

The move marks the fifth time this season that B’s have sent Caron, their 2009 first-round pick, to the AHL. In nine games for Providence this season, Caron has one goal and five assists for six points.

Caron’s demotion means that former eighth overall pick Zach Hamill will be the team’s extra forward for the time being. In eight games for the Bruins this season, Hamill has two assists and is still looking for his first career goal.

Read More: Jordan Caron, Zach Hamill,
Rich Peverley to return to Bruins lineup 12.31.11 at 2:33 pm ET
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Bruins forward Rich Peverley will return to the lineup Saturday night against the Stars, coach Claude Julien confirmed to reporters following the team’s morning skate. Tim Thomas was first netminder off the ice in the morning skate and is expected to get the start in goal.

Peverley missed the team’s last two games with an undisclosed injury that Julien said was helped by rest. The team kept him out of the lineup last Friday agaisnt the Panthers and this Wednesday against the Coyotes. With Peverley’s return to the lineup, Zach Hamill will be a healthy scratch.

In 30 games this season, Peverley has six goals and 19 assists for 25 points.

Read More: Claude Julien, Rich Peverley, Tim Thomas, Zach Hamill
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